Wichita, KS – Accused late-term abortionist George Tiller took the stand in his own defense today and testified about his relationship to fellow abortionist Ann Kristin Neuhaus. Tiller is charged with having committed 19 post-viability abortions using Neuhaus even though she was illegally affiliated with him.
Tiller testified that in 1999 the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts began to require that the second referral for post-viability abortions come from a Kansas physician, so that the Board would have jurisdiction over that physician should discipline ever become necessary. He considered challenging the constitutionality of the law in Federal Court.
Tiller testified that on July 21, 1999, he received a call from Larry Buening, who was the Executive Director of the KSBHA at that time. Tiller said that Buening told him, “Why don’t you use Kris Neuhaus and that will take care of all of your problems.”
Tiller admitted that Buening told him not to quote him because he would deny the conversation. The only evidence that the conversation took place was a few scribbled notes in Tiller’s organizational calendar. His notes indicated that Neuhaus as glad to do the consultations because she needed the money, something Neuhaus denied during her testimony.
Tiller’s testimony under the questioning of his attorney, Dan Monnat, seemed well rehearsed and even memorized. But under cross examination by Assistant Attorney General Barry Disney, Tiller appeared to have some difficulty processing the questions and giving extemporaneous responses…..
At one point, Tiller began to refer to his relationship with Neuhaus saying, “When she was working for me,“ but quickly issued a correction stating, “when she was providing consultations for patients.”
“I think the first statement was truer than the rehearsed correction,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “In an unguarded moment, he revealed the way he normally considered her relationship to him.”
Another dramatic moment regarding how Tiller actually viewed his affiliation with Neuhaus came when he discussed how long it took to make arrangements for Neuhaus to begin consulting for him.
“When someone new was going to join your organization, it would take time [to set up],” he said.
Tiller testified that he approved the amount of Neuhaus’ consulting fee. She charged $250-300 per consultation.
Tiller admitted that he profited financially by Neuhaus consulting with his patients. He estimated that he did 250-300 post-viability abortions in 2003 at an average cost of $6,000. He said that without Neuhaus’ help, he would not have been able to do those abortions.
He told the court that his overhead is 62% of the fees generated by his clinic. His salary is 38% of the gross income of his clinic. Tiller never said how much money he made from abortions prior to viability.
“Doing the math, Tiller personally made at least $684,000 killing viable babies in 2003, and we don’t know how much he made killing non-viable babies,” said Newman. “But we do know it would be a huge blow to the Tiller income if he were unable to do the late-term abortions for lack of a second Kansas referring physician.”