Advertisement

Archive for Thursday, August 9, 2007

Abortion foes starting to side with Morrison as he defends late-term law

August 9, 2007

Advertisement

— Abortion opponents have criticized Paul Morrison ever since the abortion rights Democrat campaigned for attorney general. Now they are allies as he defends a law that could put a high-profile abortion provider in jail.

Morrison filed 19 misdemeanor charges against Dr. George Tiller in June in Sedgwick County District Court. The attorney general alleges the Wichita doctor did not have a second, independent doctor sign off, as the law requires, on some late-term abortions.

Tiller is trying to get the case dismissed. He argues that the law is unconstitutional, partly because it places too much of a burden on a woman's right to an abortion. A hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Friday in Sedgwick County.

Morrison contends the law is constitutional, especially given a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on abortion in April. Joining him in those arguments are Americans United for Life and 20 legislators who strongly oppose abortion.

"It's surprising whenever you align with someone who's had pro-abortion views in the past, but it is good to see that he is doing his job and prosecuting Tiller," Mailee Smith, staff counsel for Americans United, said Wednesday.

Morrison's office replied Tuesday to the request from Tiller's attorneys to have the case dismissed. That was a day after Americans United for Life filed "friend of the court" arguments.

'Financial' dispute

The dispute centers on a 1998 law that applies after the 21st week of pregnancy and when a fetus can survive outside the womb.

The law says two doctors must conclude a woman could die or faces "substantial and irreversible" harm to "a major bodily function" if the pregnancy continues. The second doctor cannot be "legally or financially affiliated" with the abortion provider.

Morrison alleges that for 19 late-term abortions from July 8, 2003, through Nov. 18, 2003, Tiller consulted with Dr. Ann Kristin Neuhaus, of Nortonville. Morrison contends the two doctors had a financial relationship, though he wouldn't be more specific.

Tiller's attorneys have chalked up the charges to a disagreement among lawyers about "unusual technicalities" in the law.

As for Morrison's argument that the law is constitutional, attorney Lee Thompson said: "We're writing a reply, which we will file in court (today). We will set out why we think they have not appropriately followed the existing precedents."

Laws in 17 other states say a second doctor must sign off on some abortions or be present when some are performed, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a Washington-based research group. Most apply when a fetus can survive outside the womb.

Groups on both sides of the debate are watching the case because Tiller is among a few doctors who perform late-term abortions.

"Dr. Tiller is a physician whose services are needed by women all over the country," said Louise Melling, director of the Reproductive Freedom Project for the American Civil Liberties Union.

Backing Morrison?

While abortion foes back Morrison's defense of the law, they have repeatedly questioned his commitment to prosecuting Tiller.

Their complaints date to last year's campaign, when the abortion-rights Democrat unseated Attorney General Phill Kline, an anti-abortion Republican. After losing the November election, Kline attempted to prosecute Tiller, but the 30 misdemeanors he filed in Sedgwick County were dismissed for jurisdictional reasons.

Morrison began his own investigation after taking office in January and faced criticism from legislators who worried he wasn't going to be aggressive in prosecuting Tiller. Some abortion foes believe Kline's case was the stronger one.

"My philosophy is to enforce the law, regardless of what my personal beliefs might be," Morrison said. "This is a classic example."

Morrison and his anti-abortion critics argue that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled since 1992 that reasonable restrictions on abortion are permitted, especially when a fetus can survive outside the womb.

They also rely on the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in April upholding a federal ban on a procedure critics call partial-birth abortion, without an exception to preserve a woman's health when her life isn't in danger. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority that the government may "show its profound respect for the life within the woman."

"The law regarding these types of restrictions continues to evolve," Morrison said. "It has of late been evolving towards upholding reasonable restrictions."

Melling agreed the court has shown it is willing to reconsider previous precedents on abortion.

"But it didn't speak to this question yet," she said. "It's premature to say that everything's changed. Today, Dr. Tiller has the precedents on his side."

Meanwhile, Morrison has a temporary alliance with people who formerly criticized him in public, including Rep. Lance Kinzer, an Olathe lawyer and an anti-abortion Republican.

