Wichita, KS – Abortionist George Tiller will not be going to trial this month, as scheduled. His trial on 19 charges of illegal late-term abortions was delayed by Judge Clark Owens at Tiller’s request last Wednesday. The trial has been rescheduled for July 28, 2008. This is the fourth time Tiller’s trial has been delayed.
Tiller was charged by the Attorney General’s office last June for having committed post-viability abortions without the second signature of an unaffiliated physician. Instead, Tiller used abortionist Ann Kristin Neuhaus to sign off an all of his late abortions.
Operation Rescue was the first to discover this illegal arrangement and reported on it in August, 2006, then filed a formal complaint with the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts two months later.
Kansas law bans post-viability abortions except when continuation of the pregnancy endangers a woman’s life or would result in a “substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function” of the woman. An opinion issued in 2000 by another former attorney general, Carla Stovall, indicated that mental health exceptions must be included in the “major bodily function” definition. A physician who is legally and financially unaffiliated with the abortionist must concur that the abortion is “medically necessary.”
In June, 2007, Dr. Paul McHugh, a prominent psychiatrist hired by former Attorney General Phill Kline to review several Tiller abortion records, went public with his professional opinion that he could find no case where an abortion was justifiable for physical or psychiatric reasons.
Once the case was assigned to Judge Clark Owens, the progress of the case came to a screeching halt. Tiller’s attorneys then filed motions to have the law declared unconstitutional and give him the special privilege of having a jury of twelve, instead of the usual six assigned to misdemeanor cases.
Owens has had the two motions under consideration since November 2, 2007. At that time Judge Owen’s indicated that his opinion would take “several weeks,” but it has been nearly eight months, and he has yet to rule.
“We have seen capital murder cases in Kansas, from arrest to sentencing, take place in less time,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “Justice delayed is justice denied. Judge Owens and the Attorney General’s office need to get off the dime and get on with the case in the interests of justice.”