George Tiller Jury Ignored Kristin Neuhaus Abortion Exploitation, Will State Board?
by Kathy Ostrowski
March 30, 2009
LifeNews.com Note: Kathy Ostrowski is the legislative director for Kansans for Life, a statewide pro-life group that has helped lead the fight against late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller. Tiller will be on trial this week for 19 counts of allegedly violating the state’s late-term abortion laws.
Shortly after a 6-member jury acquitted George Tiller of 19 criminal misdemeanor abortions based on illegal financial affiliation with Dr. Kris Neuhaus, the Kansas state Board of Healing Arts is taking the position that he is guilty and they intend to do something about it.
Tiller is heading to an as-yet-unscheduled hearing for license revocation, based on a Dec. 12, 2008 Board petition charging him with fraud, unprofessional conduct and illegally using Neuhaus for 11 abortions in 2003.
This was undoubtedly a move to restore public confidence after embarrassing allegations in this past weeks trial that the former Board director, Larry Buening, coaxed Tiller into collaboration with Neuhaus after Tiller could not find even one out of 100 semi-retired Kansas physicians to provide second opinions for approving abortions after viability.
So why would Neuhaus do what 100 other Kansas doctors wouldn’t?
Desperation, and, as Tiller recounted in trial, She needed the money.
Even before she completed her medical degree, Neuhaus was drawn to abortionists who had run afoul of the law. She spent part of her residency working with a convicted drug felon abortionist, eventually returning to run his Topeka clinic while he was sidelined for malpractice, drug abuse, prescription fraud, and lying to the Healing Arts Board.
Neuhaus took on additional abortion positions in Wichita and Lawrence, that later imploded due to her documented medical incompetence. Since March of 1999, Neuhaus has been under severe and continuing professional restriction by the DEA and the state Board of Healing Arts, which twice labeled her a danger to the public.
Neuhaus Disciplinary Record
Burdened by mandatory drug screenings, quarterly record-keeping reviews, remedial classes, and legal fees from fighting with regulators, Neuhaus was in a precarious position. It was at this same point that Tiller’s late-term abortion empire was also in a bind.
A pregnant woman can only obtain a Kansas abortion after viability if two doctors agree she faces an irreversible, substantial impairment. Tiller had been able to secure those mandated second medical opinions until the Healing Arts Board ruled in April of 1999 that both abortion-consulting doctors had to be Kansas-licensed. Since there was nothing physically wrong with the great majority of these women, Tiller could only continue these lucrative abortions if he could rely on Kansas doctors to agree they were required to prevent mental impairment.
Using notes from his personal diary in court, Tiller recounted how he called his long-time buddy Larry Buening to complain that no Kansas doctors wanted to consult for him. As Executive Director of the Healing Arts Board, Buening was the best person to know which Kansas physicians were facing loss of license and might be desperate enough to help Tiller subvert the law. Tiller testified he took Buenings suggestion to contact Neuhaus and that she eagerly agreed.
Neuhaus’ easy role in Tillers scheme was to travel to Wichita one day a week to visit with Tiller’s late-term clients privately, issue each woman a permission slip, and then return home with an envelope of cash. She could even skip the in-person meeting, talk to the clients by phone and still get paid!
The harder task would be for Neuhaus to hang on to her restricted state medical license, but certainly Buening was in a great position to help out with that. [Until this week, no one outside of Tillers circle knew about Neuhaus vital importance to Tillerand Buenings interest in protecting the arrangement.
But it sure explains why pro-lifers were ignored when they complained to Buening during 1999-2001 that Neuhaus should have had her license revoked, based on news stories and official disciplinary filings at the time.]
This past week, court testimony described how Tillers late-term clients were told to bring separate cash for the consultant (Neuhaus) but that they were not told her name. Most of these women were not Kansas residents and it seems unlikely any of them would discover that Neuhaus is hardly a psychologist, only a failed abortionist who now works part-time at a prison.
In court, Neuhaus tried to undermine the prosecutors assertion that she acted as Tillers employee. She said that she had been free to charge Tillers clients whatever she wanted, and when she raised her fee from $250 to $300, he didn’t object. But if she were truly an independent, unaffiliated consultant– objectively reviewing a bona fide medical diagnosis, as required by law–why would she seek Tillers fee approval?
Indeed, why would Tiller ever dare complain about such a low price for a medical signature he absolutely needed? Without it, he couldn’t collect the $6000 he admitted he charges for each viable baby abortion. During the year in question at trial, 2003, Tiller charged an estimated $2 million just for the 318 viable abortions Neuhaus was supposed to approve. And thats not counting his additional income from the reported 173 non-viable late-term abortions (not needing a second medical signature) or his profit from early-term abortions.
The for-profit collaboration of Tiller and Neuhaus is the misuse of the medical arts that Kansas lawmakers intended to prevent. Certainly Buening helped them pull it off, but the bottom line is that Tiller never desired to secure a formal ruling from either the Healing Arts Board or the Attorney General to clarify the term affiliation. Everyone understands that people who directly rely on each other to make money in a work situation, are affiliated.
Moreover, Tillers finances depended on obtaining rubberstamp approvals without genuine medical diagnoses, and as such would likely always be in violation of the law. He just wanted a secret way to stay in business without fear of getting caught; and, as Neuhaus blurted out unhappily to the prosecutor, In 1999, who could have known Phill Kline would become Attorney General?
Moreover, in 2009, who could have known the state Healing Arts Board would attempt to reclaim its integrity?
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