Earlier this month, Planned Parenthood abortion business president Cecile Richards delivered an address to the Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health award ceremony in New York City. There, she told pro-abortion doctors to be more like late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller.
“You represent our future and you honor the memories of Doctors George Tiller and William Rashbaum and you advance the cause to which they dedicated their lives,” she said. “No one knows that better than Jeanne and Rebecca Tiller. Having you both here tonight means so much to us all — seeing you instantly reminds us of George — his kindness, his courage, his wisdom.”
“George was a remarkable man, a remarkable doctor,” Richards said, looking ahead to today, the anniversary of the shooting death that claimed his life. “We have a credo at Planned Parenthood developed by the great Lynne Randall — which is that we each must strive to be “more like George.” More determined. Braver. Kinder. Of course, you are all like George.”
Although no one in the pro-life community — including Operation Rescue president Troy Newman — lent any support to the men who killed Tiller, urging pro-abortion doctors to emulate the late-term abortion practitioner would have them taking the lives of unborn children late in pregnancy, violating state abortion laws and killing and injuring women in botched abortions.
“He’s become St. George to the abortion movement now because he was martyred to their cause,” Newman said in 2009.
Before his death, the state board that monitors doctors was close to revoking Tiller’s medical license on allegations that he falsified the age of unborn children before the late-term abortions that took their lives. He allegedly did so to stay within the confines of state law.
An undercover investigation conducted at Tiller’s now-closed late-term abortion facility, Women’s Health Care Services, found compelling evidence that Tiller’s abortion business routinely underestimated the fetal age and viability of unborn children in order to comply with Kansas law. By estimating that the age of the baby at the time of the abortion was less than late-term, it could get away with not complying with the requirements Kansas law places on such abortions.
“The evidence shows there is no doubt that fetal ages and viability are being intentionally misstated by WHCS in order to do abortions that would otherwise be illegal,” Newman said at the time.
A pregnant Operation Rescue volunteer named Shaye offered to participate in the undercover investigation that it conducted. In a sworn statement Shaye said that a WHCS employee conducted her sonogram and determined that her baby was 24 weeks, 6 days gestation, past the threshold of viability. The Tiller employee then tore off those ultrasound photos and threw them into the trash. She took new measurements, then told Shaye her baby was only 23 weeks gestation.
Shaye easily obtained an appointment for an abortion without having to see the second physician required by law for post-viability abortions, the pro-life group indicated. In order to confirm the actual fetal age of Shaye’s baby, she received two more sonograms on that same day at other medical centers — both of which indicated the baby was beyond 24 weeks gestation. Shaye had made WHCS aware that both she and her baby were healthy and that the pregnancy was without complications. She was given an appointment for an abortion but did not keep it, though a similar woman in her circumstance with a health pregnancy and a baby past 24 weeks into pregnancy could have kept it.
Tiller also injured numerous women in botched abortions and was responsible for overseeing another abortion practitioner, LeRoy Carhart, who killed a mentally disabled teenager in a failed abortion.
Perhaps the biggest blunder in Tiller’s career of doing legal, and supposedly safe, abortions was the death of Christin Gilbert.
Gilbert was a 19 year-old mentally disabled girl from Texas who was killed in a botched legal abortion done at Tiller’s abortion business in Wichita in January 2005. After the botched abortion, Gilbert was rushed into the Wesley Medical Center ER, followed by Tiller moments later. She eventually died.
Following 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 during the abortion procedure.
After 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.
Gilbert’s own family also supported a petition drive by Kansans for Life to get a Kansas county to convene a grand jury to investigate the death. During the proceedings, Tiller took Fifth Amendment protections, as did a number of Tiller abortion business employees, which prevented the grand jury from getting more information about Gilbert’s medical care, before, during and after the abortion.
Paramedics in Wichita are no stranger to Tiller’s abortion center as they went there numerous times to transport patients injured in botched abortions to Wesley Medical Center.
One botched abortion reportedly occurred as recently as March, when an ambulance transported a woman from Women’s Health Care Services to a local hospital.
Eyewitnesses say Sedgwick County ambulance number 23 left Tiller’s abortion center with no lights or sirens running — which is customary with many abortion facilities that don’t want to draw attention to failed abortions. The patient was rushed into the emergency room with her head covered, leaving witnesses to wonder if she was alive.
One woman who had an abortion at Tiller’s center says it nearly took her life. She said Tiller center abortion practitioner Shelley Sella may have botched an injection she gave the patient.
The injection allegedly caused sepsis, a systemic infection that rapidly spreads throughout the body and can cause rapid death. The patient also accused Sella of misdiagnosing her pregnancy at 19 weeks, even though previous medical examinations placed her pregnancy at 23 weeks, beyond the legal limit for abortions in Kansas.
Emergency medical personnel arrived at Tiller’s abortion center one October day to transport an abortion victim for emergency medical care. At the time that was the third emergency transport documented in the last five weeks.
Tiller’s record as an abortion practitioner was so poor that, at the time of his death, the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts released to the public a petition it filed in December listing eleven allegations against Tiller’s license.
Violations alleged include performing an abortion on a fetus that was viable without having a documented referral from another physician not legally or financially affiliated with him,” the board said in a statement. They also include “unprofessional or dishonorable conduct or professional incompetency and commitment of acts likely to deceive, defraud or harm the public.”
The allegations could have resulted in Tiller losing his medical license and could have required Tiller to stop doing abortions or significantly scaling back his abortion business.