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Archive for Saturday, May 20, 2006

Citing privacy, governor vetoes abortion reporting bill

May 20, 2006

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— Legislation requiring physicians to furnish the state with additional information when they perform abortions was vetoed Friday by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, who said it crossed the line on privacy issues.

The bill would have required physicians to inform state health officials about each late-term abortion and whether the fetus was abnormal. It also would have expanded how much information doctors would have had to report, including how a woman would have been harmed without the procedure.

When the bill was debated by legislators, supporters said it would give Kansans better data about abortion, while opponents called it an attempt to harass doctors and clinics.

In her veto message, Sebelius said the bill did nothing to reduce the number of abortions in Kansas.

"Instead, it will force women to provide intimate, sensitive health information to the government," she wrote. "Privacy is a fundamental concern to all Kansans."

She also noted, "As we have seen in recent months, we can never take our health privacy for granted."

That was viewed by some as an oblique reference by the Democratic governor to Republican Atty. Gen. Phill Kline's ongoing dispute with two abortion clinics over access to their patients' records.

Sebelius also noted that abortions have declined 11 percent in Kansas during her three years as governor and "my administration will continue to work to reduce these numbers even more."

State health officials say 10,542 abortions were reported in Kansas last year, of which 4,914 were for out-of-state residents and 5,628 for Kansans.

The governor said she would sign legislation next week to increase tax credits for adoption and will also sign a state budget that contains a 65 percent funding increase for a program that counsels women on options other than abortions.

"These common-sense steps will reduce abortions and will provide real solutions for women facing this tragic decision," she said.

Sebelius, who supports abortions rights, also noted in her veto message: "Personally, I believe abortion is wrong."

She vetoed bills in 2003 and 2005 to single out abortion clinics for special regulation by state health officials.

Physicians already have to send the health department annual reports on the number of abortions they have performed. When the fetus is at least 22 weeks old, the doctor must show that it couldn't survive outside the womb or that the patient faced death or "substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function."

This was the governor's fourth veto this year, including one on a bill allowing Kansans to carry concealed handguns. Legislators overrode that veto, and the bill became law effective July 1. So far, she has signed 196 bills from the 2006 session.

Comments

xenophonschild 8 years, 7 months ago

Good for you, Kathleen. Women have the right to abortion, and those who disagree are just going to have to live with it.

erichaar 8 years, 7 months ago

How sad that we have Kathleen Sebelius as governor.

xenophonschild 8 years, 7 months ago

And . . . she's going to be re-elected! Hurrah!

coldandhot 8 years, 7 months ago

Its sad. Sebelius will go down in state history as one of the worst governors ever. Time will tell the tale. I sure hope one of the other candidates for governor will take over and end her political machine. More lies have come out of the governor's office than every before

xenophonschild 8 years, 7 months ago

parkay:

Life is full of trifling vicissitudes; one you are going to have to endure is being ruled by those more enlightened, with a better grip on reality, than your sad, pathetic mind.

"Abortion mill"? I wonder, if a crackhead gangbanger raped a thirteen-year-old acquaintance and she got pregnant, would you still oppose abortion for her . . . even if she desperately wanted one?

Devon Kissinger 8 years, 7 months ago

We'll soon see if our Governor really cares about privacy or just the abortion rights. There is another bill regarding the privacy of Kansans on her desk and awaiting her signature. Time will tell.

Godot 8 years, 7 months ago

It is not legal for a pregnant 14 year old to marry the father of her child because that might cover up an incidence of abuse, but it is legal to for a pregnant 14 year old to get an abortion without notifying her parents, and the abortionnists are not required to report the details of these abortions to any State authorities because we need to respect the privacy of the 14 year old (who has been raped).

So saith Kathleen Sebelius.

Right.

Pass me the joint.

bettie 8 years, 7 months ago

Godot, 14-year-olds do have to notify their parents, as do any other minors, under state law. A lot of details about all abortions are already required to be reported to the state. In fact, you can read the annual report of that information here: http://www.kdheks.gov/hci/absumm.html.

Click on any of the "Data Summaries" for the reports. Click on the appendices to read all of the statutes governing abortion in Kansas.

Check your facts.

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