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Kan. Medical Board Rules Not To Reinstate Medical License of Former Tiller Colleague

January 13, 2015 — Kansas' medical board has decided not to reinstate the medical license of physician Ann Kristin Neuhaus after finding that she kept inadequate records while providing second opinions to the late George Tiller for abortion patients, KMBC reports (KMBC, 1/10).

Specifically, the board ruled on Friday that Neuhaus' inadequate record keeping was serious enough to justify the revocation of her medical license and that she should not be allowed to practice medicine (Hegeman/Hanna, AP/U-T San Diego, 1/9).

Background

Neuhaus' medical license was revoked in 2012 based on allegations that she conducted inadequate exams of abortion patients when providing second opinions for Tiller. Neuhaus conducted the exams to comply with a Kansas law that requires abortion providers to obtain an independent second opinion, concurring that patients seeking abortion care later in pregnancy would face significant and permanent harm if the pregnancy continued. Tiller -- one of a few physicians in the country who provided later abortions -- was shot and killed by an antiabortion-rights activist in 2009.

However, last year, a county judge overturned the Kansas Board of Healing Arts' decision to revoke Neuhaus' license and sent the case back to the medical board. However, the judge upheld the board's finding that she had kept inadequate records. Neuhaus currently has a license to provide charity care but was seeking to have her full medical license reinstated (Women's Health Policy Report, 12/4/14).

Reaction

Julie Burkhart -- CEO of Trust Women, an abortion-rights group, and owner of the South Wind Women's Center -- said Neuhaus had provided quality and necessary health services and called the legal measures taken against her "politically motivated." She added, "It is irresponsible, corrupt and immoral for the state of Kansas and the Kansas Board of Healing Arts to continue this witch-hunt to punish Dr. Neuhaus simply because she helped her patients access necessary reproductive health care."

Bob Eye, Neuhaus' attorney, said that he was reviewing the decision and would "make a determination soon about what to do next." He noted that Neuhaus could request a rehearing or appeal the decision to the district court.

Meanwhile, Cheryl Sullenger -- senior policy adviser for the antiabortion-rights group Operation Rescue, which brought the initial complaint against Neuhaus -- supported the board's decision and stated that she "is glad they revoked [Neuhaus'] license again" (AP/U-T San Diego, 1/9).