Kansas Judge: Hearing Date for Abortion Practitioner Tiller Won’t Change

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 3, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Kansas Judge: Hearing Date for Abortion Practitioner George Tiller Won’t Change

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
October 3
, 2008

Wichita, KS (LifeNews.com) — A Kansas judge has ruled that the November date for a hearing in the case accusing late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller of illegal abortions won’t change. Judge Clark Owens has ruled that the scheduled November 17 hearing will stay on that date despite Tiller’s attorneys requesting a delay.

Tiller’s attorneys submitted legal papers on September 15 accusing former Attorney General Phill Kline of misconduct. Kline denies any wrongdoing and Judge Owens denied the request to delay the hearing.

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.

The charges are based on abortion records obtained by Kline with the permission and oversight of the Kansas Supreme Court. Tiller’s attorneys made the misconduct claims in an attempt to discredit the records forming the basis for the charges.

Despite the decision, Kansans for Life director Mary Kay Culp tells LifeNews.com she wishes state attorneys had more time to respond to the allegations.

"It’s too bad the judge didn’t give the AG’s office more time to answer Tiller’s 150 pages of phony-baloney allegations, because even trumped up motions take time to address, especially this many," she said.

"Then again, maybe the judge’s thinking is that they are all so completely baseless that he doesn’t want to waste any more time on them than necessary, which would be a good thing, so it’s unclear what his ruling indicates," Culp added.

Operation Rescue president Troy Newman told LifeNews.com that Tiller’s attorneys are trying every method possible to dismiss the case, even though Tiller is likely guilty.

"Tiller is now engaging in the ‘smoke and mirrors’ defense, apparently because they have no real legal defense to stand on," he said. "They are attempting to pass off huge amounts of unsubstantiated accusations as fact, and cloud the real issue that their client is accused of repeatedly breaking the law."

Tiller allegedly has violated the component of the state’s 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.

Tiller could face as much as 19 years in prison with one year for each guilty conviction.

The abortion practitioner has come under fire over the last two weeks as two women appear to have been victims of botched abortions.

Tiller was involved in a botched late-term abortion last week that hospitalized a patient and nearly cost her life. On Wednesday, an ambulance transported yet another botched abortion victim away from Tiller’s abortion business to a local hospital.

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