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Judge refuses to reinstate charges against Kansas abortion doctor

Judge refuses to reinstate charges against Kansas abortion doctor

A judge Wednesday refused to reinstate criminal charges brought by Kansas' outgoing attorney general against an abortion doctor who has long been the target of anti-abortion politicians and protesters.
The decision came two hours after Republican Attorney General Phill Kline, a vocal abortion opponent, announced he would appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Dr. George Tille, who runs one of the few clinics in the United States that performs late-term abortions
Kline, who was defeated for re-election in November, last week filed 30 charges against Tiller, accusing him of performing 15 illegal late-term abortions in 2003 on patients ages 10 to 22 and not properly reporting details to the state.
Sedgwick County Judge Paul W. Clark threw out the charges on jurisdictional grounds a day later. Kline asked Clark to reinstate the charges, but the judge rejected that request Wednesday after the Sedgwick County district attorney argued that Kline did not have authority to file the charges.
Asked how the special prosecutor would proceed, Kline replied: "There are numerous options."
Critics have argued that Kline let a personal agenda drive his decisions in the case. He had been investigating abortion providers, and earlier this year he won a two-year legal battle for access to the records of 90 clinic patients.
Tiller's clinic has been a high-profile target of abortion opponents. It was bombed in 1985, and Tiller was shot in both arms by a protester in 1993.
"This appointment of an independent special prosecutor will remove this investigation from a highly charged political process," Kline said Wednesday.
Kline leaves office in three weeks.


Updated : 2021-05-06 20:12 GMT+08:00