Kansas doctor Ann Neuhaus, a colleague of the late Dr. George Tiller, lost her medical license when the state health board—led by anti-choice advocates—decided that she did not provide adequate mental health exams for a handful of patients seeking second or third trimester abortions in the state. Neuhaus has tried to appeal the ruling, but with court costs escalating, that may prove impossible. In order to even pursue the case, she must pay almost $100,000.
A northeast Kansas doctor who lost her license over referrals to the late Dr. George Tiller’s abortion clinic is fighting state regulators’ efforts to force her to post a bond of nearly $93,000 as she appeals to the courts.
Attorney Kelly Kauffman said Thursday that Dr. Ann Kristin Neuhaus can’t afford to pursue a lawsuit against the State Board of Healing Arts if she is required to post the bond, which would cover costs incurred by the board as its staff pursued sanctions against her. Neuhaus filed her lawsuit in August in Shawnee County District Court in hopes of regaining her license.
“It basically closes the courts to her,” Kauffman told The Associated Press. “They have to know that.”
In many ways, this is just another facet of using the courts and the expense of legal defense as a way to silence and shutter providers and advocates. It is the cost to defend themselves from potential felony charges that has Wisconsin abortion providers too worried to offer medication abortions under the new law, and in Missouri the state attempted the same when they proposed making doctors carry a $1 million insurance policy if they were going to offer RU-486.
We already have a system where abortion is becoming out of reach for low-income women. Now, we are creating a double whammy where the costs of being a provider, especially the legal costs, will be too expensive for many medical practitioners to bear.