Late-Term Abortion Practitioner George Tiller Faces Hearing on Illegal Abortions
by Steven Ertelt
November 11, 2008
Wichita, KS (LifeNews.com) — Kansas-based late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller faces a week-long hearing next week related to the criminal charges filed against him by the state attorney general. Tiller was slapped with 19 criminal charges for failing to follow state law requiring a second opinion on the abortions.
In the abortions, Tiller should have followed state law requiring a concurring signature from a second physician who is not legally or financially affiliated with him.
Instead, Tiller used an affiliated associate, abortion practitioner Ann Kristin Neuhaus, with whom he has a financial working relationship.
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.
The hearing will focus on a request from Tiller’s attorneys that the evidence in the case be suppressed because of claims that it was improperly obtained. Former attorneys general Phill Kline and Paul Morrison as well as others involved in the Tiller investigation are expected to testify in the case.
Tiller’s attorneys have made what are considered outlandish claims that Kline engaged in supposed misconduct. Their goal is to challenge the way Kline obtained the medical records that led to the charges.
In July, Judge Clark Owens rejected a request from Tiller attorneys to overturn the charges based on a claim the law limiting late-term abortions is unconstitutional.
If Tiller’s latest motions fail, he is scheduled to face trial on March 16, 2009 and could face one year in prison for each count on which he is convicted.
Operation Rescue officials told LifeNews.com today that they will lead a brief prayer every morning outside the Sedgwick County Courthouse beginning on Monday.
"We have been waiting for a very long time for Tiller to have his day in court, and our best response to Tiller’s latest attempts to thwart justice is to pray," OR president Troy Newman said.
"We intend to keep our focus on prayer throughout the hearings, but given the corruption that has shielded Tiller from prosecution in the past, we will keep a close eye on the proceedings, and respond to the developments as appropriate," he added.
Kansans for Life director Mary Kay Culp previously told LifeNews.com about what’s at stake in the trial.
"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."
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