[We wanted to run this article for informational purposes. It exposes the need for the investigations of KS abortion clinics to continue. For many pre-born, viable children, these investigations may be literally a matter of life or death. -OR Staff]
By Cheryl Sullenger
Chairperson, Kansans for Truth In Politics
Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline has been under fire in the media for his efforts to access abortion clinic medical records in an investigation of concealment of child rape and illegal late term abortions. Opponents of Kline’s investigations focus on the “privacy” of such medical records.
But the privacy issue is merely a smokescreen — a slight of hand maneuver to divert the public’s attention from the true issue at hand, and that is that Kansas abortion clinics operate in a universe of their own making, totally separate from the laws that apply to all others, and in doing so flagrantly violate those laws on a consistent basis.
Kline has never sought the identities of the women involved, so the privacy argument is simply a red herring.
Instead, he has requested information from those records related to K.S.A. 65-6703(a), which states, “No person shall perform or induce an abortion when the fetus is viable unless such person is a physician and has a documented referral from another physician not legally or financially affiliated with the physician performing or inducing the abortion and both physicians determine that: (1) The abortion is necessary to preserve the life of the pregnant woman; or (2) a continuation of the pregnancy will cause a substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman.”
Viability, as defined by this statute is 22 weeks gestation or more.
In light of this law, abortionist George Tiller’s arrangement with former abortionist Kristin Neuhaus raises red flags. Neuhaus travels from Lawrence, Kansas, every week to interview Tiller’s late-term abortion patients and sign off on them as the second physician required by K.S.A. 65-6703(a). She receives compensation directly from each patient, an arrangement the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts considers adequate separation in order to avoid the ban on second opinions from doctors “not legally or financially affiliated” with the abortionist. This loose interpretation of the law allows for a symbiotic relationship to exist between Neuhaus and Tiller who both financially benefit from the other. Tiller would not be able to do late-term abortions without Neuhaus’ stamp of approval, and Neuhaus would not have access to Tiller’s patients’ fees without his agreement and the space he provides for her at his abortion clinic every week. The KSHBA interpretation of the “non-affiliation” clause does violence to the plain language of the legislation and ignores the obvious affiliation of the two.
According to a confidential source inside the grand jury that investigated Tiller in the abortion death of Christin Gilbert, Neuhaus was asked if there was ever an abortion that she did not sign off on. Instead of responding, she took the Fifth Amendment to avoid self-incrimination. For the sake of clarity, a “yes” answer would have not required the invocation of the Fifth Amendment.
Of the arrangement between Neuhaus and Tiller, the grand jury source said, “It was wishy-washy to be honest with you.”
The grand jury requested the documents from Neuhaus that specified which major bodily function of Gilbert’s would have suffered “substantial and irreversible impairment” by continuation of the pregnancy.
Prosecutor Ann Swegle told the grand jury that it would take “an act of God” to get those documents, and they were never produced.
In fact, Tiller is fighting “tooth and nail” against the Attorney General’s records request, which was granted by a judge who determined that there was “probable cause” to believe that the laws had been violated. Why the resistance to legally obtained subpoenas?
It has already been mentioned that privacy issues are a red herring since the identities of the women were not requested. Tiller’s own web site notified patients that their names would be turned over to his political action committee, ProKanDo, for fundraising purposes, casting serious aspersions on the sincerity of Tiller’s concern for patient privacy. That notice became the subject of public questions concerning his privacy practices, and has since been taken down.
It is the belief of Kansans for Truth In Politics that Tiller resists the inspection of his late-term abortion records because he knows that many of his abortions were done in violation of K.S.A. 65-6703(a). One family came forward and told Operation Rescue that the abortion of their daughter was solely because she had been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. The mother later gave birth to another child that also had cystic fibrosis. The mother’s health was not impaired in any way by the birth. On Tiller’s own website, he refers specifically to his “Late Abortion Care for Fetal Anomaly” program. There is no exception for fetal anomaly in the Kansas post-viability abortion ban.
Tiller and Neuhaus run a very profitable late-term abortion operation. If law enforcement were to review the subpoenaed records to which K.S.A. 65-6703(a) applied, they would likely be found in violation of that law and face criminal penalties for conspiring to commit and/or the commission of illegal late-term abortions.
Why has the KSBHA been defensive of the Tiller-Neuhaus relationship? Could it be that they have looked the other way so long on this matter that they understand that they are now culpable for allowing these illegal post-viability abortions?
This is a classic case of butt-covering by Tiller, Neuhaus, the pro-abortion District Attorney’s office, and the KSBHA.
A judge has ruled there is probable cause to believe that Tiller is violating the law. A grand jury was prevented from accessing documents that may have proved that Tiller is violating the law. The KSBHA now must reinvent the English language in order to deny that Tiller and Neuhaus have violated the law.
Now comes Democrat Paul Morrison, who is running for the office of Kansas Attorney General. He has promised to halt all investigations currently underway involving abortion clinics and promises to drop the request for medical records in those investigations that may confirm criminal activity.
If this is done, it will be a gross miscarriage of justice, and will simply enable further defiance of Kansas laws, at the risk of women and lives their viable pre-born babies that the laws are meant to protect.
The issue of abortion clinic investigations is literally one of life and death. Let the Attorney General’s investigation continue. If there is nothing improper, then the investigation will determine that, and Tiller and his cohorts will be off the hook. But if there are violations of the law, let those also come to light so that justice can finally be done.