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Feminist News


January-11-07

Tiller Did Not Break Reporting Laws, District Attorney Finds

Sedgwick County District Attorney Nola Foulston has cleared George Tiller of allegations by former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline that Tiller broke state laws requiring him to report suspicions of underage sex. After a month-long investigation, Foulston concluded that Dr. Tiller did, in fact, follow mandatory reporting laws in various jurisdictions by alerting child protective services agencies in several jurisdictions about the medical status of underage pregnant teens seeking his services.

Former Attorney General Kline had subpoenaed private, unedited medical records in 2003 of patients at Dr. Tiller's clinic, claiming that he was looking for evidence to prosecute statutory rapists, though he later said that he was also looking into whether clinics had violated late-term abortion statutes. Dr. Tiller was eventually ordered to turn over the patient records to Kline, though he was allowed to remove any personal identifying information in the records.

As one of Kline's last acts in office, Kline appointed Donald McKinney, a Wichita lawyer and anti-abortion activist, to continue the investigations as an independent prosecutor. On Tuesday, however, new Kansas Attorney General Paul Morrison fired McKinney a day after he was sworn into office, according to the Wichita Eagle.

Morrison has expressed concerns about the security of the subpoenaed patient records, pointing out that Bill O'Reilly, host of FOX News' "The O'Reilly Factor," said that he had seen the records, according to the Topeka Capital-Journal. "I do have concerns about how many copies have been made of that material and who�s got possession of them," Morrison said, according to the Associated Press.

LEARN MORE Read a report in Ms. magazine about the challenges facing Dr. Tiller's clinic

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Media Resources: Topeka Capital-Journal 1/9/07; Associated Press 1/8/07; Wichita Eagle 1/10/07