Topeka, KS – The disciplinary hearing of abortionist Ann Kristin Neuhaus began today in a Shawnee County Courtroom where sparks occasionally flew in this latest installment in efforts to protect the public from shoddy and dangerous abortion practices.
Prosecuting for the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts was Reese Hays, litigation counsel for the KSBHA. Defending Neuhaus was Robert Eye, an attorney known for his rigorous defense of Planned Parenthood against an investigation by former Attorney General Phill Kline.
Neuhaus was present but appeared haggard and frumpy. She sat quietly throughout the proceeding, and showed no reaction to the proceedings.
Eye started the day by objecting to a KSBHA expert in psychiatry. Dr. Liza H. Gold is a respected authority in psychiatry and has contributed to textbooks used to trains psychiatrists today. Eye told the Presiding Officer, who is overseeing the hearings, that Dr. Gold is unqualified to speak to standard of care issues in Kansas because she does not live in that state and cannot understand the specific nuances of how psychiatry is practiced in Kansas. That argument was rejects since it was determined that the standard of care does not vary from one geographical location to another.
Next, Eye attempted to get 10 of the eleven counts against Neuhaus dropped because the applicable Kansas law (K.S.A. 65-6703) refers to risks to a pregnant woman. Eye reasoned that since 10 out of eleven females were under the age of 18, they did not qualify as women, therefore abortions done on them were not subject to the law.
Mr. Hays appeared to be taken back by Eye’s outlandish argument, but had the presence of mind to note that the definition of a woman would include all females of child-bearing age. This outrageous argument of Eye’s was also rejected.
Eye spent the day attempting to sow general confusion in the court by appearing to object then acting confused when Board attorneys attempted to address his issues.
Perhaps the most damaging testimony of the day came when Dr. Gold described an outdated computer program called “Psych Manager Lite” that was used by Neuhaus to supposedly document the mental health diagnoses of late-term abortion patients who ranged in age from 10 to 18.
“It’s pretty bad to think that Neuhaus thought so little of women’s health that she didn’t bother to pony up for the full program,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman, who was present in the courtroom. The case was initiated by a complaint filed originally in 2006 by Operation Rescue staff member Cheryl Sullenger.
That program never achieved wide popularity because of the issues created by inputting yes or no answers into the program, which would then drop the answers into a psychiatric diagnosis. Today, the program is used only as a teaching tool. Its print outs were never meant to replace the proper records of an in depth mental health evaluation, according to Dr. Gold. There was no sign that such evaluations were ever done by Neuhaus.
Dr. Gold also indicated that there is no record of how Neuhaus accessed Tiller’s patients, and no record of any referral made by Neuhaus to anyone for anything. Dr. Gold also testified that her review of Neuhaus’s 2006 inquisition testimony and 2009 trail testimony given in the Tiller criminal case only strengthened her opinion that Neuhaus never met the standard of care in the eleven late-term abortion referrals before the Board.
Dr. Gold opined that Neuhaus lacked proper training to make such adolescent mental health diagnoses and testified it was her opinion that all the patients should have been referred to a specialist in adolescent mental health, which is its own discipline of psychiatry.
The hearing will continue Tuesday at 9:00 AM and is expected to take all four days.
Operation Rescue is tweeting live from the hearings. Check our Twitter feed at http://twitter.com/#!/operationrescue.