Friday, December 22, 2006

Charges against Kan. abortion doc dumped

WICHITA, Kan. — Kansas' attorney general, a vocal abortion opponent, charged a well-known abortion provider with illegally performing late-term abortions, but a Sedgwick County judge on Friday threw out the charges after less than a day.

Judge Paul W. Clark dismissed the charges against Tiller after Sedgwick County District Attorney Nola Foulston said her office had not been consulted by Kline. Clark signed his one-page order only hours after Kline's complaint against Tiller was unsealed.

Attorney General Phill Kline's office did not immediately return calls seeking comment. Kline lost his re-election bid in November and leaves office in three weeks.

Most of the 30 misdemeanor counts Kline filed against Dr. George Tiller involve abortions performed on patients 17 or younger, including a 10-year-old, according to the criminal complaint unsealed Friday in Sedgwick County District Court.

Tiller's clinic, known for being one of the few in the country to perform late-term abortions, has been a high-profile target of anti-abortion protesters for decades. The clinic was bombed in 1985, and Tiller was shot in both arms by a protester in 1993.

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