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Archive for Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Anti-abortion group opposes measure to increase clinic regulations, inspections

February 15, 2006

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— Legislation heard Tuesday that would increase regulations and inspections of clinics, including abortion clinics, is opposed by the largest anti-abortion group in the state.

The measure would apply to every clinic in the state that does office-based surgery or other medical procedures.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Nancy Kirk, D-Topeka, said efforts in previous legislative sessions to increase regulations on abortion clinics have been defeated "because of the failure to recognize the need for much broader regulation."

Kirk said increased scrutiny of office-based procedures is needed because many procedures once done in hospitals are now done in office settings.

But Kathy Ostrowski, of Kansans for Life, said Kirk's bill was too broad. "We don't know of any public health crisis in clinics other than abortion clinics," Ostrowski said.

Last year, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius vetoed a bill that would have imposed additional regulations on abortion clinics. She said she would sign a measure that covered all surgeries performed under anesthesia in doctors' offices and clinics.

Ostrowski didn't testify on Kirk's bill, but her comments opposing the measure came later Tuesday.

During a hearing on the proposal, physicians and state regulators testified against the bill, saying it would cost too much and would duplicate regulations on physicians who perform office surgeries. The Kansas Board of Healing Arts and Kansas Medical Society oppose the measure.

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