Archive for Sunday, September 18, 2011

Girls’ stories part of debate about Kansas abortions

September 18, 2011


— A 15-year-old Kansas girl wanted to be a professional rodeo barrel-racer and saw the chance disappearing when she became pregnant. A girl from Illinois, also 15, had given up basketball because it no longer seemed fun. Half a dozen teenagers worried about being forced to drop out of school or forgo college. Distraught, they came to the late Dr. George Tiller’s clinic for late-term abortions.

Kansas law required Tiller to get a second opinion before performing each procedure, and his clinic turned to Dr. Ann Kristin Neuhaus for mental health exams. The clinic terminated each girl’s pregnancy in 2003 after Neuhaus told Tiller in a short letter with identical language each time that, without an abortion, the patient faced “substantial and irreversible impairment of a major physical or mental function.”

She concluded that Tiller’s patients suffered from acute anxiety, acute stress or a single episode of major depression. A complaint before the State Board of Healing Arts now accuses her of negligence in examining the mental health of 11 patients, aged 10 to 18, who received abortions after the 25th week of pregnancy at Tiller’s clinic in Wichita from July to November 2003.

Each girl’s story was covered this week in testimony before a hearing officer who will recommend to the board whether Neuhaus should face sanctions. The stories also are a part of the larger debate over abortion, because abortion opponents say the details show that Tiller found ways, with help from Neuhaus, to do late-term procedures for “social” reasons when Kansas law meant to restrict them to emergencies.

The patients’ worries about sports or school — and weeping, too — were noted when Tiller’s staff screened them for potential signs of mental health problems but were not specifically cited by Neuhaus in her own reports. The Associated Press examined the files produced for each patient by Neuhaus and Tiller’s clinic, edited to remove patient names or addresses. One belonged to a 10-year-old rape and incest victim from California.

“Separating the wheat from the chaff in cases of adolescents who are in tough emotional situations is the job of professionals like Dr. Neuhaus and the staff of Dr. Tiller’s former clinic,” said Robert Eye, one of Neuhaus’ attorneys. “The reasons for these abortions are not trivial.”

Neuhaus’ reports on her diagnoses, compiled with a “PsychManager Lite” computer program, are five pages or less and don’t cite details from patients’ statements or data gleaned from her exams. Dr. Liza Gold, a clinical psychiatry professor at the Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, reviewed Neuhaus’ records and testified that there’s not enough information in them to show exactly how Neuhaus reached her conclusions — or to help physicians who might later treat the patients.

Neuhaus, a general practitioner, contends the records and her care met accepted standards. Dr. Allen Greiner, a University of Kansas Medical Center professor and colleague in providing charity care, said Neuhaus did more than most family practice doctors who conduct mental health exams.

Neuhaus also testified that her records don’t contain more personal data about patients because she feared anti-abortion groups and officials might obtain the information and make it public, violating patient privacy.

Phill Kline, an anti-abortion Republican who was attorney general in 2003-07 and investigated abortion providers, called the argument “laughable” and said the lack of detail in Neuhaus’ files shows she did exams solely to clear the way for Tiller’s abortions.


Liberty275 6 years, 8 months ago

"professional rodeo barrel-racer" "basketball"

As pro-abortion as I am, those reasons for aborting a potential human are so shallow they are sickening. I'd rather hear them just say they simply didn't want a child.

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 8 months ago

They were 15 year old girls, L275. Can you even imagine being 15 and pregnant? Scared to tell your parents? Trapped and helpless? How many waited until there was no choice but to tell their parents because they were starting to "show"? How many even knew they were pregnant until it was "too late"? You would force these children to have children? These aren't women! Except, unfortunately, in body. Want do you want to do with them, call them dirty names because they gave in to raging hormones and did things they weren't prepared for, by society, their churches or their parents? What kind of reception do you think they feared, much less got, when they finally told someone? I actually witnessed something along these lines. A 16 year old girl was raped and became pregnant as a result. Do you want to know what her mother did when she found out? She BEAT her. And I'm not talking about just a "butt whippin' ". I mean she had the girl on the floor and was kicking the st out of her. I was one of the people who pulled her off the girl. Do you want to know why the mother did that? Because she felt she would be shamed in her church and in front of her friends! Now you tell me, do you really think a 15 year old girl is going to tell anyone that? That her mother beat her when she found out her daughter was pregnant? Being a "professional rodeo barrel-racer" or playing "basketball" are excuses. And, oddly, appropriate, as they are the excuses of CHILDREN; excuses that a CHILD would give. Even at 15 they aren't fully grown; fully "women", physically, mentally or emotionally. And you want to do this to them?

Richard Heckler 6 years, 8 months ago

How to prevent abortions?

