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Archive for Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sebelius signs ultrasound bill

March 28, 2009

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— Gov. Kathleen Sebelius signed a bill Friday to ensure that women and girls seeking abortions are allowed to see ultrasound images or hear their fetus’ heartbeat before the procedure.

The new law will take effect July 1, making Kansas the 13th state to require that abortion providers offer patients a chance to see ultrasound images, according to national groups.

Sebelius is an abortion rights supporter who has vetoed other legislation sought by anti-abortion groups, but she has not specifically criticized ultrasound requirements.

Spokeswoman Beth Martino said Sebelius concluded that this year’s bill had no constitutional flaws, didn’t jeopardize patient privacy and did not block access to health services.

Sebelius is awaiting U.S. Senate confirmation as President Barack Obama’s nominee as federal secretary of health and human services. Anti-abortion groups in Washington have criticized her appointment, and Kansas abortion foes had predicted she would sign the bill to appear more moderate.

In a statement, Sebelius said Kansans want politicians to move beyond such divisive legislative debates and tackle issues such as improving health care and controlling health care costs.

“Now, more than ever, we need to focus on those priorities which unite the people of Kansas,” she said.

The bill amends a state law requiring doctors to obtain a patient’s informed consent before performing an abortion. The measure says abortion providers who use ultrasound or monitor fetal heartbeats must give their patients access to the images or sound at least 30 minutes before an abortion.

Supporters of the bill said it will ensure women have enough information to make decisions about abortion and protect their health.

But Peter Brownlie, president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, said its Overland Park clinic already allows women to see ultrasound images.

He said few women accept the offer. Also, the clinic rarely monitors fetal heartbeats, he said.

“We had hoped that Governor Sebelius would veto the bill, and we’re disappointed that she did not,” Brownlie said. “We give people complete information so they can make their own decisions.”

Providers would have to provide information about free counseling for medically difficult pregnancies or services available if a baby would be stillborn or die shortly after birth.

The bill also requires providers to post a notice that says it is illegal for anyone, regardless of their relationship, to try to force a woman or girl to have an abortion. The notice also would have to say: “You have the right to change your mind at any time prior to the actual abortion.”

Comments

kansanjayhawk 5 years ago

Amazing how a pro-abort sometimes hands the pro-life side a victory. Thank God for her signiture on this small step toward sanity and protecting women from these abortionists!

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Ray Parker 5 years ago

Bilious Sebelius should tell us how many ambulance runs went between abortionist quack Tiller's filthy, unsafe, criminal abortion mill and Wesley Medical Center's emergency room during the last 5 years, before she talks about improving health care. Bilious Sebelius only signed the ultrasound/informed consent bill because she figured out she couldn't beat the veto-proof majority vote, and because her veto would be used to smear her in front of the U.S. Senate next week. That finally trumped her love of abortion mill profits, a favorite cash cow for Democrats. Now if the new ultrasound and informed consent requirements are only properly enforced, we will see Kansas abortion mills shut down for lack of profit, as most mothers cancel abortions after seeing the intended contract killing victim on a sonogram.

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