Suit alleges that Tiller’s February 911 Emergency call was illegally withheld from the public

WICHITA, KS — A staff member of Operation Rescue filed suit on Friday against the Sedgwick County Emergency Communication Department to gain access to public records she believes she was wrongly denied. Cheryl Sullenger made a Kansas Open Records Act (KORA) request for the Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) transcript and an audio file of a 911 call made by late-term abortionist George Tiller on February 17, 2005, when a woman was transported by ambulance to Wesley Medical Center from Tiller’s abortion clinic, Women’s Health Care Services.
Sullenger witnessed the ambulance arrival at the hospital and photographed the injured woman completely covered in blankets.
Sullenger was granted a heavily redacted copy of the CAD transcript and was completely denied the audio file based on the opinion of Emergency Communications director Diane Gage’s belief that records containing any medical information need not be released.
Kansas law is clear that records containing medical information must in fact be released as long as the patient is not clearly identifiable. In a case where the patient’s name is listed, the name can be redacted and the rest of the record released without further censorship.
“We believe strongly that the Sedgwick County Emergency Communications Department has violated the laws of the State of Kansas by illegally denying open records to the public under the Kansas Open Records Act,” said Sullenger. “It is important to note that we are not seeking the patient’s identity. We are seeking public records related to 911 communications of the sort that are released on a routine basis. In fact, this same department has freely released other uncensored records of a similar nature. Their refusal to comply with the law in this matter can only cause the public to wonder if the Department might be involved in some kind of illegal cover up of a botched abortion.”
“The Emergency Communications Department is not above the law, and we are willing to go to court to remind them of that,” said Sullenger.
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Read story of Feb 17, 2005, abortion injury
View photos from the February 17, 2005 incident