A Wichita jury ruled Friday that George Tiller, MD is not guilty of illegal abortion on all 19 criminal charges brought against him. Dr. Tiller faced 19 misdemeanor charges for allegedly violating a state law requiring an "independent" second physician's concurring opinion before performing later term abortions. Dr. George Tiller, medical director of the Women's Health Care Services clinic, is one of the few late-term abortion providers in the country. Desperate women with troubled pregnancies and with serious health problems come to Dr. Tiller's clinic from all over the country.
"We're very grateful and relieved. With this unanimous jury verdict, hopefully politicians and lawyers may at last understand that legal harassment of Dr. Tiller must end," said Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority Foundation, in a press release. Kathy Spillar, Executive Vice President of FMF and Coordinator of FMF’s National Clinic Access Project said Tiller "is a fine man who works to provide desperately needed health care services for women. In a modern nation with advanced medical knowledge, he should not have to go through such travails. We need more doctors to stand up against ideological bullies."
Following the decision in Tiller's criminal case, the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts made a similar complaint against Tiller that was originally filed in December 2008 public, according to the Kansas City Star. Tiller's medical license could eventually be suspended or revoked by the board on the basis of the complaint.
Media Resources: FMF Press Release 3/27/09; Feminist Daily Newswire 3/26/09; Kansas City Star 3/27/09
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. . . .