A motion by Dr George Tiller's lawyers to dismiss the criminal case against him was denied yesterday by Sedgwick County District Judge Clark Owens. This pre-trial motion sought to dismiss criminal charges against Dr. Tiller of Wichita, Kansas for allegedly violating a state law requiring an "independent" second physician's concurring opinion before performing later term abortions. Tiller is an abortion provider who is one of the few late-term abortion providers in the US that serves women with troubled pregnancies and complicated health problems.
Current Kansas Attorney General Steve Six has criticized the investigation of Tiller by Kline, but has said the charges against Tiller should stand, according to the Associated Press. In his decision, Judge Owens wrote that Kline’s “procedures have certainly been questioned by the Kansas Supreme Court, but his conduct in the investigation does not merit the sanction of the dismissal of the charges or suppression of evidence, according to the Wichita Eagle.
Tiller's motion to dismiss cited the "outrageous conduct" and "selective targeting" of the preliminary investigation into Tiller's practice by Kline and Eric Rucker, a state attorney. Kline, who testified in the case’s hearings, was defeated in his bid for re-election as District Attorney in Johnson County, Kansas. Tiller’s trial is scheduled to begin March 16.
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .