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Morrison points out the charges filed against Tiller

Tied to Tiller?

Human Race | Kansas abortionist faces charges

Issue: "All heart," July 14, 2007

Notorious abortionist George Tiller is going to court. Whether he goes to prison depends on what happens there.

Kansas Attorney General Paul Morrison on June 28 filed 19 misdemeanor charges against Tiller, alleging that the Wichita physician had illegal financial ties with another doctor. Tiller could face a year in jail and $2,500 in fines for each charge, but he's suing to overturn the Kansas law that Morrison alleges he broke.

The law in question says that before a doctor can perform a late-term abortion, another doctor without financial or legal ties to the abortionist must agree that the pregnancy will lead to serious health problems for the mother. Morrison says that Ann Kristin Neuhaus, a doctor who signed off on 19 Tiller abortions, had ties to Tiller.

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"They can't be in cahoots legally or financially," Morrison, a Democrat, said. "We believe that there was a financial and legal affiliation between those two doctors." Tiller's attorneys claimed the law is unconstitutional.

Kansas pro-lifers applauded Morrison's move but said he should have filed more serious charges. Morrison's predecessor, Republican Phil Kline, had alleged that Tiller used phony health justifications-such as anxiety-for the late-term procedure. Kline's investigation was a major issue in last fall's attorney general election, in which Morrison defeated the incumbent Republican. A political action committee formed by Tiller campaigned against Kline.

Hear me out

Politics: Paul McNulty's testimony frustrates gotcha games

Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty, who plans to resign from the embattled Department of Justice, appeared voluntarily before the House Judiciary Committee June 21 and patiently reviewed territory committee staffers had previously grilled him on during a day-long private interview two months earlier about the firings of nine U.S. attorneys.

California Democrat Linda Sanchez, chair of the House Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law, opened the hearing with an assault on the integrity of White House and Justice officials. Judiciary Committee chair John Conyers (D-Mich.) followed with patronizing remarks about the candor he expected from the witness, as though McNulty's earlier appearances had been dishonest.

Despite those initial jabs, McNulty responded cordially: "I have sought throughout my many years of public service to act with integrity by the grace of God in all that I have been called to do. And yes, that includes the many, many times I have been asked to testify before Congress."

It was McNulty's Feb. 6 testimony before Congress that initially ignited controversy over the firing of the U.S. attorneys. When subsequently released documents revealed inaccuracies in that Feb. 6 interview, McNulty promptly corrected his testimony. "My knowledge at the time I testified about the replacement of the United States attorneys was, in some respects, incomplete," McNulty said at the June 21 hearing.

-Mark Bergin

Close-ups

RELIGION: Last week Hindu priests in Nepal stripped 10-year-old Sajani Shakya of her title as a living goddess. Her trespass: visiting the United States last month to promote a British documentary about living goddesses. Sajani had been among a dozen girls in Nepal whose bodies are purportedly inhabited by the Hindu goddess Kali until they reach puberty; then priests designate other girls as goddesses. But priests said Sajani's trip, which included a visit to a U.S. school, a private White House tour, and a party at Nepal's U.S. embassy, made her impure.

DATES: Meanwhile, hotel-casinos in Las Vegas were arranging for mass weddings on July 7: The Flamingo planned 77 back-to-back wedding services for those who, believing that seven is a lucky number, wanted to wed on 07/07/07. Kileen Kapri-Kohn, a "psychic adviser" based in Nevada, said, "We co-create our reality. A lot of people are using this date as an excuse to make a change, or do something that's going to be memorable."

Timothy Lamer
Timothy Lamer

Tim is managing editor of WORLD magazine.

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