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Archive for Monday, May 16, 2011

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signs bill imposing health, safety regulations on abortion clinics

May 16, 2011, 11:41 a.m. Updated May 16, 2011, 4:33 p.m.

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— Kansas will require annual, unannounced inspections of abortion clinics, impose new health and safety rules specifically for them and prevent them from using telemedicine systems to dispense pregnancy-terminating drugs under legislation signed Monday by Gov. Sam Brownback.

The new law takes effect July 1. Abortion opponents said the changes will protect patients, but abortion rights supporters fear they will drive one or more of Kansas' three abortion clinics out of business.

Brownback, an anti-abortion Republican who took office in January, has publicly called on the GOP-dominated Legislature to create "a culture of life," and it has responded by passing a raft of measures.

Along with mandating annual inspections, the new law directs the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to write standards for exits, lighting, bathrooms and equipment. KDHE would issue annual licenses, have the power to fine clinics and could go to court to shut them down.

The law comes with new rules for administering abortion-inducing medications, such as RU-486. Now, only a licensed physician can provide the drugs, and the doctor must be present when they're dispensed. Both sides agree clinics won't be allowed to dispense such drugs to patients at far-away sites through telemedicine systems.

"In order to make money doing abortions, they have to do a lot of them. Medical regulations slow them down," said Mary Kay Culp, executive director of the anti-abortion group Kansans for Life. "Anything we could do to require the clinics to care more about women than about their profit margins is a good thing."

Kansas' three abortion clinics are all on its side of the Kansas City metropolitan area. A Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri clinic and the Center for Women's Health are both in Overland Park, and the Aid to Women clinic is in Kansas City, Kan.

The late Dr. George Tiller's clinic in Wichita was among a few in the U.S. known to perform late-term abortions, but it has been closed since he was shot to death in May 2009 by an activist professing strong anti-abortion views.

Center for Women's Health employees declined comment, but Peter Brownlie, president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, said the goal of the abortion opponents who pushed the legislation was limiting access to such procedures.

"It has definitely put the clinics in Kansas in a vulnerable position," said Julie Burkhart, a former Tiller employee who founded the abortion rights political action committee Trust Women.

Jeff Pederson, the Aid for Women clinic's administrator, said it will be forced to spend $10,000 immediately on a new exit mandated by the law. He said a requirement that physicians at a clinic have privileges with a hospital within 30 miles is problematic because anti-abortion groups pressure hospitals into revoking or not granting such privileges.

Pederson said he hopes KDHE will write reasonable rules but added, "It may cause some sort of a lawsuit if it becomes unreasonable."

So-called telemedicine abortions are an issue because of the increased use RU-486, which accounted for 26 percent of the abortions in Kansas in 2010. That's about 2,200 abortions, more than double the number in 2005.

A Planned Parenthood affiliate in Iowa uses a telemedicine system to dispense RU-486 through 16 clinics, making the practice an issue for legislators there and in Nebraska. In Kansas, abortion opponents worry that Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri has plans for a similar program.

"There's some concern about abortions occurring without face-to-face consultations or close supervision by physicians," said Rep. Jan Pauls, a Hutchinson Democrat who opposes abortion. "The closer a woman is supervised, the better on that — for the safety of women."

Brownlie said his Planned Parenthood affiliate has no plans for such a program but added the new Kansas law will make using RU-486 more difficult by requiring patients to make several trips to a clinic.

The new law's enactment ends years of frustration for abortion opponents, who've long argued that the state was lax in regulating the clinics and enforcing restrictions on abortion. Similar clinic regulations were vetoed in 2003 and 2005 by Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, an abortion rights supporter.

The health department regulates 158 hospitals and 72 surgical centers, which include the Planned Parenthood clinic and previously included Tiller's clinic. But dozens of other offices and clinics do surgeries under rules imposed by the State Board of Healing Arts, which regulates physicians.

The Board of Healing Arts can suspend or revoke a doctor's license if it finds unsafe conditions or medical practices, but abortion opponents have long accused it of being slow to act. In 2005, the board forced a physician to shut down a Kansas City, Kan., abortion clinic, but the move came two years after complaints surfaced.

"We plead guilty to trying to stop access to negligent and just plain bad medicine," Culp said, arguing that abortion providers aren't likely to face malpractice lawsuits because women feel ashamed about their unwanted pregnancies.

Abortion rights supporters said it's hypocritical to target abortion without addressing other office surgeries that come with a higher risk of complications.

"The only effect is to make the services more expensive and more difficult to obtain, or more difficult to provide," Brownlie said.

Comments

William Weissbeck 3 years, 4 months ago

At least the governor will keep lawyers fully employed in Kansas. Others, not so much.

