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Kan. to rule on doctor's license in abortion case

Kansas regulators are expected to decide Friday whether to revoke the medical license of a doctor accused of performing substandard mental health exams on 11 young patients whom she then referred to the late Dr. George Tiller for late-term abortions.

The State Board of Healing Arts will review an administrative judge's February recommendation that it strip Dr. Ann Kristin Neuhaus of her license. The judge concluded that Neuhaus' 2003 examinations of 11 patients ages 10 to 18 were inadequate, saying her records lacked necessary information to show the exams were thorough and that she "seriously jeopardized" the patients' care.

Neuhaus provided the second opinion Tiller needed under Kansas law to perform late-term abortions on the patients at his Wichita clinic. Tiller was murdered in 2009 by a man professing strong anti-abortion views.

Neuhaus has argued that her exams met accepted standards of care, and some abortion rights supporters questioned whether she can receive a fair hearing from the board, with Republican Gov. Sam Brownback, a strong abortion opponent, in office for almost 18 months. Neuhaus can challenge the board's decision in court, and her attorneys expected her to appeal if the board rules against her.

Neuhaus, from Nortonville, a small town about 30 miles north of Lawrence, has an inactive medical license that allows her to provide limited charity care, but she had asked the board to reinstate her to a full, active license.

Abortion opponents have scrutinized Neuhaus for years and raised questions about her activities.

Tiller once faced misdemeanor criminal charges that alleged that by relying on Neuhaus for referrals, he wasn't getting the independent second medical opinion required by state law. He was acquitted two months before his murder, but at the time of his death, a separate complaint was pending before the Board of Healing Arts.

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Online:

Kansas State Board of Healing Arts: http://www.ksbha.org/

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Follow John Hanna on Twitter at www.twitter.com/apjdhanna

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