Kansas judge restores license to Tiller accomplice who referred 10 year olds for late-term abortions
TOPEKA, KS, March 11, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Former abortionist Ann Kristin “Kris” Neuhaus, a collaborator with the late notorious late-term abortionist George Tiller, has had her medical license restored by a Kansas judge after it was revoked for incompetency because she was unable to prove she had given required mental health exams to 11 pregnant girls aged 10 to 18 prior to referring them back to Tiller’s facility for late-term abortions.
Without Neuhaus’ second opinions confirming severe mental distress, Tiller would have been legally barred from performing abortions on the girls.
Shawnee County District Judge Franklin Theis said that the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts jumped to conclusions based “solely on an inference” that Neuhaus’ lack of records meant she had not actually performed the required exams. While Theis admitted that Neuhaus’ record keeping fell far short of “any reasonably required standard of care for their maintenance,” he said that alone was not enough to justify revoking her license. Just because Neuhaus could not prove she had performed the mental health exams, he argued, did not mean that they were not done.
“In this Court's view, such an inference is too slim, too frail and too conjectural to support any of his conclusions reached beyond a breach of adequate record keeping,” Theis wrote in his 186-page decision, released Monday.
The State Board of Healing Arts investigated Neuhaus in 2006 after Cheryl Sullenger of pro-life watchdog group Operation Rescue filed a complaint alleging the doctor had fraudulently authorized eleven minors’ late-term abortions for Tiller by claiming they were suffering serious mental health issues that justified the procedure under Kansas’ “health of the mother” exception.
In her complaint, Sullenger noted that Neuhaus had no psychological training whatsoever, and what limited records she passed on to Tiller were created with an online ‘answer tree’ program called “PsychManager Lite” and took no more than 2 to 3 minutes to complete. “If she's ever allowed to practice medicine again, it will be a travesty,” Sullenger said at the time.
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But Neuhaus fought back, arguing that she intentionally kept her record keeping to a minimum to protect patients’ privacy, especially since Tiller and other abortionists were already under increased scrutiny by state investigators at the time. It took the State Board of Healing Arts six years and tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees to finally revoke her license, even though she had already had her privileges severely curtailed after a 1999 drug infraction, multiple findings of falsified or missing patient records and other deviations from care, and at least one accusation that she forcibly sedated and aborted a patient after the woman told her she had changed her mind about the procedure.
Now that Judge Theis has ruled in Neuhaus’ favor, the State Board of Healing Arts must choose whether to appeal the decision. A board spokesman said a decision would be made by the end of the month. In the meantime, Neuhaus is eligible to reapply for her medical license.
“If Neuhaus is allowed to regain her medical license, the public will be at risk,” said Sullenger. “If she returns to the business of abortions, we expect that we will see a string of her patients suffering injuries or perhaps death due to her shoddy practices.”
“It seems wrong that one liberal judge could overturn the decisions of so many state officials that all agree that Neuhaus poses a danger to the public,” added Sullenger.
This is not the first time Judge Theis has made a ruling child advocates have considered controversial. In 2011, Theis granted a restraining order sought by abortionists blocking new safety regulations from taking effect. He was also heavily criticized in 2004 for his unusually lenient sentencing for child molester Brandon Davis, sentencing him to just 13 months in prison for child rape when Kansas law recommends a sentence of more than 12 years.
Judge Franklin Theis
Shawnee County District Court
200 SE 7th St.
Topeka, KS 66603