Operation Rescue officials have filed a complaint with the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts alleging Wichita abortionist George R. Tiller and an employee violated state law when teenager Michelle Armesto had a late-term abortion at Tiller’s clinic in 2003, a procedure that was begun before she signed any consent forms.
Armesto was the woman who provided startling testimony before a state legislative committee investigating late-term abortions recently when she related that her abortion procedure was begun before she signed any paperwork, or had any of the evaluations required by state law.
She also did not know that the abortionists had concluded her baby was “non-viable,” a determination that exempted them from certain state requirements.
“She had no idea that they [abortionists] had declared her baby non-viable,” Operation Rescue spokeswoman Cheryl Sullenger told WND, until she recently obtained her medical records. Sullenger said the unborn child’s mother was a healthy 18-year-old at the time of the abortion, and there had been virtually no indications of any health problems.
“Tiller now faces two Board of Healing Arts investigations that could cost him his license,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “He faces 19 criminal counts of illegal late-term abortions that could cost him huge fines, and he faces a grand jury investigation that could net literally hundreds of additional counts of illegal abortions from the past five years that could cost him his freedom.
“This is a full-court press against an abortion industry,” Newman said, “that has too long operated as if they are above the law. It is past time that these people were brought to justice.”
The newest complaint named Tiller as well as Shelley Sella, alleging “illegal acts, unethical conduct, and breach of the standard of care” for Armesto’s abortion.
Michelle Armesto, with her attorney, testifying to a state legislative committee
Armesto voluntarily released her medical records to Operation Rescue for the purpose of filing the complaint, which alleges 14 violations, including that the abortionists started the abortion procedure without taking her medical history – or even obtaining her consent.
Other allegations include that Sella ignored the legal requirement that she meet with the patient prior to the procedure, violated the 24-hour waiting period requirement, and failed to provide followup care.
Additionally, the complaint alleges Sella falsified the determination of non-viability in Armesto’s 24-week-old unborn child in order to avoid requirements imposed when doctors abort viable babies.
The complaint reports Armesto agreed to the abortion only because of intense pressure from her parents, and she and her mother became lost on the way to the clinic and arrived late.
“Upon arrival, she was placed immediately into a group with several other women also receiving late-term abortions, who were in the process of watching a video about the Tiller abortion legacy,” the complaint says. “From there, without having spoken to anyone or signed any paperwork, including a medical history and consent forms, the patient was taken to a room… At approximately 11:10 a.m., Tiller employee abortionist Shelley Sella, using the ultrasound imaging to guide her, administered a digoxin injection through the patient’s abdomen that was supposed to go into her baby’s heart. The patient was led to believe that the injection immediately killed her child.”
“Michelle delivered at the abortion clinic on the third day of the procedure. She refused to deliver her baby into a toilet bowl, as ordered by clinic workers. Instead she delivered her dead baby on the floor next to the commode, a sight that still haunts her to this day,” Operation Rescue reported.
Newman noted this is the second complaint filed with the KSBHA against Tiller. A document from October 2006 alleges Tiller and abortionist Ann Kristin Neuhaus had an illegal financial affiliation that they formed in order to perform abortions past viability. Operation Rescue said that complaint now is being reviewed by a Peer Review Board.
Between the complaints, state Attorney General Paul Morrison filed 19 charges against Tiller. He’s entered “not guilty” pleas and another hearing in the case hasn’t yet been scheduled.
According to 19 charges filed by Morrison, Tiller failed to follow Kansas late-term abortion law and substantiate the need for such procedures with a second independent opinion.
Kansas law bans late-term abortions past 22 weeks gestation, a developmental milestone recognized as viability in Kansas law. Narrow exceptions to the law are if the woman’s life is in danger, or if the pregnancy will cause a substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function. An opinion issued by former Attorney General Carla Stovall, an abortion supporter, allowed mental health risks to be included as a “major bodily function” under the law, but only if the risk was “substantial and irreversible.”
But in those cases a second opinion from a physician not financially connected to the first is required.
Tiller was the subject of a multi-year investigation by former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline, who filed 30 criminal counts against him. However, the charges were dismissed by a judge with connections to Tiller’s lawyers on the request of a prosecutor who also had connections to the other players in the case.
Then Kline appointed a special independent prosecutor to handle the case, but, as WND reported, the special prosecutor was fired by Morrison as soon as he took office.
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