GODDARD, Kan. – A group of Republican legislators says the Kansas Supreme Court overstepped its authority when it put on hold a grand jury investigation into a Wichita doctor who is one of the nation’s few late-term abortion providers.

At a news conference at a Lake Afton lodge on Friday, the 17 legislators said the Supreme Court should allow Sedgwick County to move forward with empaneling a grand jury to investigate Dr. George Tiller.

The grand jury was initiated by anti-abortion groups that circulated citizen petitions. Kansas is one of the few states that allow citizens to petition to empanel a grand jury.

The court last month put the grand jury on hold in response to a petition filed Tiller. In the order, Chief Justice Kay McFarland said that it was issued “by virtue of the unique circumstances of this case and to allow full consideration of the petition.”

Tiller’s lawyer, Dan Monnat, said that politics, not the law, is the driving force against Tiller. He said the lawmakers at Friday’s conference “get re-elected by fomenting opposition to a woman’s right to choose.”

“I seriously doubt the court will be bullied by these politicians into acting more quickly or acting at all,” he said.

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The Associated Press