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BigPrune 3 years, 4 months ago

It's about time. After the doc in KC was keeping fetal parts in styrafoam cups right next to the chinese take-out in the break room fridge, sterilizing his instruments in portable dishwashers next to the toilet, - it's about time.

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notanota 3 years, 4 months ago

Yes, because A) that totally happened, which is why the only references I can google on it lead right back to LJW articles and your previous comments, and B) no existing laws would cover the safe handling of bio hazards and medical equipment.

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BigPrune 3 years, 4 months ago

I saw photographs online at the time after it was discovered. Perhaps google is suppressing the news that goes against their poltical agenda. It did happen.

http://www.ksbha.org/boardactions/Documents/rajanna3.pdf

http://www.pitch.com/2005-06-16/news/mm-mm-good/

http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=44779

License revocation or suspension (6/14/05) Action Taken:Revocation Issued To:Dr Krishna Rajanna; License # 415624 Nature of Complaint:

The Physician's license had been suspended on 3-25-05 for violations of the heatlh code in th condition of the Physician's office.

The Board feels that the Physician's conduct is likely to harm the public.

Action Taken:

The Board has Revoked the Physician's license to practice medicine in Kansas.

State:Kansas Issued By:State of Kansas

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notanota 3 years, 4 months ago

If it happened in 2005, that explains why there are no news links to the incident, but adding a link to WND doesn't exactly win you points for credibility.

The actual medical complaint (from an unannounced inspection) was considerably less sensational than your description. Thanks for that link. The clinic was also apparently shut down using existing laws. So uh, yeah, how exactly is this law going to stop the sort of thing that the existing laws already stopped?

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jmadison 3 years, 4 months ago

Not K.C. but Philadelphia. The state of Pennsylvania was derelict in their duty to inspect medical clinics. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20028896-504083.html

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ferrislives 3 years, 4 months ago

That case really freaked me out when I read about it some months ago. Regardless of how you feel about abortion, I think that everyone can agree that what he did was absolutely disgusting, and he should be sentenced to prison for a very long time so that others can put some scissors to him.

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 3 years, 4 months ago

And the Brownback crusade to abolish lawful and safe abortion services in Kansas continues to satisfy the great unwashed voters of western Kansas who voted for this dumb a$$ for governer.

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kansanjayhawk 3 years, 4 months ago

Lawful and safe? I guess you have not been reading the information about some of these filthy clinics. Women have died right here in Kansas and it is about time we put reasonable health and safety regulations in place

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Cait McKnelly 3 years, 4 months ago

You have links/proof (from credible sources) to back up your statements?

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notanota 3 years, 4 months ago

Coat hangers are much safer.

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ksjayhawk74 3 years, 4 months ago

This is a set-up to provide the legal tools Brownback wants to just shut down abortion clinics completely.

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kansanjayhawk 3 years, 4 months ago

Supreme Ct. Roe v. Wade decision limits the power of the governor. However, he does have the power to make sure thes clinics are clean and sanitary and that abortion is being provided in a "safe" manner for women. Sadly, it is never safe for the dismembered unborn child!

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Cait McKnelly 3 years, 4 months ago

And I suppose forcing women to watch sonos (as they do in OK) is justified as part of the "safety" factor?

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notanota 3 years, 4 months ago

And why the new regulations? Don't existing laws already specify safety standards?

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beatrice 3 years, 4 months ago

Well that should bring about some jobs.

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kuguardgrl13 3 years, 4 months ago

Oh yeah, this legislation will definitely create jobs, boost the economy, and improve the quality of our schools! /sarcasm/

Now to my real opinions... Go right ahead, Brownback. Regulate those abortion clinics! If a woman is desperate enough, she still has the good 'ol wire hanger. I don't think I would have the guts to get an abortion myself, but I don't see any reason why the government should be able to tell a woman what she can or can't do with her own body. How can the Republicans expect sexual assault and rape victims to want to carry those children to term? It would be hard enough dealing with the emotional pain and mockery without having to care for a child you never wanted. I understand refusing abortions to teenagers who couldn't be bothered to use proper protection (I had several classmates in high school that used abortion as a form of birth control), but for women who are impregnated against their will, it's just cruel. Men don't have to deal with that sort of emotional upheaval. If these regulations actually made abortion clinics safer and more accessible, I might support it. What I gather is that none of this does anything to make it safer for the patients or do anything other than move closer towards making abortion illegal. We women of Kansas need to stand together and fight for legislation that protects our rights and our well-being!

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kansanjayhawk 3 years, 4 months ago

Don' t you think the conditions in these clinics should at least be clean? Don 't you think the women of Kansas deserve at least that much from these butchers? Remember women are still dying in abortion clinics even though it is legal! Let us stand together to make abortions rare.

