George Tiller Found Innocent
In what anti-abortion activists hoped would be a cause célèbre, Dr. Geroge Tiller was found innocent of providing 19 illegal late-term abortions. Members of anti-abortion group Operation Rescue bowed their heads and wept as the verdicts were read.
“Dr. Tiller and his family are just happy it’s over, with an eminently just result,” said his defense attorney, Dan Monnat. “This whole trial was political.” He called the jury “these six brave souls” for not being swayed by the political consideration of the abortion debate in Kansas, where it has occasionally devolved into violence.
Tiller was charged with 19 criminal misdemeanor counts of violating a Kansas law that requires a second opinion from a doctor with no legal or financial ties to any physician who terminates the pregnancies of women whose fetuses are considered “viable” — or able to survive outside the womb. That generally happens around six months’ gestation.
The prosecution tried to show that Tiller’s relationship to Dr. Ann Kristen Neuhaus, who provided referrals for the 19 women in 2003, was not financially independent. Tiller had discussed with her the fee she would charge the patients to provide a second opinion.
The defense contended that Tiller was put in a “Catch-22” — accused of breaking the law because he was trying to obey it.
Tiller has been a target of anti-abortionists for years, largely because he is a leader in his field and has set the standard for the procedure in many ways, including the use of sonogram imaging. He is a nationally recognized provider of what has thankfully been legal in the United States since 1972. It is the desire of his antagonists to outlaw abortion which makes him such a target.Click here for reuse options!
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