Kansas Board of Health Revokes License Of Doctor For Not Forcing 10 Year Olds To Give Birth


In a continuing effort to both curb access to abortion and reiterate their own opinion that there is never any situation where abortion could be necessary for a patient’s well-being, the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts has decided in favor of revoking Dr. Ann Neuhaus’s medical license. Neuhaus, a colleague of Dr. George Tiller, assisted him by providing second opinions for mental health exceptions for late abortions.

According to the Associated Press, Neuhaus was hoping to have her full medical license restored after spending years only allowed to provide limited medical care for charity work.  Instead, an ongoing investigation into 11 patient cases obtained by Operation Rescue became the center of a movement to have her license stripped all together.

The cases all involved girls who sought abortions due to mental health issues from depression to suicide, with an age range from 17 years old to as young as 10. The board alleged that Neuhaus’s exams were not thorough enough based on the available records provided, and that her follow up care was inadequate, as she did not recommend counseling or hospitalization afterwards.

Neuhaus called the accusations ridiculous.  She said she refused to put too much identifying information in the records because she knew that they could eventually end up in the hands of outsiders and violate the patients’ privacy. As for abortions not being necessary, Neuhaus found that laughable as well. 

“To even claim that isn’t medically necessary qualifies as gross incompetence,” said 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?”

Sadly, the findings of the board were nearly inevitable.  One of anti-choice Governor Sam Brownback’s most recent appointments to the board was Richard Macias, a former Operation Rescue attorney, showing the Governor’s obsession with getting anti-abortion activists key administrative spots for regulating the procedure.  “I’m more concerned about the standard of care, particularly the aftercare,” Macias told the AP. “That’s the issue that bothers me the most.”

Standard of care is a pretty loose term for a group that believes that later abortions were being used as “birth control.” Offering their own expert witness during the board hearing, the witness claimed repeatedly that there is never any case in which providing an abortion could be seen as beneficial to a patient’s mental health.

On cross-examination by Neuhaus’ attorney, Robert Eye, questioned Dr. Gold about standard of care for mental health evaluations for late-term abortions. Gold replied that there is no such thing. She explained, “Late term abortion is not a treatment or intervention for any psychiatric condition.” That statement was initially stricken from the record at Mr. Eye’s request, but Dr. Gold continued to repeat her opinion on the record when asked.

When questioned about whether she had ever admitted a patient to the hospital for a late-term abortion Dr. Gold responded, “It would be inappropriate for a psychiatrist to admit a patient to a hospital for abortion services.” That comment was also stricken from the record.

When asked if an unwanted pregnancy put a teen at risk for developing psychiatric disorders, Gold was emphatic.

“Teen pregnancy is not a risk factor for psychiatric disorders,” she said.

Neuhaus will appeal the ruling. If she loses, she will not only have her license permanently revoked, but also nearly $100,000 in court costs.

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  • thomas-cincaid-brannigan

    What this article doesn’t mention is that the abortions were performed between 25 and 29 weeks, well after viability. Late term abortions for suicidal thoughts are completely unecessary after viability is reached. Per the article, “With any serious maternal health problem, termination of pregnancy can be accomplished by inducing labor or performing a cesarean section, saving both mother and baby.” Because the bodily autonomy of the woman is no longer at stake, ‘choice’ no longer at issue here. The ethical questions this raises are grave.

  • jennifer-starr

    I think forcing a ten-year old to undergo birth would be extremely dangerous to the child.The fact that you’re menstruating does not mean that your body is physically prepared to give birth. And a ten year old is not a ‘mother’–she’s still a baby herself.   Kids that age should have baby DOLLS, not baby babies. 

  • cosmolizard

    Your proof of these allegations about gestational age is to be found where?  Putting that aside, for a moment, a baby removed from the womb at 25 weeks is going to spend the next 15-20 weeks in a NICU, are you willing to cough up the money to pay for that?  The last time I had any inkling of the cost of that length of stay in a NICU was 1998 and the cost was about $800,000.  Assume medical inflation of 10% per annum and that the events took place in the last 5 years, takes us to  $1.9 – 2.8 Million! Add to that, the child, if it survives, will have life-long health issues. 

  • prochoiceferret

    Late term abortions for suicidal thoughts are completely unecessary after viability is reached.

     

    So this is your professional medical opinion, informed by the patient’s case history?

     

    Per the article, “With any serious maternal health problem, termination of pregnancy can be accomplished by inducing labor or performing a cesarean section, saving both mother and baby.”

     

    Sure, and treatment of an infected finger can be accomplished by amputating the limb. That doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the proper or best course of action.

     

    Because the bodily autonomy of the woman is no longer at stake, ‘choice’ no longer at issue here.

     

    How nice of you to declare when someone else’s rights are no longer at stake. I’m sure lots of White folks feel that the civil rights of minorities are no longer at stake, either.

  • thomas-cincaid-brannigan

    “So this is your professional medical opinion, informed by the patient’s case history?”

    Yup, that right.