Planned Parenthood is one source:

How Much Do You Know About Planned Parenthood?

From the truckload of responses I'd say most have little idea surrounding Planned Parenthood and use extreme repub thinking as a source of information. In fact elected officials seem quite uniformed.

Of course birth control allows us to PREVENT ABORTIONS, pregnancy and plan the timing of pregnancy.

There are many health issues that only affect women. This section focuses on women's health issues

What do you know about sex? What do you know about sexuality? We hear about sex and sexuality almost every day, but much of what we hear is inaccurate and can be confusing. A basic understanding of sex and sexuality can help us sort out myth from fact and help us all enjoy our lives more.

There are many health issues that only affect men. This section focuses on men's sexual health issues.

Ezra Klein

verity 6 years, 8 months ago


Statistics report that 12% of abortions are performed after 12 weeks (3 months) of gestation, and 1.5% are performed after 20 weeks (5 months) of gestation. Many attribute the steady decrease in the proportion of abortions performed after the first trimester to increased access to and knowledge about birth control practices and safe, legal abortion services.

Women who have abortions after the first trimester are generally younger and poorer than the statistical average of all who have abortions. Women under 18 years old obtain 30% of their subgroup's abortions after the first trimester. . . . Common Logistical and Personal Reasons for Partial Birth Abortions -- Lack or lack of recognition of pregnancy symptoms, particularly by adolescents -- Inability to afford a first trimester abortion -- Inability to locate medical assistance during first trimester (due to lack of local medical professionals) -- Lack of financial resources, emotional support, and/or partner"

L275, we're talking about children here. Whether the reasons told to the doctor are the actual reasons, we don't know. They were most likely scared and distraught and would have said most anything to be able to get out of this situation.

pace 6 years, 8 months ago

Didn't Phil actually steal and hand out some patient information files when he left office?

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 8 months ago

Considering that he kept copies of all the abortion records he received as AG and had them sent to his JOCO office when he was voted out as AG and then had the same records sent to his office in Lynchburg, VA when he was kicked of the JOCO DA's office, there is no way of telling just WHO saw them. When Kline was on Bill O'Reilly's show on FOX, O'Reilly claimed he saw them.

verity 6 years, 8 months ago

Whatever happened to the investigation of our esteemed Phill Kline? I just googled him but can't find if any decision was ever made.

"Former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline testified Monday in an ethics hearing that he and his subordinates had the right to deceive other state agencies and didn’t have a duty to immediately correct flawed information provided to a trial judge as they started investigating abortion providers."

A lawyer who thinks it's OK to undermine the law. What a slimebag.

verity 6 years, 8 months ago

To laugh or cry, that is the question. The words that condemn Mr. Kline came right out of his own mouth. A liar and deceiver is not a good person---it's a contradiction in terms.

Katara 6 years, 8 months ago

I wonder what incentive the article writer had for trivializing the experiences of pregnant children?

I also wonder why HIPAA rights disappear when the subject of abortion comes up.

verity 6 years, 8 months ago

Yes, Katara, I wonder about both of those things too.

"A girl from Illinois, also 15, had given up basketball because it no longer seemed fun." Am I missing something? What does that have to do with the subject of the article?

I also wonder why some people think it's OK to lie because they perceive their cause as being just.

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 8 months ago

It is too bad that so many falsehoods continue to be spred about Kline. Remember Tiller and his ilk spent millions of dollars to destroy a good man because they were afraid of the consequences of their own violation of the existing Kansas law. Kline was simply acting to protect women and young girls from these abortion mills killing for money.

deec 6 years, 8 months ago

"Former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline testified Monday in an ethics hearing that he and his subordinates had the right to deceive other state agencies and didn’t have a duty to immediately correct flawed information provided to a trial judge as they started investigating abortion providers." I guess Phillll needs to stop lying about himself then, huh?

jhawkinsf 6 years, 8 months ago

Kansas law required Dr. Tiller to get a second opinion. He sought out Dr. Neuhaus for second opinions. In the above mentioned cases, Dr. Neuhaus concluded that the abortions were necessary. Were there cases where Dr. Neuhaus saw a referred patient and did not give that second opinion approval? Or was this just a rubber stamp assembly line abortion mill? Given the information provided in the article, I have absolutely no idea what to think. They've provided a polaroid when what is needed is a motion picture.

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 8 months ago

well to answer your question Neuhaus did have a "financial relationship" with Tiller. It was a assembly line abortion mill in the business to make money from the suffering of women and young girls. Remember women have died at the hands of the Tiller at his supposedly women-friendly clinic--he was no hero--read what feminist leader Susan B.Anthony had to say about abortion!

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