Doctor George Tiller testified in his own defense yesterday in his criminal trial. 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.
According to the Associated Press, Tiller testified that he consulted with former executive director of the Kansas Board of Healing Arts Larry Beuning and his attorneys concerning how to avoid legal and financial issues with his consulting physician, Dr. Kristen Neuhaus. Tiller also testified that he is one of three late-term abortion providers currently in the US and described the years of harassment and threats he has experienced.
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.
10/29/2014 North Dakota Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Restrictions - The North Dakota Supreme Court yesterday upheld a set of misguided restrictions on medication abortion, allowing what is effectively a ban on early, non-surgical abortions in the state to go into effect immediately.
The decision overturned a lower court order finding the law, known as HB 1297, unconstitutional and permanently blocking its enforcement. . . .
10/29/2014 Georgia Court Refuses to Recognize 40K Voter Registrations From Primarily People of Color and Young People - A state court judge on Tuesday refused to order the Georgia Secretary of State to add some 40,000 voters to the voter rolls, potentially disenfranchising thousands of African Americans and other people of color in the state.
Judge Christopher Brasher of the Fulton County Superior Court denied a petition from the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCR), the New Georgia Project and the Georgia branch of the NAACP asking the court to force Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) to process an estimated 40,000 "missing" voter registrations.
More than 100,000 voters were registered by the three groups, but about a third of those registered never made the rolls. . . .