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Parkinson vetoes proposed changes to Kansas abortion laws

Two-thirds majority for override lacking

April 15, 2010, 2:16 p.m. Updated April 15, 2010, 2:25 p.m.


— Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson on Thursday vetoed a bill that rewrites the state’s laws regulating late-term abortions.

The measure struck down by Parkinson would prevent any late-term abortion provider from establishing a practice in Kansas following the May 2009 murder of Dr. George Tiller. Tiller’s Wichita practice was one of the few in the nation performing late-term procedures.

The measure would allow patients or family members to sue doctors if they have evidence an abortion violated state law.

Also, doctors would be required to report more details to the state about abortions performed after the 21st week of pregnancy and involving fetuses considered viable, or able to survive outside the womb.

Legislators approved the bill before taking their spring recess but appeared to lack the two-thirds majority of votes to override the veto. Both chambers return April 28 to resume the legislative session.

Parkinson’s veto follows two late-term abortion measures signed Tuesday by Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman.

One bars abortions at and after 20 weeks of pregnancy based on assertions that fetuses feel pain at that time. The current standard is viability.

That bill is partially meant to shut down one of the few late-term abortion providers in the country, Dr. LeRoy Carhart. Carhart was a friend of Tiller and has expressed interest in reopening Tiller’s practice, leading to the Kansas legislation.

Heineman also signed a bill requiring doctors or other health professionals to assess whether women have risk factors that could lead to mental or physical problems after an abortion.

Tiller’s clinic was among a few in the U.S. performing abortions in the last weeks of pregnancy, and a 1998 Kansas law targeted abortions of viable fetuses after the 21st week of pregnancy.

It permitted such abortions only to save a woman or girl’s life or to prevent “substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.” Doctors must file a report with the state on each procedure.

But the state hasn’t required physicians to list the exact medical diagnosis justifying each abortion, just a statement saying it was necessary to preserve her health. The state has said none of the more than 3,000 late-term abortions of viable fetuses since the law took effect was to save a patient’s life.

Abortion opponents maintain that allowing lawsuits against doctors would help patients and their families hold physicians accountable for substandard care.

Supporters and critics disagree over whether the bill’s contents would be struck down by the courts as unconstitutional.

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Steve Jacob 8 years, 2 months ago

Why even bring this up this year if you know Brownback will sign it next year?

madameX 8 years, 2 months ago

My question exactly! Didn't they know Parkinson would veto this? Not that I'm complaining, I'm glad to see it shot down.

ivalueamerica 8 years, 2 months ago

They both knew Parkinson would vetoe it and that it would not hold up under Constitutional scrutiny, but since they think it will be a hot button issue for the next election.

You do not think they actually care about governing the state do you? they just try to jokey for position, nothing more.

SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years, 2 months ago

Unless, of course, that child in the womb is actually a child in the womb.

ivalueamerica 8 years, 2 months ago

It is prety clear that the law does not see a fetus as a child, no matter how much you disagree.

It is pretty clear that the law does not force women toi breed against their will, no matter how much you disagree.

It is pretty clear that the GOP is spending a lot of time, energy and money spinning their wheels for the emotion of the issue to leverage votes, but not actually addressing the more urgent needs of the state, no matter how much you disagree.

You are simply disagreeable, it does not make you right.

ivalueamerica 8 years, 2 months ago

And have been able to for years, and yet it has no impact on the fact that abortion is a Constitutional legal matter how much you disagree.

Cait McKnelly 8 years, 2 months ago

Murder of a pregnant woman does not violate the fetus's rights nor give the fetus status as a person. The murderer is charged with dual murder because he/she violated the mother's right to carry the fetus to term. In a sense the murderer "aborted" the pregnancy but without the legal will or consent of the mother. I've researched this pretty thoroughly (I'm actually pretty sure you have too) and I've explained this on this board before. "I buy ya books and buy ya books and all ya do is look at the pictures."

d_prowess 8 years, 2 months ago

Perhaps you do this so that it can be used for upcoming election banter?

Tom McCune 8 years, 2 months ago

Thanks, gov. The theo-fascists who keep pushing this stuff don't even understand their own scriptures.

whats_going_on 8 years, 2 months ago

I agree...while I'm pro-choice, I think that unless the health of the mom or baby is in danger, if you're going to get an abortion, do it right away. Its disgusting to wait and then do it later... unnecessary pain for all parties involved.

9070811 8 years, 2 months ago

It is not always a choice to wait later. Things happen that cause the need for a late term abortion.

Cait McKnelly 8 years, 2 months ago

Pulmonary hypoplasia, cerebral edema/hydrocephalus with loss of brain function, tetraology of Fallot; shall I continue? i have a t least a dozen more.

SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years, 2 months ago

"The current standard is viability."

The current standard is nothing.

In Kansas, if a mother claims the baby will cause her a headache, she can get a third-trimester abortion.

beawolf 8 years, 2 months ago

Too bad your mother didn't have a headache.

madameX 8 years, 2 months ago

I'm not trying to be a smart-a$$ at all, but do you have any proof that this has actually happened? I find it very difficult to believe that a) someone would want a late term abortion just because of a headache (or other minor health concern) and b) a doctor would actually sign off on that. The statute does not permit it (I think is says "substandial and irreversable harm to a major bodily function"; a headache does not exactly meet that standard), and even if the doctor wasn't worried about the criminal aspect of it I would think there would be some professional repercussions (suspension of license, etc) that might result that do not have to meet the same standard of evidence and are kept confidential and therefore can include evidence that a criminal trial couldn't that might occur and would be more likely.

Unless you're deliberately doing the slippery slope thing to illustrate that we should just assume the worst about everyone seeking a late term abortion, in which case that's pretty cynical.

SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years, 2 months ago

The reason Kansas was known as the late-term abortion capitol of the world was because its laws regulating third-trimester abortions are unenforceable. A woman can claim that any discomfort associated with pregnancy will produce "irreversible harm."

The baby will cause anxiety? Irreversible harm. The baby will be a financial burden? Irreversible harm.

And because Kansas "hasn’t required physicians to list the exact medical diagnosis justifying each abortion," as the article states, the abortion doctor doesn't have to prove anything.

madameX 8 years, 2 months ago

I was under the impression that Kansas was "known as the late-term abortion capitol" because it was the only state in a huge swath of the country where there was a doctor willing to perform them, not because our laws are so lax or unenforcable. I don't think that's the case anymore thanks to Mr. Vigilante Justice for Fetusus Roeder.

Sure a woman can claim any discomfort will produce irreversible harm, but just because she walks into the doctor and tries doesn't mean she would succeed. What I was asking was do you have and actutal proof that someone has obtained a late term abortion for one of your above mentioned lame reasons? You're complaining about a problem that might not even exist and assuming that just because the state doesn't violate the privacy of the patient by requiring an exact medical diagnosis that said medical diagnosis must not be valid.

Cait McKnelly 8 years, 2 months ago

BS (I'd use the full word but it would get the post removed. ) Prove it!

Ken Lewis 8 years, 2 months ago

If he is so worried about a woman’s “right to sexual freedom”, why did he sign a new law that allows prosecutors to seize assets in prostitution rings? Is this KS govt’s answer to the budget crisis? Profit from illegal prostitution by seizing assets?

Simply, why is it “a woman’s body” with respect to abortion, but that same body is suddenly govt property with respect to prostitution. It is the same body. Is it hers or not?

beawolf 8 years, 2 months ago

You're assuming the woman (prostitute) is a willing participant. With over 30 years of social work, I can assure you that most prostitution is little more than human bondage.

SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years, 2 months ago


You're a social worker, yet your earlier comment to my post indicates you wish my mother had aborted me. Can you explain the incongurency?

Cait McKnelly 8 years, 2 months ago

Because abortion is legal and prostitution is not. Don't like it? Get SCOTUS to change the ruling (good luck with that!)

Jeanne Cunningham 8 years, 2 months ago

I've said it before and I'll say it again, If YOU don't want one YOU don't have to get one.

mr_right_wing 8 years, 2 months ago

Abortion not only destroys an innocent defenseless life,,, It removes a big chunk of that woman's soul... and further deminishes our society's "humanity"...

Infanticide is cold, heartless and wrong.

Ricky_Vaughn 8 years, 2 months ago

Thanks for shoving your morals down our throats. I think I'm gonna hurl now...

mr_right_wing 8 years, 2 months ago

I am not the least bit ashamed of valuing all human life, and I make no appologies; even in the less developed stages, and especially defenseless. But if you want to think that human life is as disposable as a used paper's sad, but it's a free country. I'm glad you weren't aborted by the way.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 2 months ago

"I am not the least bit ashamed of valuing all human life,"

Unless they happen to be within the blast radius of a 500-lbs. bomb dropped from a USAF jet-- then they are merely collateral damage.

gatekeeper 8 years, 2 months ago

Yeah, MR right wing wants to tell us what it does to a woman. Get a uterus and then you can talk about what it does to a woman.

