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Judge Rules Against Tiller in Abortion Law Decision

Sedgwick County District judge, Clark Owens, found criminal allegations against George Tiller to be constitutional based on a 1998 state law. Dr. Tiller is one of the country’s only late term abortion providers. The law stipulates that a physician must seek a concurring opinion from another doctor in order to perform a post-viability abortion, that the two doctors must share no financial or legal connections, and that the woman’s health must be in immediate danger.

Former Kansas Attorney General Paul Morrison filed charges in 2007 against Dr. George Tiller for breaking the 1998 law because of his financial connections to his second opinion physician, Dr. Ann Kristin Neuhaus. The defense attorneys for Dr. Tiller, director of the Women’s Health Care Services clinic, argued that the law interferes with a woman’s freedom to obtain an abortion as well as a physician’s right to practice medicine.

Dan Monnat, a lawyer for Tiller, expressed his disappointment with the ruling: “of course, Dr. Tiller is disappointed that the court did not take this opportunity to end his political prosecution and clear the huge roadblock that lies in the path of women who choose to exercise their right to get a lawful abortion in Kansas” the Associated Press reports.

As a result of this ruling, the court will continue with the criminal case against Dr. Tiller. A Kansas Grand Jury has been investigating Tiller and has sought to subpoena private medical records of approximately 2,000 of his patients.

Sources:

Associated Press via Kansas City Star 7/29/08; Feminist Newswire 7/3/08, 5/7/08

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