Currently in Kansas, a grand jury is investigating Dr. George Tiller, one of only a handful of late-term abortion providers in the U.S. The petitioners are convinced that the Dr. has violated state regulations pertaining to late termination of pregnancy. This is the second time in as many years the doctor has been thusly investigated as he is a top target of such anti-choice organizations like Kansans for Life (like the rest of Kansans are for death?), and Operation Rescue (they aren’t interested in rescuing ‘born’ children from anything). The citizen petition, which was the impetus for the grand jury, was organized by Operation Rescue & Kansans for Life, and only required about 4,100 signatures. As advocacy groups go, these two are about as biased as they come, with long-standing goals of not only shutting down Tiller’s clinic, which serves several thousand patients per year, (only a small percentage of these are late-term); but to make all abortion illegal in Kansas, as well as across the nation. The citizen-petitioned grand jury dates back to the late 1800’s when it was enacted to help fight political corruption during the railroad boom.
Historically, this citizen’s grand jury has rarely been invoked and never, until recently, to advance a social or moral agenda. This old law, had its use in fighting political corruption to be sure; but in this case it is a tool in active vigilantism. A small minority of people with an agenda, forcing a criminal investigation, definitely usurps the executive power of government. A government populated with persons elected by the majority of voters by the way. But Operation Rescue & Kansans for Life (KFL) have long claimed that prosecutors are too soft on abortion; thus, the witch hunt they’ve orchestrated.
Last Friday, jurors heard testimony from KFL director David Gittrich (“inspired by God to use the grand jury”), and Operation Rescue President Troy Newman, (why are these organizations always headed up by men?). While the testimony is secret in these proceedings, the jurors did receive binders from Operation Rescue that included the citizen petition, a failed criminal complaint from 2006, and photos of several pregnant women entering the clinic during this last fall. These busybodies regularly take pictures of those entering and exiting the clinic, from their protest “camps” just outside the gates and over the fence of the clinic. Of course these photos prove nothing, they are being used in the group’s building of circumstantial “evidence” and of course, to intimidate and shame the women who are often in the midst difficult circumstances.
Additionally, Operation Rescue has indicated that they cannot have prosecution of late-term abortion without subpoenaing private medical records – Doctor/patient privacy and HIPPA be damned, they’re at it again! This taxpayer-funded investigation amounts to little more than religious and moral zealots preaching against women’s right to reproductive freedom.