Photo credit: Stuart Productions. Originally published in the Huffington Post.
This is what the war on abortion access looks like in Kansas: betraying the confidence of medical patients, pretending that forcing 10 year olds to birth rapists' babies is no big deal, bankrupting doctors, driving one man into a frenzy of anti-choice hate so much so that he murders someone, and allowing convicted terrorists to run the whole thing.
Amanda Marcotte, RH Reality Check
You would not think, for example, that a convicted clinic bomber would have a lot of traction with a state medical board. In Kansas, however, Cheryl Sullenger was able to set in motion a case against Dr. Tiller’s former colleague, Dr. Ann Kristin Neuhaus, that in 2012 took away her license to practice medicine, and has driven her to the brink of financial ruin, and may well stick her with the entire cost of the proceedings against her—a whopping $92,672—should she lose her appeal. Was Sullenger a patient of Dr. Neuhaus who had been injured? The parent or spouse of one? No. She is a senior policy adviser to Operation Rescue who served two years in prison for trying to blow up a clinic in California in 1987, and whose phone number was found in the car of Dr. Tiller’s assassin, Scott Roeder. In Kansas, you see, anyone can bring a case against any doctor, and the anti-choice movement takes full advantage of that legal quirk. And so it came about that the clinic bomber drove a compassionate, caring doctor out of medicine and into near-bankruptcy.
Katha Pollitt, The Nation
WHY THE $92,672 CAMPAIGN GOAL?
Dr. Ann Kristin Neuhaus, a former associate of murdered Kansas abortion doctor George Tiller, has for years been paying the price for her commitment to a woman's right to a safe, legal abortion: death threats, having to go to work wearing a bullet-proof vest, even at one point carrying a gun.
Because of that commitment, the Operation Rescue fanatics in Kansas, with the help of a craven bunch of Republican charlatans in state government, have successfully revoked her medical license, and are now seeking to sock her and her family with the bill for all the "court costs" of the kangaroo-court-like "hearing" by the Kansas Board of Healing Arts whose stacked members stole her hard-earned right to practice medicine.
The bill for this legal lynching: $92,000.
Dave Lindorff, This Can't Be Happening!
The $92,672 campaign goal is symbolic and personal. It is the amount the State of Kansas is seeking to collect for the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts (KSBHA) from me after a highly prejudiced political inquisition. Four of the 9 practicing physicians on the board recused themselves from this judgement against me, but many who are political appointments of Gov. Sam Brownback, are not qualified medical professionals and have taken anti-abortion so-called "pro-life" public positions. To see a list of the members for yourself, click here.
I practiced for years, serving thousands of patients as a family physician before 1991. After the 1991 so-called "Summer of Mercy" in Wichita, Ks. I helped several doctors who were being victimized for performing abortions in Kansas.
Years later, after performing nearly 10,000 pregnancy terminations and providing the state-mandated 2nd opinion for patients of the late Dr. George Tiller, KSBHA lawyers and investigators did what their terrorist sympathizers couldn't - financially destroyed me and my family.
WHAT YOUR DONATION WILL DO IN KANSAS
Some members and employees of KSBHA, Gov. Sam Brownback and a large number of legislators are determined to outlaw safe, legal and clean reproductive health choices for women in Kansas.
Your donation, and the successful culmination of this fundraiser to restore our 10 acre family farm, will send a powerful message for reproductive choice to lawmakers, religious zealots and their terrorist sympathizers in Kansas. A similar life-long message of hope and renewal I gave nearly 10,000 women in my career before being targeted and financially ruined.
I have been persecuted, stalked and the victim of domestic terror campaigns by both the public and underground anti-abortion political groups in Kansas and nationwide. The rate of KSBHA investigations of those providing pregnancy termination is around 50% or higher. For non-providers, it is less than 1%, an astronomical difference and clear evidence of a long-standing prejudicial pattern of administrative practices by the Kansas medical board.
None of my patients have been injured or are party to the complaints filed against me, Instead KSBHA used a complaint filed by a convicted clinic bombing conspirator (one of many of hers that they have pursued over the years) to destroy my career and force my family into bankruptcy.
You can read all the court transcripts, including the former Kansas Attorney General Phil Kline's secret "Inquisition" (yes, that is the official term) against Dr. Tiller at my husband's Welcome to Brownbackistan blog. The itemized bill, including the doughnuts, meals and hotel expenses their "expert" witness incurred are linked here.
My family needs this money to save our run-down 96 year old farmhouse.
Thank you so much for sharing our concern about the fate of women in 21st Century Kansas, and indeed in much of the United States, 40 years post-Roe v. Wade.
Finally, please read this terrifying accounting by Jessica Valenti, writer for The Nation, and ask yourself, what kind of country have we become?
Kris Neuhaus, MD, MPH
ARTICLES & EDITORIALS ABOUT MY REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE WORK IN KANSAS:
Former colleague of abortion doctor Tiller blames state for his death, by Scott Rothschild, Lawrence Journal World, Lawrence, KS Oct. 30, 2011.
Kansas Medical Board Investigates Dr. George Tillers' Colleague, by Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones Magazine, Nov. 3, 2011.
No Healing: The State of Kansas is still chasing one of the last links to Dr. George Tiller, by Justin Kendall, The Pitch Weekly, Kansas City, MO, Nov. 29, 2011.
The Witch Burners Are Alive and Sick in Kansas, 'Stand Up for Dr. Neuhaus Against Kansas Theocracy & Anti-abortion Jihad, by Dave Lindorff, This Can't Be Happening! On-line News Collective, March 3, 2012 (reprinted in Counterpunch)
Ann Kristin Neuhaus, Doctor And Tiller Colleague, Is The Latest Casualty In Kansas Abortion War, by Hunter Stuart, Huffington Post, Aug. 16, 2013.
Fundraising Campaign Aims to Pay Former Abortion Doctor Ann Kristin Neuhaus' $93,000 Trial Bill, by Hunter Stuart, Huffington Post, Aug. 30, 2013.
Hounded by Kansas Political Hacks and And Anti-Abortion Fanatics, a Hero Needs Support, by Dave Lindorff, This Can't Be Happening! On-line News Collective, Sept. 1, 2013.
"I've had enough. If I had to do it again, I wouldn't do it without an army."