Still, the judge's decision is likely to upset abortion opponents who've been watching Neuhaus for years and pressing the board to impose sanctions against her.
"The awful irony is the court is bending over backward to insure an abortionist is not denied the due process that thousands of unborn children and their mothers were denied in Kansas abortion clinics," said Kathy Ostrowski, legislative director for Kansans for Life, who attended Theis' brief hearing Friday.
Neuhaus had an inactive medical license that allowed her to provide limited charity care. She had asked the board to reinstate her to a full, active license.
She provided second opinions for Tiller from 1999 to 2006. He was among a few U.S. physicians known to perform abortions in the final weeks of pregnancy, and he was shot to death in his church in May 2009 by a man professing strong anti-abortion views.
The disciplinary case against Neuhaus examined how she concluded that each of the patients had serious mental health issues and that an abortion was advisable. The law at the time required Tiller to obtain an independent second opinion that a patient faced significant and permanent harm if the pregnancy continued.
The case is Ann K. Neuhaus v. Kansas State Board of Healing Arts, No. 12C873 in Shawnee County District Court.
Shawnee County District Court: http://www.shawneecourt.org/
Kansas State Board of Healing Arts: http://www.ksbha.org/
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