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.