Ignored witness list indicates Kline has a compelling case against Tiller
By Cheryl Sullenger
Wichita, KS — While Attorney General Phill Kline continues to work to reinstate 30 criminal charges against abortionist George R. Tiller for illegal late-term abortions, the media has ignored and even misrepresented the seriousness and validity of the charges, and has instead turned the focus of the case to partisan political personality conflicts.
“If anyone has politicized this case, it is the Kansas media and Attorney General-elect Paul Morrison,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “They are political enemies of Kline’s and cannot seem to put aside politics and look at the justice issues involved here.”
For days, headline stories have dealt with Morrison’s vow to terminate Special Prosecutor Don McKinney, who was appointed by Kline to pursue the case against Tiller.
“Morrison has already made the decision to fire Mr. McKinney even though he has never spoken to him nor has he even bothered to read the complaint,” said Newman. “This is the least professional behavior an Attorney General could engage in. It is no wonder that our sources tell us that there is a mass exodus from the AG’s office of people who simply cannot work with this man.”
“Morrison is playing politics by getting rid of an appointee of his political rival in order to protect a man who helped him win election by pumping huge amounts of money into the campaign against Kline. Tiller scratched Morrison’s back, now Morrison is covering Tiller’s to ensure he never has to face the music for his alleged crimes. Politics can’t get much more corrupt than that.”
Morrison claims that McKinney cannot do his job because he is a pro-life supporter.
“Why is it that Morrison can be a supporter of radical abortion rights, yet is not questioned about his ability to do his job in prosecuting an abortionist? The question is only raised if one is pro-life. That double standard is completely unfair. People can hold personal convictions and still act professionally. Apparently that is a concept that Morrison is unfamiliar with in thought and action.”
Completely forgotten in the entire affair is the evidence that Kline has presented to support the 30 charges having to do with the commission of illegal abortions on viable pre-born babies in violation of KSA 65-6703, a law that bans abortions after 22 weeks gestation with two narrow exceptions. The abortion must be necessary to preserve the life of the pregnant woman, or a condition must exist where “a continuation of the pregnancy will cause a substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman.”
Judge Eric Yost found that there was probable cause to believe that crimes had been committed after he reviewed the evidence presented by Kline on December 21. The next day, pro-abortion District Attorney Nola Foulston requested a hearing before Judge Paul W. Clark, from which Kline and his office were excluded. She persuaded Clark, a fellow Democrat, to dismiss the case against Tiller on jurisdictional grounds. At a later hearing held on December 27, Clark completely ignored Kansas law that specifically states that an Attorney General is allowed to file charges in District Court, and refused to reverse his earlier ruling.
Records indicate that Foulston accepted campaign contributions from the Tiller family during her first bid for District Attorney. This and other links to Tiller makes Foulston’s angry emotional demands to drop the abortionist’s charges suspect.
“These people are going to a lot of trouble to make sure the evidence against Tiller never sees the light of day,” said Newman. “The average man on the street sees this behavior and can sense that there is some serious monkey-business going on here to circumvent the normal judicial process.”
Credible Witnesses Ignored by Media
But what of the evidence that convinced Judge Yost to allow the charges to be filed, and that persuaded another judge in Shawnee County to rule that there is probable cause to believe that Tiller has committed crimes?
Filed with the complaint was a witness list and special documents to support the complaint. While those documents are sealed, a closer look at the witnesses is revealing and gives us great insight into the evidence the Attorney General’s office has against Tiller.
Include in the list is Dr. Paul McHugh, who is the Director of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and Psychiatrist-in-chief of the Johns Hopkins Hospital. He is also a member of the President’s Council on Bioethics. Dr. McHugh filed an affidavit in support of the Tiller charges.
Dr. McHugh’s expertise goes to the heart of the complaint, which includes the allegations that Tiller committed late abortions based on the faulty diagnoses of major anxiety disorder, acute stress, and single episodes of major depressive disorder.
Mental Health and Abortion Law
While the “mental health” exception is not encoded in law, the Kansas Supreme Court has ruled that a woman’s mental health should be considered as an exception to the post-viability abortion ban under strict conditions. Former Kansas Attorney General Carla Stovall, a staunch abortion supporter, issued an opinion still in effect today that serves to clarify when the mental health exception may be applied as a legitimate exception to the ban on post-viability abortions.
Stoval’s opinion concludes, “In our opinion, the term ‘bodily function,’ such as used in K.S.A. 1999 Supp. 65-6703, would be interpreted by the courts to include an exception for risks to maternal mental health, as well as physical health, as long as such risk is substantial and irreversible.” (emphasis added)
Kansas law also requires that two unaffiliated doctors independently verify that late-term abortions meet the exemption requirements. At Tiller’s clinic, Dr. Ann Kristin Neuhaus was that second physician. Neither Neuhaus nor Tiller are psychiatrists, neither do they have any psychiatric background. They are not trained or qualified to make the diagnoses of mental disorders.
If Dr. McHugh does in fact testify that the reasons listed in the medical records from Tiller’s abortion business are do not constitute “substantial and irreversible” risks to the mother, then Tiller may face an insurmountable hurdle in trying to legally justify those abortions.
But the “smoking gun” in this case may very well be the testimony of Dr. Ann Kristin Neuhaus, a former abortionist, and until last week, as associate of Tiller’s who would go to Tiller’s abortion clinic in Wichita once a week and provide the second signature required by law certifying that each abortion met the narrow exceptions to the Kansas ban on post-viability abortions.
“Neuhaus has decided, for whatever reasons, to roll over on Tiller. She will be a very credible witness because she is a physician, she has experience with abortions, and she has worked inside Tiller’s clinic, supposedly personally interviewing every one of Tiller’s abortion patients who are 22 weeks or more pregnant,” said Newman. “Neuhaus has first hand knowledge about what goes on inside that clinic. Her testimony could be the evidence needed to finally bring Tiller to justice.”
Need for Public Outcry
But only if the case is allowed to move forward. It may take public pressure for those who are obstructing the progress of this case to stop interferring and allow Tiller to answer the allegations against him. However, the public can only speak out about what they know. By not covering the relevant facts of this story, and focusing instead on petty personality issues, the media is making sure that public outcry never happens.
On the other hand, Operation Rescue is working to report the news and expose the true issues behind this case of national interest and importance. OR is planning an event for January 19-22 called aptly “A Cry For Justice” to give the public an opportunity to raise their voices about the injustice of public officials blocking a criminal case of someone who has done political favors for them — at the cost of innocent lives that should have had the protection of law.
“The only way the public will ever have any confidence that political corruption has not thwarted justice is for the case to go forward. Let the evidence come out and let the witnesses speak,” said Newman. “We must hold these officials accountable to allow the justice system to work, and that can only be done through an informed and involved public.”
Please continue to contact District Attorney Nola Foulston and respectfully ask her to remove herself from any participation in the Tiller criminal investigation and prosecution.
District Attorney Nola Foulston
Toll Free: 800-432-6878
Please come to Wichita January 19-22 for the “Cry For Justice” national pro-life witness. Click here to visit the Cry For Justice Event Page.
Please pray for Attorney General Phill Kline as he attempts to reinstate the 30 criminal charges against Tiller. He has until January 8, 2007, when he leaves the Attorney General’s office to get the job done.