Update on Dr. Tiller

by Cara on August 13, 2007

in abortion, activism, anti-choice extremism, courts, politics, reproductive justice, women’s health

Last week, I wrote about the Dr. Tiller case. Dr. Tiller is one of the few doctors in the country who provides late-term abortions. By Kansas law, late-term abortions require the approval of two additional, uninvolved physicians. Dr. Tiller is currently being prosecuted by the state of Kansas for having an improper financial relationship with one of the doctors who signs off on his procedures. And of course, anti-abortion activists are jumping for joy.

For those of you following the case, there is some additional bad news (via Feministing). Judge Anthony Powell, who has been appointed to preside over the case, was once a staunch anti-abortion state lawmaker.

When it rains, it pours.

Also of interest, more details of the allegations against Dr. Tiller have emerged.

I have already argued that even if he is guilty of having some kind of improper financial relationship with one of the physicians signing off on his procedures, the law is still politically motivated to make abortions more difficult to obtain, and Dr. Tiller would not have violated any ethical code.

In this case, the alleged improper financial relationship, as Dr. Tiller has already claimed, does not in fact seem to have been improper. The other doctor in the case, Dr. Ann Kristin Neuhaus, happens to work out of Dr. Tiller’s practice. However, no money changes hands directly between them, as Dr. Neuhaus is paid directly by clients, and not by Dr. Tiller. Dr. Tiller and his attorneys also say that the law has no clear specifications for what a “financial relationship” involves, and since the two do not exchange money, they were under the impression that their arrangement was within the rules. Sure, the two obviously have a business relationship– but who is he meant to refer patients to? A doctor across town who he doesn’t even know? It would serve to reason that he would refer to a doctor who he knows, and it would make even more sense for him to not ask his patients– most of whom travel a great way to receive his services– to do additional traveling to satisfy a politically-motivated regulation.

It’s almost impossible to believe that this is anything more than a right-wing, anti-abortion witch hunt.

Dr. Tiller is clearly going to need all of the help he can get. His practice is already under financial strain, as it is currently closed due to severe vandalism.

To those of you who have not participated already, donations and/or letters of thanks and support are likely to be greatly appreciated.

The address to Dr. Tiller’s clinic is:

WOMEN’S HEALTH CARE SERVICES
5107 East Kellogg
Wichita, Kansas USA 67218

Dr. Tiller also has a PAC called ProKanDo, which can accept donations. However, please be aware that those donations can only be used for political purposes, and not for getting his clinic back up and running or to pay for his legal fees. If that is your goal, please send checks to the above address. Make sure to use a return address on the envelope, so that your donation will not be flagged as (potentially dangerous) hate mail.

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