By Kathy Ostrowski, Legislative Director, Kansans for Life
The Kansas State Healing Arts Board voted unanimously Friday evening to appeal a district court ruling that overturned the Board’s July 2012, decision to revoke the license of former abortionist Ann Kristin Neuhaus.
It took Judge Franklin R. Theis nine months to issue a very wrong-headed and pro-abortion ruling, opining that the Board had excessively punished Neuhaus when it took away her medical license.
Neuhaus does not have a current Kansas license to practice medicine, even in a restricted manner. But this ruling allows her to apply for one—though it is exceedingly doubtful the Healing Arts Board would approve it.
Neuhaus’ had her medical license yanked for repeatedly breaking the state rules on medical record-keeping and patient exams. In 2003 Kansas law allowed an abortion of a viable fetus (defined as the 22nd week gestation) only if the woman faces “substantial and irreversible” harm to “a major bodily function” or death. In 2003 that also included mental health.
For these post-viability abortions the law required an independent, second medical opinion. Neuhaus provided those second opinions for the late abortionist, George Tiller, from 1999 to 2006.
At issue were these required “validations” for third-trimester abortions for eleven young teens in 2003.
All these young women were in their sixth or seventh month of pregnancy when they met with Neuhaus at Tiller’s abortion clinic. Neuhaus was never trained as a psychiatric consultant, and ended up utilizing an online ‘answer tree.’ Evidence from the patient files repeatedly indicated such diagnoses. were logged in and completed within 2 to 3 minutes. Thus the teens were able to secure these abortions at a cost of $6,000 or more.
However, in his ruling Judge Theis wrote, “[T]here is not sufficient proof to support the board’s findings of ‘professional incompetency’…based on Neuhaus’ failure to maintain adequate records to support the diagnosis.” He concluded the Board had, in essence, ‘over-punished’ Neuhaus for “being sloppy,” taking “short cuts,” and showing “inconsistent attention to proper protocols.”
But not being able to find evidence of the nature of the young girls’ problems from Neuhaus’ own scanty notations and checkbox-formatted computer printouts IS the point!
In 2011, administrative judge Edward Gashler found Neuhaus negligent in conducting mental health exams for these girls who aborted between July and November 2003. Gashler ruled there was no evidence “of any examination nor…of what transpired between the patient and licensee [Neuhaus].”
Obviously, the Board believes it more than ‘made its case’ and will not ‘rethink’ their sanction. In a quickly convened, 22-minute meeting conducted by phone last Friday (with discussion by the members closed to the public), the Board chose to try to have Theis’ ruling voided on appeal.