  • joyce-arthur

    I have express permission to quote Dr. Susan Robinson, who was a colleague of Dr. Neuhaus and Dr. George Tiller, and worked at his Wichita clinic up until the time of his assassination:

    “You would think that if the KS Board of Healing Arts had really cared about the quality of Dr Neuhaus’s exams, they would have solicited opinions from the other doctors with whom she worked: Dr ***, Dr *** and me. She [Dr Neuhaus] did exhaustive interviews and was extremely conscientious, often spending an hour talking with each patient.”

  • hannibal

    The sick bastards in Kansas of course will force the ten year old incest victim to give birth, not caring at all that the probability of her DYING due to childbirth is much higher than an adult giving birth normally, and the probablity of the baby not surviving one year is also higher.

    The ten year old will have to have a C-section birth, like many other Americans forced into this procedure or choosing it.  30% of Americans are born via C-section.   As a result America has a WORSE MATERNAL DEATH RATE THAN 38 OTHER COUNTRIES.

     

    Source:  http://www.policymic.com/articles/6860/u-s-ranks-39-in-global-child-birth-deaths-behind-many-developing-countries

     

     

  • ljean8080

    people are better off dead?

    t

  • colleen

    Disabled People? You mean 10 and 11 year old pregnant girls?

    No, we don’t think 10 and 11 year old girls should be used by men for sex or by the  ‘pro-life’ movement as human incubators.  The folks who use young girls in this manner are no better than the men who raped them.

     

  • progo35

    Dr. Tiller’s abortion method at that stage of pregnancy (after 24 weeks gestation, which is when a 2nd opinion would have been needed), was to kill the fetus via a digoxin injection and then induce labor. Hence, these girls went through the process of giving birth anyway-they just delivered a dead child. How is that necessary to protect mental health? I can completely understand that it might be necessary to induce labor early and/ or perform a C-section to prevent physical/psychological harm, but killing the fetus beforehand is uncessary. Also, my nephew was born during an emergency c-section at 25 weeks and spent four months in the NICU. He is a happy, healthy six year old now.  I was born at 32 weeks.  I am also doing fine. Again, there are certain situations in which an early abortion exception should exist-if a ten year old rape victim gets an abortion at 10 weeks of pregnancy there is no way to save the fetus, and  that is tragic, but it is arguably done  to preserve her well being. But, by the time viability is reached, ending the baby’s life is not necessary in order to end the pregnancy. These kinds of situations are what the NICU was created for-for situations in which a baby must be born early and is in need of critical care. As for money, I am more then happy to have my taxes go to something like that. I’d much rather it go to that than campaign funds, war and corporate bail outs.

    In terms of trauma, I would imagine that delivering a dead fetus and giving birth to a baby that has to be in the NICU would be equally traumatic for a 10 year old child. Not only was she already dealing with the horror of being raped, but she now has birthed a baby at 10 years old. That is appalling, but I don’t see how killing the fetus beforehand improves her situation.  Like I said, labor is labor.

  • prochoiceferret

    Dr. Tiller’s abortion method at that stage of pregnancy (after 24 weeks gestation, which is when a 2nd opinion would have been needed), was to kill the fetus via a digoxin injection and then induce labor. Hence, these girls went through the process of giving birth anyway-they just delivered a dead child. How is that necessary to protect mental health?

     

    Delivering at 24 weeks is a lot different from delivering a full-term pregnancy. Do you know how many weeks is a full-term pregnancy?

     

    I can completely understand that it might be necessary to induce labor early and/ or perform a C-section to prevent physical/psychological harm, but killing the fetus beforehand is uncessary.

     

    And this is your professional medical opinion?

     

    Also, my nephew was born during an emergency c-section at 25 weeks and spent four months in the NICU. He is a happy, healthy six year old now.  I was born at 32 weeks.  I am also doing fine.

     

    Hey, I know a guy who survived a car accident even though he wasn’t wearing a seat belt. He’s doing fine.

     

    Again, there are certain situations in which an early abortion exception should exist-if a ten year old rape victim gets an abortion at 10 weeks of pregnancy there is no way to save the fetus, and  that is tragic, but it is arguably done  to preserve her well being. But, by the time viability is reached, ending the baby’s life is not necessary in order to end the pregnancy.

     

    Sometimes it may not be necessary, sometimes it may be. Perhaps we should leave that determination to someone who knows what they’re talking about, like, say, a doctor?

     

    These kinds of situations are what the NICU was created for-for situations in which a baby must be born early and is in need of critical care. As for money, I am more then happy to have my taxes go to something like that. I’d much rather it go to that than campaign funds, war and corporate bail outs.

     

    So how many hundreds of millions of dollars do you pay in taxes each year, again?

     

    In terms of trauma, I would imagine that delivering a dead fetus and giving birth to a baby that has to be in the NICU would be equally traumatic for a 10 year old child. Not only was she already dealing with the horror of being raped, but she now has birthed a baby at 10 years old. That is appalling, but I don’t see how killing the fetus beforehand improves her situation.  Like I said, labor is labor.

     

    And this is why psychology is a regulated profession.