UPDATE! Judge Paul Buchanan denied Tiller’s motion during a five minute hearing, saying that Tiller did not have standing to make such a motion. Read the AP story with this update.
Wichita, Kansas – A motion has been filed in District Court by attorneys for late-term abortionist George R. Tiller asking a judge to tell a grand jury to avoid a media campaign launched by Operation Rescue last month.
The campaign, which includes radio ads and hundreds of thousands of automated phone calls to Kansas households, is designed to keep public scrutiny on Tiller’s efforts to block critical evidence from reaching a citizen-called grand jury that is investigating him for illegal late-term abortions over the past five years.
“This motion illustrates how desperate Tiller and his lawyers have become, that they would yet again use cheap distortions of the truth in an attempt to deflect the focus off Tiller’s alleged criminal activity and silence the truth in the process,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “Tiller just doesn’t want the grand jury to see anything – not the records, not the inside of his clinic, not the abortion process, and certainly not the truth.”
A member of Tiller’s virtual horde of attorneys told the AP that the campaign could intimidate the grand jurors.
“This project is not aimed in any way at grand jurors, but is simply meant to increase public awareness to keep the process honest and free from corruption, which breeds in secrecy. When everything is out in the open, it is a lot harder for someone to subvert justice. We make that very clear in our published materials related to the campaign,” said Newman.
The campaign is scheduled to run until April 8, when the Kansas Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Tiller’s motions to quash subpoenas for late-term abortion records from his Women’s Health Care Services abortion clinic in Wichita. The grand jury specifically requested that all patient-identifying information be redacted before the records are supplied to them, making patient privacy concerns invalid.
“The citizens who demanded this grand jury are tired of Tiller’s continuous obstructions,” said Newman. “The Supreme Court needs to step aside and allow the grand jury to do its job and conduct an honest and thorough investigation. Let all the evidence be put on the table and let the chips fall where they may.”
Operation Rescue plans to attend the April 8 hearing and will be available for comment immediately following.
Read details of OR’s public awareness campaign