"The attorney general has an obligation to defend the law. I think it would only be odd if he were not doing what he's doing in this case," Kinzer said. "I would expect that he'll do a professional job of attempting to defend the law."

Comments

deec 6 years, 8 months ago

Hey tighty righty So you don't want to assign any responsibility to the baby daddies aka sperm donors? You want society to control women's fertility? Let's swing that responsibility both ways. If you want to control abortion, mandate sterilization for males who impregnate women who subsequently seek or obtain abortions. Seems only fair to me.

0

Agnostick 6 years, 8 months ago

I guess it's time to trot out ol' Harry & Louise again, huh?

Assuming, of course, that they're still alive...

--Ag

0

kansasdaughter 6 years, 8 months ago

scenebooster-either you want the govt IN your health care business (Socialized health care) or you don't ("I'm also against the gov't attempting to control aspects of our lives that ought to be 100% private." -Scenebooster)

What's it going to be?

0

logicsound04 6 years, 8 months ago

re: links posted by STRS--

While I am encouraged by the idea that the state would subsidize healthcare for those who can't afford it, the idea of having the government draw a line determining who can and who can't afford health coverage makes me nervous.

How do they plan to determine the cutoff between who deserves "free" healthcare and who is just wealthy enough to deserve financial penalties for failing to carry health coverage?

This is a lamebrained attempt getting socialized medicine in the backdoor. I commend the spirit of the bill, but the letter is inadequate. We need a true public healthcare system, where all citizens are eligible, regardless of income.

0

Agnostick 6 years, 8 months ago

antisecularman/patriotman:

Care to cite some sources about the Greeks?

Thanks.

Can't keep a good troll down, eh? ;)

--Ag

0

Manslagt 6 years, 8 months ago

M-M:

"Why on gods green earth would someone want to make a person have a baby they did not want?"

The Greeks used to use exposure to kill unwanted children. Would you favor making that legal as well, especially since it would be counter to overpopulation?

0

Tom Shewmon 6 years, 8 months ago

"Right-wing extremists...." -Agnosdick

'Right-wing extremist' = Conservative (Republican)

0

Agnostick 6 years, 8 months ago

Thanks for the informative links, STRS. Come to think of it, I seem to recall hearing about this on the radio earlier this year.

You sound as if you're against this. Do you mean you're not in favor of health care coverage for all those little babies you saved from the abortion clinics? ;)

--Ag

0

SettingTheRecordStraight 6 years, 8 months ago

agnostick,

The Peoples Republic of Massachusetts now REQUIRES its shackled citizens to purchase health insurance. Here are two links-- both from the liberal media so you can "trust" their content.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12156882/ http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/04/AR2006040401937.html

0

storm 6 years, 8 months ago

Only men that have worn a condom each and every time should be allowed to respond in these forums.

0

Agnostick 6 years, 8 months ago

And who is forced to sign up for insurance, of any kind? The only laws that I know of that require you to carry any sort of insurance:

1) Comprehensive auto as long as their is a lien on the vehicle; liability only if there's no lien

2) Home insurance if there is a lien on the house

If there is any sort of law that REQUIRES you to carry medical insurance for you and/or your family, I'm not aware of it.

What's the alternative to S-CHIP? Letting 'em pile up in ER waiting rooms? You'll end up paying for that, too.

To the subject at hand: Whether or not you acknowledge it, abortion is a political issue. The Religious Right made abortion a weapon, brought it into the fight; now, Moderates and Liberals have taken the weapon, and turned it on its "owner."

Right-wing extremists have no one to blame but themselves for this turn of events. :)

Agnostick agnostick@excite.com http://www.uscentrist.org

0

scenebooster 6 years, 8 months ago

""I'm also against the gov't attempting to control aspects of our lives that ought to be 100% private." -Scenebuster

Then why are you on the Bush/child insurance thread apparently backing it?"

That doesn't even make any sense...outlawing abortion and giving health care insurance to poor kids? WTF?

As for ihatelv "scoring" a blog (besides the fact that it's a stupid thing to do), I'm not sure I would put any trust the quantifications of someone who regularly is made to look the fool on these threads.

