Two pro-life groups will launch prayer events next week to coincide with the trial of a Kansas late-term abortion doctor.
George R. Tiller, who has been charged with 19 counts of illegal late-term abortions, will stand a jury trial on Monday, March 16. Last month, a district judge denied a motion by Tiller's attorneys to suppress evidence and dismiss the charges against him.
Operation Rescue, a pro-life activist group based in Wichita, and the Christian Defense Coalition plan to hold prayer events at the court and prayer rallies each night of the trial, which is expected to last two weeks.
The pro-life groups have invited national pro-life leaders and their supporters to come to Wichita, the location of Tiller's abortion clinic, and pray over the trial.
"If convicted, it is possible that Tiller could be out of business within 30 days," said Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition. "We encourage everyone who can to come to Wichita and join us in prayer that Tiller will finally be brought to justice."
Several pro-life groups have cited Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' ties to Tiller as one of the many reason why they oppose her nomination to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. They claim Sebelius won the governorship through large donations from Tiller and later hosted a party in April 2007 honoring Tiller and his entire staff at the governor's mansion.
"We believe that circumstances have been orchestrated by the Hand of God to make this trial of critical importance, especially with Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, one of Tiller's political cronies, seeking confirmation to the Obama cabinet as Secretary of Health and Human Services," said Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue.
"The eyes of the nation will be focused on this, and it will give us a prime opportunity to draw attention to the plight of the pre-born and the political corruption that has enabled Tiller's horrific late-term abortion racket to continue," commented Newman.
Kansas state law requires a second physician to sign off on the validity of late-term abortions. According to the allegations filed by the state's attorney general office, Tiller failed to get the opinion of a second doctor who was financially or legally independent of him before carrying out late-term abortion procedures.
Tiller could face one year in prison for each count on which he is convicted. His attorneys have promised to appeal.
Operation Rescue, however, said the conviction would allow the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts to implement disciplinary actions on complaints filed against Tiller and his abortion staff.