The Operation Rescue dance on Dr. Tiller’s grave continues in Kansas. This time in the form of a celebratory jig performed in their perceived triumph over an administrative judge’s ruling issuing an order of revocation of the license of Dr. Ann Kristen Neuhaus.
Dr. Neuhaus was the second opinion physician for Dr. George Tiller’s practice in Wichita. From the AP…
In an order that became public Tuesday, the judge said Dr. Ann Kristen Neuhaus failed to meet accepted standards of care in performing exams on 11 patients, ages 10 to 18, who had late-term abortions at Tiller’s clinic in Wichita from July to November 2003. The judge said Neuhaus’ records did not contain the information necessary to show she did thorough exams.
The State Board of Healing Arts will make the final determination regarding Dr. Neuhaus’ license at their next meeting scheduled in April.
Dr. Neuhaus has stated that she was purposefully vague in some of her record keeping to protect the patients in records that she knew full well could go public.
The continued defamation and harassment of Dr. Neuhaus is indicative of what abortion providers can expect in Kansas and in other parts of the country, like what has been seen in Texas. Providing an abortion does not require a special license, just as providing a pap smear doesn’t require a special license. Therefore, all it should take to provide abortions to women is the proper equipment, some training from a fellow physician, a medical license and extraordinary amounts of courage.
However, even with all of these bases covered, Dr. Mila Means found out the hard way that this was not sufficient. You must also have pounds of cash for attorney fees and a facility where do not have a landlord who will take you to court to prevent you from performing legal healthcare to women.
The laws continue to change each and every legislative session, so even if you have all of your bases covered…new cumbersome, unnecessary regulations are created that put even existing providers out of business, at least temporarily. The courts then must be relied upon to defend the rights of these heroic physicians to provide abortions to the women who need them.
To provide abortions in a red state, you must literally be ready to have your very livelihood, your very life, destroyed. Not long ago, the Kansas City Pitch wrote an extensive piece on what Dr. Neuhaus’ life is like in the wake of the continued legal harassment from Operation Rescue….
Neuhaus bought the place 15 years ago, when she was making a little money. Now they’re struggling to survive. About a year ago, the house nearly faced foreclosure. During an interview with The Pitch in September, Neuhaus was on her way to apply for a payday loan. Then in October, the utilities were almost shut off.
Dr. Neuhaus’ fate at the hands of The Kansas Board of Healing (BOHA) looks grim. The board has been criticized for making recent appointments based upon anti-choice political opportunism, appointing a former Operation Rescue attorney to the board.
An Operation Rescue attorney will see Dr. Neuhaus as a villain and choose not to understand the plight of the young patients that were at the patients of Dr. Neuhaus. Again from the KC Pitch story…
One of the patients was a 10-year-old California girl who was a victim of rape and incest. Neuhaus took issue with a claim that an abortion wasn’t medically necessary for the girl.
“To even claim that isn’t medically necessary qualifies as gross incompetence,” Neuhaus. “Someone’s 10 years old, and they were raped by their uncle and they understand that they’ve got a baby growing in their stomach and they don’t want that. You’re going to send this girl for a brain scan and some blood work and put her in a hospital?”
Should the BOHA revoke her license, Dr. Neuhaus has made statements indicating that she will appeal. May strength and justice be with her.