0

ihatelv 6 years, 8 months ago

right_thinker - 1 Scenebooster - 0

0

Tom Shewmon 6 years, 8 months ago

"I'm also against the gov't attempting to control aspects of our lives that ought to be 100% private." -Scenebuster

Then why are you on the Bush/child insurance thread apparently backing it?

0

Tom Shewmon 6 years, 8 months ago

MM, re; your 1:26--- it sounds like you and your crowd like to get out and have some fun.

Deec bilges: "Let's track down the sperm donors and punish them."

I'm sure women who get artificially inseminated plan on getting an abortion.

0

scenebooster 6 years, 8 months ago

"Abortion is not a political issue. It is a human and civil rights abrogation that must be corrected."

And health care for children (the already been born ones) is not?

0

SettingTheRecordStraight 6 years, 8 months ago

I see it's political, then, machiavelli, by your last statement. Whatever turns the state to the political party that you belong to, right?

Abortion is not a political issue. It is a human and civil rights abrogation that must be corrected.

0

Machiavelli_mania 6 years, 8 months ago

This is the very issue that will turn Kansas into a blue state. Only two-thirds left to go.

0

Machiavelli_mania 6 years, 8 months ago

I will unashamedly state that I went to Tiller for an abortion long ago. I have no guilt whatsoever about it. It was the most empowering day of my life. Awareness grew in epic portions that day for me.

I also unashamedly state that I have taken to Tiller about 5 people who have come to me for help. I nurtured them before, during and after the abortion. So far, none of those women have felt guilt over it that I know of. I tried to ease their tensions and made sure that the abortion is really what they wanted, now and with a mind-set for the future. I wanted to make sure there would be no guilt at a later date. I have refused to take some people because of their vacillations regarding the ethics of abortion.

People have the right to make up their own minds about whether abortion is right or wrong. But abortion should always be a legal and medically-safe option.

0

Machiavelli_mania 6 years, 8 months ago

How about "my personal economy cannot handle another mouth to feed"? How about "i don't want to have any children"? How about "this isn't the right time to start a family"? How about "my dad will kill me if I come home pregnant"? How about "I don't want yet another miscarriage and the subsequent heartbreak that comes with it"?

There are as many reasons for getting abortions are there are people who seek them. And the numbers of people who seek them is way up, despite the Religious Rite's dubious campaign to diminish those numbers. AND it is interesting to note that those numbers cross socio-economic and political boundries.

0

Machiavelli_mania 6 years, 8 months ago

Tiller is closer to sainthood than Phil Kline, that much is for sure. At least Tiller values women and their biological plight.

I do think Tiller is one of the better men this world has created. Can't really say that about Kline or that strange guy who financially bilks Operation Rescue for the donations.

0

deec 6 years, 8 months ago

Ignoring for the moment the hyperbolic nature of these statements by the shrink hired byKline to support his position, it is none of anybody else's business why a woman chooses to end a pregnancy.

0

lunacydetector 6 years, 8 months ago

wow, it sounds like M_m thinks tiller is a saint.

let's see..."I won't be able to go to concerts," or "I won't be able to take part in sports," to more serious ones such as, "I don't want to give my child up for adoption." abortion is his answer?

0

Machiavelli_mania 6 years, 8 months ago

What happened to concerns about over-population? Why on gods green earth would someone want to make a person have a baby they did not want?

Meanwhile, the rest of the world is strengthening their abortion rights laws:

Portugal Law That Loosens Abortion Restrictions Comes Into Effect http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=77109&nfid=nl

British Medial Association Passes Proposal To Eliminate Requirement That Women Obtain Two Doctors' Signatures For First-Trimester Abortion http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=75702&nfid=nl

Leaders Of 10 African Countries Call For Legalization Of Safe Abortion To Help Reduce Maternal Mortality Rate http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=75567&nfid=nl

Polish Government To Appeal European Court Of Human Rights Ruling That Rights Of Polish Woman Allegedly Denied Abortion Were Violated http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=74966&nfid=nl

Uruguayan Ministers, Public Figures Join Internet Campaign To Legalize Abortion http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=74136&nfid=nl

Mozambican Government Reviewing Abortion Ban, Justice Minister Says http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=73849&nfid=nl

British Parliament Rejects Bill That Would Have Required Counseling, Waiting Period For Women Seeking Abortions http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=73564&nfid=nl

About 1.2M Brazilian Women Hospitalized In Last Five Years For Illegal Abortion-Related Complications, Report Says http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=72846&nfid=nl

Mexico Supreme Court Accepts Petition To Review Mexico City Law Legalizing Abortion During First Three Months' Gestation http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=72484&nfid=nl

More Young, Unmarried Women In China Having Abortions, Health Experts Say http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=71063&nfid=nl

Irish Court Rules That Girl Can Travel Abroad To Undergo Abortion http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=70738&nfid=n

Amnesty Announces Policy Of Supporting Access To Safe Abortions In Cases Of Sexual Violence, Harm To Health Of Pregnant Women http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=70737&nfid=nl

Want more? I have more.

0

irishdevil99 6 years, 8 months ago

This argument makes little sense, as abortion is legal. -Ag

Ag -- My question was a hypothetical -- worded specifically to ask what should be the consequences for a woman who had abortion IF it were illegal.

Thanks for the response, STRS.

0

Machiavelli_mania 6 years, 8 months ago

George Tiller is one of the most gracious and compassionate men I have ever met. And I give him as much support as I can.

0

Agnostick 6 years, 8 months ago

75x55 (Anonymous) says:

What a misleading headline - if anything, the opposite has a truer ring to it.

In any case, let the law be enforced.


Please write what you feel is an appropriate headline for this story. Explain your word choice.

Thanks.

--Ag

0

Agnostick 6 years, 8 months ago

SettingTheRecordStraight (Anonymous) says:

irish,

There should be no punishment for a woman who has an abortion. None. The punishment must be swift and firm for the abortionist.


Would you apply this same even-handedness to other "crimes?"

The drug dealer should be punished... but not the user?

The prostitute should be punished... but not the "john?"

This argument makes little sense, as abortion is legal.

[yawn]

--Ag

0

deec 6 years, 8 months ago

Let's track down the sperm donors and punish them. Spaying/neutering comes to mind.

0

SettingTheRecordStraight 6 years, 8 months ago

irish,

There should be no punishment for a woman who has an abortion. None. The punishment must be swift and firm for the abortionist.

0

deec 6 years, 8 months ago

"If it's a womans body and a womans choice, why don't they watch what get's put inside of it in the first place if they don't want a kid? When they get knocked up, all of a sudden 'a womans choice' is the key issue." How 'bout you get yourself fixed, so other people's pregnancies or lack of same cease to be your business?

0

irishdevil99 6 years, 8 months ago

I am somewhat between viewpoints on this issue, but I am curious about the following question (first brought up in a Newsweek column). I honestly would really love to hear what you think.

To those who would prefer that abortion be illegal at any stage: What is your idea of an appropriate punishment for a woman who has one (if it is illegal)?

0

scenebooster 6 years, 8 months ago

"How about you don't let sperm reach your egg, that's a good choice if you think you don't want a kid. "

Um, this a pretty dumb post (is that ok, Mr. LJW Censor-person?). Besides placing a burden on the sexual choices of women that is not levied against men, what about in cases of rape?

Health of the baby (profound retardation, birth defects, etc.)?

Health of the mother?

BTW - I'm against abortion. I'm also against the gov't attempting to control aspects of our lives that ought to be 100% private.

0

Finding_Uranus 6 years, 8 months ago

If it's a womans body and a womans choice, why don't they watch what get's put inside of it in the first place if they don't want a kid? When they get knocked up, all of a sudden 'a womans choice' is the key issue.

How about you don't let sperm reach your egg, that's a good choice if you think you don't want a kid. I guess that would be taking your choices away---the choice to get knocked up then choose to get an abortion.

0

75x55 6 years, 8 months ago

What a misleading headline - if anything, the opposite has a truer ring to it.

In any case, let the law be enforced.

