Kansas Judge Dismisses George Tiller Motion Against Late-Term Abortion Law
by Steven Ertelt
July 28, 2008
Wichita, KS (LifeNews.com) — A Kansas judge ruled against late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller and his request to declare Kansas’ ban on most late-term abortions unconstitutional. District Court Judge Clark Owens determined that the post-viability abortion ban is legitimate.
Judge Owens said the law "survives all of the constitutional challenges" Tiller’s lawyers presented.
As a result, the Tiller motion to dismiss the 19 charges filed against him by the state attorney general was denied.
Former attorney general Paul Morrison filed the charges against Tiller, saying he violated state law requiring a second physician to sign off on the validity of the late-term abortions.
Tiller allegedly has violated the component of the states late-term abortion law requiring the abortion practitioner not to have a relationship with the second physician. He got abortion practitioner Ann Kristin Neuhaus, with whom he is a financial partner, to sign off on the disputed late-term abortions.
The second physician is supposed to validate whether the mother will face "substantial and irreversible" harm to "a major bodily function" without the abortion — the lone times when a late-term abortion can be done legally.
Now, Tiller will face a trial on the charges and, if he’s convicted, could face as much as 19 years in prison with one year for each guilty conviction.
Kansans for Life director Mary Kay Culp responded to the decision in comments to LifeNews.com.
"If ever a case needed to go to trial it is this one," she said.
"The law says the second doctor required to approve the abortion of a viable baby cannot be legally or financially affiliated with the abortionist," Culp explained. "Not only did Tiller repeatedly use Kristen Neuhaus, a doctor twice called a public danger by our board of healing arts, but records indicate that for four years her sole income came from her association with him."
Operation Rescue President Troy Newman, also sent comments to LifeNews.com about the decision.
"We have just one thing to say to Tiller today and that is, ‘See you in court,’" he said.
"Today’s ruling by Judge Owens vindicates our efforts to bring Tiller to justice. All along, we knew that it wasn’t the law that was faulty, but it was Tiller’s interpretation of the law that was faulty. This gives us a glimmer of hope that we could eventually see some shred of justice," he explained.
Tillers lawyers challenged the late-term abortion law saying the requirement for an independent second physician is unconstitutional and that it allegedly infringes on womens so-called abortion rights.
Their request to dismiss the case on constitutional grounds has been pending since a November hearing.
Judge Owens said he wasn’t ready to move forward with the case because the attorneys involved were busy with the grand jury.
Called by Kansans for Life, the jury did not indict Tiller but the pro-life group contends that’s because they weren’t given full information.
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