by Steven Ertelt
January 31, 2008
Wichita, KS (LifeNews.com) — Abortion practitioner George Tiller didn’t turn over any of the 2,000 medical files on late-term abortions he’s done as a judge ordered him to do on Wednesday. Instead, his attorneys are working on an appeal to the Kansas Supreme Court and the judge will hold another hearing in the case.
Tiller faces both charges from the state attorney general that he did illegal late-term abortions and a grand jury probe contending he violated the law others times over the last five years.
On Wednesday, retired Sedgwick County District Judge Paul Buchanan rejected arguments from his attorneys and a national pro-abortion law firm that relinquishing the records would invade the privacy of the women involved.
He told Tiller’s attorneys to turn over the records to the district attorney’s office by noon today. They didn’t do so and worked on the high court appeal instead.
As a result, Judge Buchanan set another hearing for Friday morning where Tiller’s attorneys are expected to ask for more concessions to get more time to turn over the files or to be able to mark out more information on them.
The Kansas Supreme Court could issue a ruling before the Friday hearing. If not, Tiller lawyers expect to file a request for a stay, AP reports.
This week, the Center for Reproductive Rights signed up to represent the infamous abortion practitioner and his attorneys’ attempt to prevent the grand jury from obtaining medical records in its investigation.
Despite their help, Judge Buchanan sided with prosecutors who said the records would be redacted and no woman’s name or identifying information would be known as a result of the probe and release of information.
To ensure that, Judge Buchanan ordered that a physician and attorney be present during the transfer of the documents that should have occurred today.
Mary Kay Culp, the director of Kansans for Life, challenged claims from Tiller attorneys that women involved in the abortions have a fear of their abortion becoming public knowledge.
"First, official Kansas abortion statistics show approximately 91% of such women are from out of state and, secondly, identifying information will be removed before any such records go to grand jurors," she told LifeNews.com.
Tiller attorneys also claim the request would place an undue burden on both Tiller and women seeking abortions because it would tie up abortion facility staff in obtaining and producing such a large number of medical records.
The grand jury is seeking the records of everyone who went to Tiller’s Women’s Health Care Services abortion center from July 1, 2003, through January 18, 2008.
The probe is examining whether two doctors determined there was no threat to the health of the mother.
Tiller is accused of violating a state law requiring two physicians to sign off on late-term abortions in cases when the abortion is supposedly needed to protect a mothers health.
Kansans for Life led a petition-gathering effort that got enough signatures to put an old Kansas law into play allowing a grand jury investigation.
The group says more violations of the law may have occurred than the 19 misdemeanor charges former Kansas Attorney General Paul Morrison charged Tiller with for not following state law.
Related web sites:
Kansans for Life – https://www.kfl.org