Chicago, IL – August 7: Americans United for Life (AUL) today filed an amicus curiae brief in the case Kansas v. Tiller on behalf of twenty Kansas senators and representatives.
The case involves a challenge by late term abortionist George Tiller to a 1998 Kansas law requiring two doctors to sign off on some late-term abortion procedures (that is procedures after the fetus has reached the point of viability and can survive outside of the womb). Having been cited with 19 violations of the law, Tiller now claims that the law is unconstitutional.
However, as the AUL amicus brief demonstrates, U.S. Supreme Court (USSC) precedent—particularly in Casey (1992) and Gonzales (2007)—supports the Kansas statute. According to AUL attorney Mailee R. Smith, lead counsel on the brief, “States have a substantial interest in unborn children once those children reach viability—and any increased cost, delay, or difficulty in obtaining an abortion under the Kansas statute is not an undue burden.”
Not only that, but according to Smith, “Kansas is not alone in requiring some form of physician concurrence for late term abortions: at least 11 other states require it in the abortion context.”
Any claim that precedent does not support the Kansas statute is inappropriate, misapplied, and out of date according to Smith. “From all accounts,” says Smith, “Tiller is focusing on outdated cases and is ignoring that states have substantial interests in the unborn once those children reach viability.”
Smith adds, “A second physician requirement ensures that a woman receives an accurate medical evaluation from a physician other than the one who stands to benefit financially from her abortion. Tiller has been evading the law for years. Now that he has been brought up on criminal charges, he is still trying to evade the law. Fortunately, the law is not on his side.”
Read the full text of the brief (PDF)
About Americans United for Life
Americans United for Life (AUL) is a nonprofit, public-interest law and policy organization whose vision is a nation in which everyone is welcomed in life and protected in law. The first national pro-life organization in America, AUL has been committed to defending human life through vigorous judicial, legislative, and educational efforts at both the federal and state levels since 1971. The Wall Street Journal has profiled AUL, and PBS’s Frontline program chronicled AUL’s successful efforts in Mississippi.
Matthew Eppinette, Communications Director