Attorneys for Dr George Tiller appealed to the Kansas Supreme Court Friday over an order from the grand jury to turn over patient medical records. The Kansas grand jury subpoenaed the medical records of approximately 2,000 women who sought or obtained abortions at Dr. Tiller’s clinic after their 21st week of pregnancy from July 1, 2003 to January 18, 2008.
Attorneys for Dr. Tiller filed motions with Sedgwick County to block the subpoenas, but former Sedgwick County Chief Judge Paul Buchanan, who is overseeing the grand jury investigation, rejected their arguments that the subpoenas violate Dr. Tiller’s patients’ right to privacy, that to gather all the requested records and remove names and identifying information would place an undue burden on the clinic, and that the grand jury investigation into Dr. Tiller is unconstitutional, reports the Washington Times. Buchanan ruled that the medical records be turned over by noon on Thursday, January 31st, but no records were released to the grand jury, according to the Wichita Eagle.
Instead, attorneys for Dr. Tiller took the case the Kansas Supreme court, asking the court to throw out the grand jury investigation all together. “Those subpoenas cannot be enforced and this grand jury needs to be disbanded because it’s unconstitutional,” said Dan Monnat, one of the attorneys for Dr. Tiller, according to KAKE ABC News.
Dr. George Tiller is one of the few late-term abortion providers available for women with troubled pregnancies and complicated health problems. This investigation is the result of a citizen petition circulated by anti-abortion extremist groups. Kansas is one of six states that allow citizens to petition for a grand jury to convene. Previous investigations into Dr. Tiller’s clinic have not produced evidence of any wrong-doing.