0

deec 6 years, 8 months ago

So I guess before there was a legitimate "abortion industry" women did not have abortions? Is that your argument? If so, please google history of abortion.

0

scenebooster 6 years, 8 months ago

"And it is the abortion industry that controls, demeans and harms women by telling them that abortion is a legitimate solution to an unwanted pregnancy."

That statement alone villifies women who seek to have abortions, by stereotyping them as unwilling dupes.

And you never address the obvious hypocrisy of your positions.

0

kmat 6 years, 8 months ago

Thank you Logic!!!!!!!!! You've summed it up well. These poor old right-wingers that are scared that women might actually have rights too. Boo hoo. Oh sorry, I forgot that I'm supposed to be silent, barefoot and pregnant and in the kitchen.

0

SettingTheRecordStraight 6 years, 8 months ago

I have never vilified those who seek abortions. Those who have had abortions or who seek abortions are victims of the abortion industry. The abortion industry profits off of women from their grisly procedures. And it is the abortion industry that controls, demeans and harms women by telling them that abortion is a legitimate solution to an unwanted pregnancy.

0

jonas 6 years, 8 months ago

Actually, Right-thinker, I was thinking of it in the other direction.

Keep the rhetoric out of the word "life."

0

logicsound04 6 years, 8 months ago

"So apparently STRS is really, really worried about those kids up to and until they're born. After that:tough luck."


Weird. It's almost like the abortion issue isn't really about children to him/her. And if the anti-abortion crowd isn't so frenzied over the children, then what could it be.....?

It can't possibly be just another mechanism for controlling women, could it?

Nah.....that's silly.

........................................................right?

0

scenebooster 6 years, 8 months ago

I find it funny (in a sad, hypocritical way) that on this thread, SettingTheRecordStraight is vilifying abortion providers and those who choose to have abortions, yet on the "Bush to Veto Health Care Legislations for Poor Children" thread he says "The headline would be more accurate if it read, "Veto likely for massive increase in taxpayer-funded government program."

and

"If a bad idea is bipartisan, who cares? It's still a bad idea.

The government should not and may not be in the business of giving insurance to its citizens."

So apparently STRS is really, really worried about those kids up to and until they're born. After that...tough luck.

0

Tom Shewmon 6 years, 8 months ago

"....than the labels that presume the definition of "life." -jonas

Exactly, keep that 'life' word out of the rhetoric.

0

logicsound04 6 years, 8 months ago

"Shouldn't it be "pro-choice" and "pro-life"? "


If you really want to get technical, it should be "pro-Women's Rights" and "anti-Women's Rights".

0

americorps 6 years, 8 months ago

When settingtherecordstraight looks in the mirror knowing who he is, what he is, I imagine he is disgusted beyond belief. The self-loathing must be crushing.

0

jonas 6 years, 8 months ago

Syntactically, both pro-choice and anti-abortion (or anti-choice) are far better fits for the actual positions held. They are more factual, and less emotionally-based, than the labels that presume the definition of "life."

0

Tom Shewmon 6 years, 8 months ago

I'll believe it when I see it. It's just very odd that Nola "No File" Foulston and Judge Clark, up to their earballs in the whole political contribution game, gave Morrison the green light only months after shutting out Kline.

I continue to find it humorous, it's always "pro-choice" but "anti-abortion". Shouldn't it be "pro-choice" and "pro-life"? Oh well.

0

Agnostick 6 years, 8 months ago

Looks like some people are finally waking up and smelling the coffee.

Some people, that is.

I seriously doubt some of the more rabid extremists--especially those that frequent these forums--will ever admit the truth:

Paul Morrison is a methodical, confident, thorough, professional enforcer of the laws of Kansas.

Phill Kline was not... is not... probably never will be.

Agnostick agnostick@excite.com http://www.uscentrist.org

0

SettingTheRecordStraight 6 years, 8 months ago

When Tiller looks in the mirror knowing who he is, what he is, I imagine he is disgusted beyond belief. The self-loathing must be crushing. The burden is surely no heavier, however, than that felt by Tiller's lawyer as well the ACLU scum defending late-term and partial-birth abortions.

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.