Day Two of George Tiller’s Illegal Abortion Trial Focuses on Kristin Neuhaus

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 24, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Day Two of George Tiller’s Illegal Abortion Trial Focuses on Kristin Neuhaus

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 24
, 2009

Wichita, KS ( — The second day of the trial of late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller focused on the working and financial relationship he had with abortion practitioner Kristin Neuhaus. Tiller has been charged with 19 counts of failing to follow state law by having a second physician sign off on the abortions.

Tiller has been accused of getting Neuhaus to rubber stamp the abortions.

Prosecutor Barry Disney said, during the trial’s first day, that Neuhaus was essentially an employee of Tiller’s and that she would not be the impartial doctor the law calls for to validate the abortions.

Disney has said Neuhaus was not an independent physician but someone whose only income came from her okaying the abortions Tiller did.

Today, Neuhaus responded to the points Disney made and Tiller’s defense attorneys tried to paint a picture of her as concerned about the safety of the women getting the late-term abortions. They said she paid for her own medical expenses and costs such as travel and medical insurance.

On the stand, according to an AP report, Neuhaus admitted she couldn’t remember the actual discussions she had with Tiller that originally resulted in setting up the financial arrangements.

Neuhaus said she couldn’t consider herself working full-time for Tiller, saying she did the abortion consultations only half a day one day per week. But Disney said she had told a state official in 2006 that she worked for Tiller full-time. Today, she said she misspoke.

Neuhaus also claimed that she did not sign off on every one of the late-term abortions Tiller did but admitted she was unaware of whether Tiller went ahead with the abortions she contended she didn’t approve.

She also went after Phill Kline, the much-maligned former attorney general who originally filed the charges against Tiller. Although she had immunity at the time, she complained Kline operated in a manner that left her feeling like the questions were a "torture chamber."

The trial saw Neuhaus respond to the fact that Neuhaus has had problems with her medical license, but the jury was reportedly not given the full details of why she ran afoul of the state medical board.

In fact, Neuhaus operated an abortion center that she eventually closed in 2002. Before that, she was accused of doing an abortion without a patient’s consent and the Kansas Board of Healing Arts asked her to change her consent forms.

Troy Newman, the head of Operation Rescue, says the relationship between Tiller and Neuhaus is clear and that it violated state law.

"Tiller’s attorneys prepared the referral letter that Neuhaus signed to rubberstamp the late-term abortions," he explained. "Neuhaus had no private practice in 2003, the time frame from which the charges arose. She saw patients that were scheduled for post-viability abortions by Tiller and his staff. She was paid in cash."

He also talked about Neuhaus’ body language during the questioning.

"Neuhaus was called as the prosecution’s only witness," he said. "Her attitude under Disney’s questioning was somewhat hostile. She lacked memory of any of the important points that Disney tried to make."

"When she was reminded of her testimony under oath during a statement taken by then Assistant Attorney General Stephen Maxwell, she made excuses for the discrepancies by saying that she was defensive and felt attacked by Maxwell, therefore she could not remember," Newman continued.

"However, her memory seemed sharp when Tiller attorney Dan Monnet questioned her, and her attitude shifted to one that was more cooperative," he said.

Disney had told the jurors that excuses are not a defense, and Neuhaus seemed to have unlimited excuses for not remembering anything. This could be problematic for her since she was promised immunity from prosecution only if she told the truth.

"It was obvious that Neuhaus was lying," said Newman. "We believe that will be obvious to the jury as well. It isn’t over, but I remind Christians to continue to pray at this critical time."

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