More Developments in Kline's Attack on Abortion Provider Dr. George Tiller
Over the past two weeks in his last remaining days in office, ousted Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline (R) has continued to pursue his case against George Tiller, one of the only providers of late-term abortions in the US. Kline, an outspoken opponent of abortion rights, received in October redacted records of abortions performed at Dr. Tiller's Wichita clinic. He originally asked that the records be subpoenaed in 2003 to investigate child rapes, but later said that he was also looking into whether clinics had violated late-term abortion statutes.
On Thursday, December 21, 2006, Kline charged Dr. Tiller with 15 counts of "unlawful late term abortion" and 15 counts of "failure to report justification of late term abortion," in Sedgwick County District Court, the Wichita Eagle reports. The next day, however, the charges were dismissed by Judge Paul W. Clark after Sedgwick County District Attorney Nola Foulston objected to the charges, arguing that Kline did not have the authority to "unilaterally" pursue criminal charges in a county without a request from a county prosecutor, the Associated Press reports. Two days later, after Judge Clark refused to reinstate the charges, Kline appointed Donald McKinney, a Wichita lawyer and anti-abortion activist, to continue the investigations as an independent prosecutor, according to the Wichita Eagle. McKinney then filed a motion to vacate Judge Clark�s dismissal of the charges, claiming that Clark has misapplied state law, the Wichita Eagle reports.
On Thursday, December 28, Kansas Attorney General-Elect Paul Morrison (D) announced that, after Kline leaves office and Morrison assumes his new post on January 8, McKinney would not be retained as a special prosecutor on the Tiller case, the Wichita Eagle reports.
Dr. George Tiller has been targeted repeatedly for his work as one of the only providers of late-term abortion to women with severely troubled pregnancies. Operation Rescue, an anti-abortion group, has announced that it will target Dr. Tiller's clinic during a four-day long protest over the anniversary weekend of Roe v. Wade.
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. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .