Wichita, KS — Sidewalk counselors report that they believe post-viability abortions resumed last week at Women’s Health Care Services (WHCS) for the first time since 19 criminal charges were filed against owner George R. Tiller for committing illegal abortions.
Sidewalk counselor Donna Lampkin, who maintains a near-daily schedule outside Tiller’s facility, told Operation Rescue that she observed that the pattern of patients returning to the clinic over several days resumed last week with vehicles arriving from a number of states — a pattern that indicates post-viability abortions are being done.
At Tiller’s clinic, abortions after 21 weeks gestation require three to four days to complete. Women from across the country come to WHCS because these late abortions are not widely available in other states. Women who receive abortions earlier in their pregnancies are only seen at the Tiller clinic one or two days.
Tiller uncharacteristically closed his abortion business for the week immediately after charges were filed against him on June 28 by Attorney General Paul Morrison, an abortion supporter who accused Tiller of committing post-viability abortions without the signature of a second doctor who is not financially or legally associated with him. Morrison remarked at a news conference that Tiller and abortionist Kristin Neuhaus were “in cahoots,” something the law specifically prohibits.
The following week, sidewalk counselors, who maintain a constant presence outside WHCS every hour it is open, observed no patients who were at the clinic long enough to have one of the later-term procedures.
“Under intense public pressure, Morrison filed the criminal charges against Tiller to make it look like he was doing his job. Yet by filing on the less serious part of the law, Morrison insured that Tiller would be able to continue doing the post-viability abortions for trivial reasons even though the law strongly prohibits them,” said Operation Rescue spokesperson Cheryl Sullenger. “This is selective enforcement by a politician who benefited financially during his campaign for office from Tiller’s abortion money. Morrison charged Tiller in such a way that Tiller could terminate his relationship with Neuhaus, find a new doctor, and continue with business as usual.”
“This is not the way the law is intended to work,” said Sullenger. “It was intended to provide legal protection for viable babies. The culpability for the deaths of these innocent children that are continuing to die at Tiller’s clinic rests directly on Morrison’s doorstep.”
Former Attorney General Phill Kline filed illegal late-term abortion charges last December because medical records obtained by subpoena from Tiller indicated that women were obtaining abortions for such “mental health” reasons as disappointment over missing a rock concert even though Kansas law states that abortions past 22 weeks gestation must be to save the live of the mother or prevent “substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.” The term “bodily function” has been assumed to include mental health risks. All of Tiller’s post-viability abortions have been done under “mental heath” excuses. The Kline charges were dismissed on jurisdictional grounds, not on the merits of the charges.
Leading psychiatrist Dr. Paul McHugh, stated publicly that the reasons for post-viability abortions stated in the Tiller records he examined did not meet the standard of “substantial and irreversible.” His 44-minute recorded interview on the Tiller case is a powerful indictment of Tiller’s misuse of psychiatry in order to falsely justify abortions that the law prohibits.
Tiller is scheduled to be arraigned on the 19 Morrison charges on August 7, in Sedgwick County. Tiller’s attorneys have filed a motion to dismiss the charges based on their opinion that the part of the law Tiller was charged under is unconstitutional. A hearing on that motion is currently scheduled for August 10.