Sunday, September 18, 2011

Dr. Tiller's Late Abortion Patients

Last night, I went to make a cup of tea. All the cups I normally use were in the sink (whoops), so I reached to the back of the shelf where I keep my "special" mugs, and I pulled a mug for Women's Health Care Services, Dr. Tiller's now defunct clinic.

There has been renewed interest in his clinic and the doctors he worked with. More specifically, Dr. Ann Kristin Neuhaus, who provided the legally required second opinion for Dr. Tiller's late abortion cases from 1999-2006. 11 cases are under review, because someone filed a complaint to the State Board of Healing Arts.

I read about it in this article. One of the patients in question, a 15 year old from Illinois, bothered me in particular because the author of the article makes it seem like she got an abortion because she didn't like basketball anymore, and that's it. The cases described in the article are missing a lot of details in general, ie, was the 15 year old pregnant because her 22 year old boyfriend impregnated her? Did she spend 20 weeks trying to get an abortion and was unable to raise funds and ended up at Dr. Tiller's clinic? If there is anything my experience in the field has taught me, it's that the reasons and psychology of a woman seeking an abortion is very complex. Just like people in general. We aren't one-dimensional images that can be fully understood in a few sentences. People reading these articles can easily jump to the conclusion Dr. Tiller was doing abortions on young women for totally ridiculous reasons. He didn't do that.

Dr. Tiller didn't take abortion lightly and did not give abortions to people who were flippant about it. He just didn't. I am thinking because of HIPAA laws the article couldn't reveal more, and as Dr. Neuhaus stated herself, she was worried anti-choice people would get ahold of these documents. Clearly her fears were correct. Obviously, if Dr. Neuhaus was cutting corners and not properly documenting these cases, then that is wrong. I could only find articles about this from the anti-choice perspective, so it's hard to fully determine what was going on her.

It just saddens me that anti-choicers are still obsessing over this clinic which is now closed. Dr. Tiller has been dead for 2.5 years. RIP.

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