Misdiagnosis raises more questions about the legality of Tiller’s late-term abortion operation.

Last September, a 22-year old woman and her mother arrived at George Tiller’s Women’s Health Care Services in Wichita, Kansas, for an abortion. The pregnant woman had been sent to Tiller’s abortion mill by a doctor in Reno, Nevada, who had told her that her baby suffered from dwarfism, water on the brain, and a number of other fetal abnormalities. He also told her that if she attempted to deliver the baby at term, she could die. Fearful for her life, the woman made the trip to Wichita, KS.
At the abortion clinic gate, sidewalk counselor Judi Weldy offered literature to the women, who stopped to talk. They explained that they were Christians who would not have considered abortion, but they felt like there was no choice since it was a medical necessity.
Judi referred the women to Choices Medical Clinic, a pro-life clinic directly next door to WHCS that provides free 4-D ultrasounds. That clinic also has one of the only peri-natal hospice programs in the nation, and is uniquely equipped to properly counsel women facing pregnancies complicated by fetal anomalies.
The women agreed to go for the ultrasound. They called WHCS to cancel their appointment, but Tiller’s receptionist told the women they would keep their appointment open so they could come back in the afternoon, if they wanted.
The ultrasound showed that the baby might indeed have dwarfism, but had none of the other conditions the woman had been told. The baby was clearly a little boy! The physician on duty at Choices Medical Center examined the woman and told her he saw no medical reason why she could not have a normal, safe delivery.
The young mother had been told that she was in her fifth month of pregnancy and that her abortion would cost a total of $7,000. However the ultrasound revealed that she was actually 24 weeks along, which would have put her over the legal limit for a late-term abortion in Kansas. If the abortion had been done, it would have been illegal.
The women were relieved, and shared the good news with sidewalk counselor Donna Lampkin. They accepted Donna’s gift of baby clothes and a blanket, then happily returned home without the abortion.
Last week Tim Weisner, the director of Choices Medical Clinic, received news that the young woman had given birth to a perfectly healthy baby. The baby had no signs of dwarfism at all! Both mother and baby are happy and well.
Kansas law prohibits abortions after 22 weeks of pregnancy on viable babies. The only exceptions are to save the mother’s life, or to prevent a “substantial and irreversible impairment” to the mother’s physical or mental health. Clearly this pregnancy did not meet any of those exceptions, however, WHCS was all too willing to do all they could to supply this woman with an abortion.
“How many more women has this happened to? Fetal anomaly is not legal reason to abort a viable baby in Kansas, yet it appears these kinds of abortion take place on a routine basis.” asked Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “This is why a full investigation into Tiller’s late-term abortion operation is so vitally important.”
Tiller currently faces 19 criminal charges of illegal late-term abortions, and is the subject of an ongoing grand jury investigation.