9070811 8 years, 2 months ago

No kidding, let's implant him with ovaries, the womb, the whole nine yards. Some breasts too. Then he can feel the feelings of a women in modern society who are objectified and threatened by assault and rape. Then maybe he can consider how scared a womb is and how a violation of it can tear a woman into pieces. Perhaps he will feel the bond of his womb and understand that he knows what is best for his womb. Not the government.

jimmyjms 8 years, 2 months ago

If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.

3crookedhearts 8 years, 2 months ago

And it's good to know that YOU feel that way, mr. right wing. The problem is, most Americans DON'T believe this is the case and the sad truth is, if abortions were illegal they would be happening just as frequently in back alleys and in tenements, with unsanitary and unsafe conditions for the mother. Abortion rights exist to ensure that the people who DON'T believe the things that you do are given the safest and most humane environment in which to terminate their pregnancy (if pro-lifers are not trying to blow up the clinic). Hugs.

esj2003 8 years, 2 months ago

I'd love to see the evidence for "it removes a big chuck of that woman's soul." Sounds interesting.

mr_right_wing 8 years, 2 months ago

I'm not just assuming that; I've had the opportunity to talk with several women who've had abortions (a little more than 10). Some felt they had no other choice, some did it impolsively....but thankfully all had a significant degree of remorse or sorrow. A few (not all) said there is no way they'd ever do it again, regardless of circumstances and consiquences. Not having women's reproductive parts makes my value of life any less valid. I'm also glad you weren't aborted.

Cait McKnelly 8 years, 2 months ago

On the contrary I have read the stories of well over a 1000 women who had abortions. Many had sorrow and grief surrounding the circumstances that made them abort but none had any regret for the procedure itself . Indeed a number expressed gratitude that they had the procedure available.

lurn 8 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

newmedia 8 years, 2 months ago

People can do as they wish within the law. Just don't make everyone else pay for their actions.

Roadkill_Rob 8 years, 2 months ago

I'm going to assume that every right wing conservative likes that Governor Parkinson vetoed this bill b/c they don't want any more government regulations infringing on individual rights, correct?

Roadkill_Rob 8 years, 2 months ago

Believe what you want, it still doesn't change the fact that you want the government to regulate abortion. What are you, a LIBERAL!?!?

Cait McKnelly 8 years, 2 months ago

Not only that, it means fewer people on the welfare rolls sucking up their hard earned tax dollars.

Kevin Randell 8 years, 2 months ago

You know, I love to pop in to the LJWorld especially when this debate is in discussion. It makes me laugh how both sides love to attack one another. Bottom line, each person has their reason why they are pro-life or pro-choice. In the end, we will all be accountable for the decisions we make. Like I said, both have their reasons and I respect that we can agree to disagree. I am just glad that ALL of our parents were pro-life. Because if they were pro-choice, to the full extent, we wouldn't be here posting would we? :) Have a good night everyone....oh...and try to be nice to one another. :)

sk_in_ks 8 years, 2 months ago

Sorry, you can't assume that all of our parents were pro-life. Many/most of them chose to have a baby, on purpose, in some sort of planned fashion.

Cait McKnelly 8 years, 2 months ago

You would be wrong. My mother (born in 1928) was one of the most pro choice people I ever met.

Grundoon Luna 8 years, 2 months ago

There's that PAD stuff again! Barry, you still got your period!?!

Tex 8 years, 2 months ago

toe (anonymous) says…

One hundred years from now, this issue will still stir debate and division. Only then, a baby might be viable at 8 weeks.

That's part of the problem with defending abortion. As viability is pushed back, how long can people continue to deny that a baby in the womb is still a baby? Will it be legal to have an abortion on a given Wednesday but criminal to do it the Tuesday before? At what hour of the given day does a baby spring to life? And I would have to disagree with the person who commented (from outside the womb, I'm guessing) that "the law" does not view the fetus as a person. Several states have laws that, in some circumstances, regard a baby in the womb as a person. See:

chic (anonymous) says…

I've said it before and I'll say it again, If YOU don't want one YOU don't have to get one.

Chic, the same language was used to justify legal slavery in the United States.

kimmydarling 8 years, 2 months ago

People don't understand what pro-choice means. My mother is pro-choice. She CHOSE to continue gestating and giving birth to three of her four pregnancies. She didn't have her kids because she's pro-life, but because she made the choice to continue them. It's funny the whole "well your mom was pro-life!" comment happens quite a bit, most women I know with kids are vehemently pro-choice.

Why? Because they know what it is to carry a child and then raise it, and they feel each woman should be allowed to choose if that is the path they want or if they wish to terminate. Thank God they maintain their sanity.

