By Tim Waggoner
WICHITA, KS, July 3, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The citizen-called grand jury that investigated late-term abortionist George R. Tiller was dismissed today without issuing an indictment.
Pro-life groups led a petition drive that resulted in the convening of the grand jury in January to investigate if Tiller’s late-term abortion business violated the Kansas ban on post-viability abortions at 22 weeks gestation or later.
In the statement released by the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office, the jury found that, “After six months of conducting an investigation that included hearing extensive witness testimony, reviewing volumes of documents and medical records of patients of Women’s Health Care Services (Tiller’s clinic), this Grand Jury has not found sufficient evidence to bring an indictment on any crime related to the abortion laws.”
Operation Rescue (OR) has been working for years to bring Tiller to justice. President Troy Newman said he was disheartened to hear the grand jury’s decision:
“We are extremely disappointed that this grand jury did not indict Tiller for committing illegal abortions. Our own research proves that viable babies up until the moment of birth are being wrongly and illegally killed by Tiller and his cohorts under the misuse of a mental health exception that was not written into the law, but forced upon it by a pro-abortion former attorney general.”
Newman alluded to his belief that Tiller’s close relationship with Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, bribery, and other corrupt practices are some of the reasons why the abortionist has not yet been brought to justice.
“Once again, we are suspicious that corrupt influences in the government, which have been influenced by Tiller’s large financial involvement in Kansas politics, may have thwarted justice once again.”
Under current Kansas abortion law, late term abortions are only permitted in two circumstances. The first exception allows for the procedure to save the life of the mother. The second allows a late term abortion if continuation of the pregnancy would result in a “substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function” of the pregnant woman. That exception has been taken to include mental health risks to the mother, as long as the risk is substantial and irreversible, and provided two separate physicians sign off on the abortion.
Tiller used the mental health exception for nearly every post-viability abortion done at his Wichita clinic, which the jury accepted despite allegations that the second physician was an abortionist that Tiller had founded an illegal business relationship with. OR also confirmed that the vast majority of pregnant women they have counseled do not claim to be considering an abortion because of “mental health risks.”
Tiller will likely escape future indictment given the fact that the case must be closed by July 8 and that presiding Judge Paul Buchanan reported the jury found “no true bill,” which indicates that no criminal charges will be filed.
Furthermore, the Office of the District Attorney ‘s statement reads: “We doubt that any investigation into the practices and procedures of Dr. Tiller and the Women’s Health Care Services will yield an outcome that will provide any basis for indictment.”
Yet, Newman was adamant that OR will continue the fight.
“We will not stop seeking justice for the innocent victims of Tiller’s late-term barbaric practice, and will continue to exercise every legal avenue to stop the shedding of innocent blood and bring Tiller to justice,” he concluded.