George Tiller Relied on Disgraced Abortion Practitioner to Keep Business Going

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 22, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

George Tiller Relied on Disgraced Abortion Practitioner to Keep Business Going

by Kathy Ostrowski
March 22, 2009 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.

It is hard to overstate just how problematic is the relationship between abortionist, Dr. George Tiller, now on trial in Wichita, and his rubber-stamping accomplice, “Dr.” Ann Kristin Neuhaus.

The Kansas viable abortion ban, K.S.A. 65-6703, does allow narrow exceptions for late term abortions: a second physician, not legally or financially affiliated with the abortionist, must confirm that without an abortion the mother would either die or suffer “substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.”

The law does not require any medical specialty training from that second physician referral, only a valid Kansas medical license—something Neuhaus has inexplicably been able to retain.

The story is almost too shocking to believe.

For years, Neuhaus had been eking out a living as a traveling abortionist to several Kansas locations. In March of 1999, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) drastically curtailed her ability to write prescriptions and demanded she practice only with oversight from an outside pharmacist. Six months later, the Kansas state Healing Arts Board began three years of actions to monitor Neuhaus, including random drug testing, remedial medical classes, resuscitation instruction “posters,” and a demand that she hire an anesthesiologist.

During this period, the Board twice branded her a “danger to the public” and filed a variety of legal actions on behalf of her past patients, citing Neuhaus’ deviations from the standard of care, including assembly-line techniques and informed consent violations.

Kansans for Life protested the Board was giving special treatment to an abortionist that they would not extend to any other incompetent medical practitioner. The Board imposed additional limitations and supervised protocols on Neuhaus but refused to revoke her license.

Neuhaus, unable to afford the cost of practicing medicine under those impositions, shut down her practice in September 2002. What surfaced on her state medical license renewal form in May 2003 tipped her hand as to how she was supporting herself. In the space provided for “office location,” Neuhaus wrote:

“None– make only consultation ‘calls’ to another office with which
I am not affiliated– I have no practice location now (my office is at
home but no patient consults there.)"

This was a telling response. In the space where physicians routinely list a simple address, Neuhaus inserts exact phraseology from the Kansas late-term statute. It’s as if she believes a pre-emptive claim that she wasn’t breaking the law will somehow safeguard her from prosecution.

In her next three annual license renewals, Neuhaus listed a post-office box as a medical office address. Despite a tarnished reputation and an inability even to write most prescriptions, Neuhaus had somehow developed a flourishing medical consultation business with just one doctor.

In reality, very few of the Tiller patients in question were suffering from any impairment, let alone a substantial or irreversible one. They sought abortions, many of them under coercion, because a child would be inconvenient—in some cases, evidence of statutory rape.

The impeccably credentialed Harvard-trained psychiatrist, Dr. Paul McHugh, was recruited by the state attorney general to review a sample of fifteen Tiller files. When asked whether he had seen any one patient file that justified a late-term abortion on the basis of major or irreversible psychiatric damage, McHugh unequivocally responded, “I saw no patient file that justified abortion on that basis.” To be sure, no file suggested physical impairment.

In passing K.S.A. 65-6703, lawmakers had three expectations:

• that the abortionist would honor the law insisting on “substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function;”
• that a non-affiliated physician would make sure that the abortionist honored that law; and
• that the Healing Arts Board would revoke licenses from deficient practitioners.

All three expectations were betrayed, and Tiller stands trial for betraying the second of the three. Had Tiller’s money not bought so much political protections, he would have been tried for much worse, many years ago.

The trial against Tiller will not examine whether Neuhaus lied about the condition of his pregnant clients. The sole point the state must convince the jury of is whether Tiller’s repeated use of Neuhaus was barred by the straightforward reading of the law. The “pro-choice” (former) Attorney General who filed these 19 charges in June 2007 believed the “non-affiliation” prohibition is clear and that he had enough evidence showing Tiller and Neuhaus were “in cahoots.”

Kansans for Life believe it should be a slam dunk proving that Tiller and Neuhaus broke the law repeatedly in 2003. We await action from the state Healing Arts Board on these 19 charges and want an aggressive investigation initiated for similar collusion by Tiller and Neuhaus during 2004-2007.

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