Pro-Choice isn't out there screaming Abortions for Everyone! YAY! Some don't even like the idea of pregnancy termination...but they're pro-choice because in the end they know that it is the woman's right to choose and not theirs. They're not pro death, pro-abortion or anti-babies. Simply very much for giving people the choice.

bleedgreen69 8 years, 2 months ago

wow, this is a good one....I really like the people that think they know what it is like being a woman.....about to have an unwanted child as a result of rape. Are they the ones that are waiting in the adoption centers waiting to further "save the life" of that child by adopting them right away. What a nice jesture that would be. Probably not! They just think they know what is best for everyone, especially the rape victims, or the young women that don't even know that they were raped because there father or uncle told them it was okay.....come on. Get rid of the good ole' boys mentality.

AnnaUndercover 8 years, 2 months ago

No one's objective opinion on this subject matters.

Women will do anything to control their reproductive lives.

You can offer safe, legal abortion and alternatives to it, but even if you don't, a woman whose survival instinct is provoked will react accordingly, regardless of anyone else's opinion.

Cait McKnelly 8 years, 2 months ago

Good answer, Anna. My father's half sister died in 1932 from an illegal abortion when her husband threatened to leave her if she had another baby. With no job skills, no education and no means to support the children she already had, in the middle of the Great Depression, risking her life to save her marriage was a survival instinct for both her and her already born children.

AnnaUndercover 8 years, 2 months ago

Wow, Cait. That is horrendous. It's insane that that happened. How revealing. I want to say something else, but it's awful in so many ways I don't really know how to approach it. I'm really sorry for what happened to your relative.

Thanks, verity. I would also like us to stop wasting time building roadblocks for determined women.

verity 8 years, 2 months ago

Nobody has said it better. And in 47 words. Can we go do something useful now---solve the budget crisis or something?

Richard Heckler 8 years, 2 months ago

I've never met anyone who was pro abortion. Pro choice is not pro abortion it is simply smart enough to realize that medical procedures/surgeries when necessary are best left performed by those trained to do so in the proper facilities.

Most people we know are pro choice/pro life and pro quality of life. Mothers by nature find it difficult to give up children no matter the circumstances therefore it's best if those decisions be left to the individuals involved. It's is time for the politicians to step aside and leave the practice of medical procedures to the medical profession.

Are politicians the moral giants of our time......hardly! These folks accept corrupt special interest money,they cannot manage the states' finances AND they cannot see that new energy sources = thousands of jobs for Kansas. AND they are against public education AND against providing comprehensive sex/parenting education that could prevent abortions.

Our children could learn to discuss openly:

  • Abortion
  • Birth Control
  • Body Image
  • Emergency Contraception (Morning After Pill)
  • Men's Sexual Health
  • Pregnancy
  • Relationships
  • Sex & Sexuality
  • Sexual Orientation & Gender * Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
  • Women's Health

You'd think by now we all would know that without sperm there would no need for pregnancy or abortion. It's time to focus on the male population and maybe come up with not-viagara.

AnnaUndercover 8 years, 2 months ago

When I'm a rich old eccentric lady (should the day ever come), I will totally fund the science behind Not-Viagra.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 2 months ago

* Abstinence
* Birth Control Implant (Implanon)
* Birth Control Patch (Ortho Evra)
* Birth Control Pill
* Birth Control Vaginal Ring (NuvaRing)
* Birth Control Shot (Depo-Provera)
* Birth Control Sponge (Today Sponge)
* Breastfeeding
* Cervical Cap (FemCap)
* Condom
* Diaphragm
* Emergency Contraception (Morning After Pill)
* Female Condom
* Fertility Awareness-Based Methods (FAMs)
* Outercourse
* Spermicide
* Sterilization for Women
* Vasectomy
* Withdrawal (Pull Out Method)

People have used birth control methods for thousands of years. Today, we have many safe and effective birth control methods available to us.

All of us who need birth control want to find the method that is best for us. And each of us has different needs when choosing a method. If you are trying to choose, learning about each method may help you make your decision. Use the list of birth control methods above to read about the methods.

Only you can decide what is best for you. And we are here to help. A staff member at your local Planned Parenthood health center can discuss all of your birth control options with you and help you get the birth control you need.

ferrislives 8 years, 2 months ago

I found an interesting fact on page 3 of this website about "Partial Birth Abortions" in Kansas:

Along with a count of procedures, it states the following:

"No Partial Birth procedures have been performed in Kansas since October 1999."

That's 11 years ago, so why is everyone always tripping about partial birth abortions in this state?

kimmydarling 8 years, 2 months ago

Because "late term" doesn't cause nearly as much pearl clutching. They need to have an incendiary term for it so they can scream in moral outrage

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