Jury selection in the criminal trial of Dr George Tiller of Wichita, Kansas, begins today. Dr. Tiller faces 19 misdemeanor charges for allegedly violating a state law requiring an "independent" second physician's concurring opinion before performing later term abortions. Tiller is one of the few late-term abortion providers in the US that serves women with troubled pregnancies and complicated health problems. Acccording to the Kansas City Star, testimony in the case is expected to begin next week.
Dan Monnat, a defense attorney for Tiller, told the Associated Press that "Dr. Tiller is innocent…we expect the prosecution's evidence and any defense evidence to make that very, very clear."
A motion by Dr. Tiller's lawyers to dismiss the criminal case against him was denied last month by Sedgwick County District Judge Clark Owens. Tiller's motion to dismiss cited the "outrageous conduct" and "selective targeting" of the preliminary investigation into his practice by former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline and Eric Rucker, a state attorney. 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.
Media Resources: Feminist Daily Newswire 1/8/08, 2/26/09; Kansas City Star 3/15/09; Wichita Eagle 2/25/09; Associated Press 3/15/09
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .