Group Asks Kansas Medical Board to Reopen Probe Into Teen’s Abortion Death

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 5, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Group Asks Kansas Medical Board to Reopen Probe Into Teen’s Abortion Death

by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 5
, 2009

Topeka, KS ( — A Kansas-based pro-life group is asking the state medical board to reopen an investigation into the death of a mentally disabled Texas teenager who died after a late-term abortion there. Operation Rescue is formally asking the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts to re-examine the death of Christin Gilbert.

Gilbert, 19, was killed in a botched legal abortion done at George Tiller’s late-term abortion business in Wichita in January 2005.

After Gilbert’s death, the Kansas Board of Healing Arts, which regulates doctors in the state, refused to prosecute Tiller for killing Gilbert, saying he followed all state laws on abortion.

Following the agency’s decision thousands of Wichita residents filed petitions with the local courts to call for a grand jury to investigate the case. The grand jury, too, failed to prosecute Tiller or any of his staff involved in the abortion.

Now, Operation Rescue is asking the medical board to probe the case again based on new information that has surfaced since the Board closed the Gilbert investigation in 2005.

The complaint, filed earlier this week, names Nebraska abortion practitioner LeRoy Carhart as the person who did the abortion that led to the teenager’s death. Carhart is employed by Tiller and travels to Kansas every third week to do abortions.

The complaint also alleges that the determination made by the former staff of the KSBHA clearing Tiller was politically motivated to aid in the defeat of a bill before the state legislature at that time, which would have provided health and safety regulation for Kansas’ abortion industry.

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, who had accepted large amounts of campaign contributions from Tiller, opposed the bill and Operation Rescue officials say she is politically beholden to Tiller.

The Board has since undergone a major overhaul and leadership change and may be more inclined to hold Tiller and Carhart accountable, the pro-life group tells today.

"The facts that surfaced since 2005, along with recent changes at the Board, have led us to ask that the Gilbert case be revisited," Operation Rescue president Troy Newman, who filed the complaint, said.

Newman’s group obtained the new information from one of the members of the citizens grand jury who was so upset by what he heard during its investigation that he felt compelled to come forward.

The member said Carhart, who was supposed to be on call on the night before Gilbert died, did not respond to calls for help and could not be located as her condition worsened. He also indicated that actions by the District Attorney’s office hindered their investigation.

Since the Board closed the case, Tiller has been criminally charged for violations of the Kansas requirement that all post-viability abortions must have the signature of a second Kansas physician that is unaffiliated with the abortion practitioner.

Tiller exclusively used abortion practitioner Ann Kristin Neuhaus, with whom he has a financial relationship, as a "rubber stamp" for all late-term abortions at his abortion center from at least 2003 to early 2007.

Neuhaus also signed off on Gilbert’s abortion, making that abortion illegal, Newman contends.

"We pray that the case of Christin Gilbert’s tragic death will finally be given and honest and fair review, something it has not had," said Newman. "We owe it to her to seek justice."

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