Kansas: Medical license revoked over late-term abortion referrals and incomplete mental health exams

By Amanda Shore

Dr. Ann Kristin Neuhaus’s medical license was revoked today, June 23, 2012, for referring her patients for late-term abortions and incomplete mental health exams on her patients in 2003. Insufficient medical records were found, showing that she did not gather enough information to have completed thorough exams. She stated that she didn’t include more information to protect her patients’ privacy. In other cases, Neuhaus had described some patients as suicidal but never recommended further treatment. Many of these cases were those of children from ages 10 to 18.

Neuhaus referred some of her patients to Dr. George Tiller for late-term abortions from 1999 to 2006. This was also a result of incomplete mental health assessments. She concluded in some women’s cases that, because of their mental state, they were not fit to be mothers.

“It’s all about abortion rights, absolutely,” Neuhaus said after the State Board of Healing Rights’s decision. “If this wasn’t in the Bible Belt, I think this wouldn’t even be happening.” She had performed abortions herself in the past up to 2002, but that was when she stopped. She remained unapologetic as state regulars stripped her of her medical license. However, she still has an inactive medical license that will allow her to provide limited charity care and has asked that her license be fully reinstated.

During his life, Tiller was among the few that would terminate a pregnancy lat late into term. Because of his clinic, Kansas has remained at the center of the nation’s debate over abortion. In 2011, Kansas became more strict with abortion laws as far as health and safety rules and limited private health insurance.

It was required for Neuhaus to provide Tiller with a second opinion before he would perform the abortions. The judge presiding over Neuhaus’ hearing concluded that Neuhaus was using a “PsychManager Lite” computer program where she would answer yes or no questions about a patient and assigned the diagnosis that the computer program gave. The reports that Neuhaus gave Tiller were compiled with the findings of this computer program and had very few, if any, citations from the patients’ statements or information from her own examinations.

Anti-abortion groups in the area, like Operation Rescue and Kansas for Life, have been raising questions about Neuhaus’s practices for years.

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