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Cait McKnelly 3 years, 4 months ago

People also die from alcohol poisoning and it's perfectly legal too. People die from tonsillectomies and gall bladder removal. As safety records go, abortion is actually quite safe. Conditions in the clinics are clean and sanitary. They follow the same rules as any stand alone surgery center. Does this mean you wouldn't trust the surgery center at 6th and Maine to do your carpal tunnel release? They follow the exact same rules and regs that abortion clinics follow now. Get real.

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gkerr 3 years, 4 months ago

Guardgirl13, Abortion is never safe as it always kills a young human being boy or girl. Abortion clinics need to be clean and use sterile technique as any walk in medical clinic or surgery center must operate under. I hope these regs. Reduce the number of abortions to run fiends like planned parenthood right out of the grizzly business. They have demeaned the culture and damaged the trust between generations and mother and child enough already.

You talk as if abortion is usually performed on rape victims. Not so. Most done for birth contrl and convenience. A great and tragic assault on innocent life that lessens us all.

Good on you Sam. Keep it up and I'll start trusting politicians again, maybe a little. GKerr

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gkerr 3 years, 4 months ago

Guardgirl13, Abortion is never safe as it always kills a young human being boy or girl. Abortion clinics need to be clean and use sterile technique as any walk in medical clinic or surgery center must operate under. I hope these regs. Reduce the number of abortions to run fiends like planned parenthood right out of the grizzly business. They have demeaned the culture and damaged the trust between generations and mother and child enough already.

You talk as if abortion is usually performed on rape victims. Not so. Most done for birth contrl and convenience. A great and tragic assault on innocent life that lessens us all.

Good on you Sam. Keep it up and I'll start trusting politicians again, maybe a little. GKerr

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gkerr 3 years, 4 months ago

Guardgirl13, Abortion is never safe as it always kills a young human being boy or girl. Abortion clinics need to be clean and use sterile technique as any walk in medical clinic or surgery center must operate under. I hope these regs. Reduce the number of abortions to run fiends like planned parenthood right out of the grizzly business. They have demeaned the culture and damaged the trust between generations and mother and child enough already.

You talk as if abortion is usually performed on rape victims. Not so. Most done for birth contrl and convenience. A great and tragic assault on innocent life that lessens us all.

Good on you Sam. Keep it up and I'll start trusting politicians again, maybe a little. GKerr

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gkerr 3 years, 4 months ago

Guardgirl13, Abortion is never safe as it always kills a young human being boy or girl. Abortion clinics need to be clean and use sterile technique as any walk in medical clinic or surgery center must operate under. I hope these regs. Reduce the number of abortions to run fiends like planned parenthood right out of the grizzly business. They have demeaned the culture and damaged the trust between generations and mother and child enough already.

You talk as if abortion is usually performed on rape victims. Not so. Most done for birth contrl and convenience. A great and tragic assault on innocent life that lessens us all.

Good on you Sam. Keep it up and I'll start trusting politicians again, maybe a little. GKerr

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gkerr 3 years, 4 months ago

Guardgirl13, Abortion is never safe as it always kills a young human being boy or girl. Abortion clinics need to be clean and use sterile technique as any walk in medical clinic or surgery center must operate under. I hope these regs. Reduce the number of abortions to run fiends like planned parenthood right out of the grizzly business. They have demeaned the culture and damaged the trust between generations and mother and child enough already.

You talk as if abortion is usually performed on rape victims. Not so. Most done for birth contrl and convenience. A great and tragic assault on innocent life that lessens us all.

Good on you Sam. Keep it up and I'll start trusting politicians again, maybe a little. GKerr

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gkerr 3 years, 4 months ago

Guardgirl13, Abortion is never safe as it always kills a young human being boy or girl. Abortion clinics need to be clean and use sterile technique as any walk in medical clinic or surgery center must operate under. I hope these regs. Reduce the number of abortions to run fiends like planned parenthood right out of the grizzly business. They have demeaned the culture and damaged the trust between generations and mother and child enough already.

You talk as if abortion is usually performed on rape victims. Not so. Most done for birth contrl and convenience. A great and tragic assault on innocent life that lessens us all.

Good on you Sam. Keep it up and I'll start trusting politicians again, maybe a little. GKerr

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 4 months ago

Sam Brownback should keep his personal neoconservative christian fundamentalist agenda items at home.

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 3 years, 4 months ago

He Won't. Browback's reputation and political agenda have been well known by the facist party supporters when they elected him. Why is anybody surprized at this?

Next there will be a bill for gauleiters on every corner so the right wing nuts can keep a close eye on the citizenry and report any deviation from the party line to the Gestapo

Sieg Heil Brownback!!

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GMom05 3 years, 4 months ago

I actually agree with you here Merrill. Separation of Church and State, my friend!

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kansanjayhawk 3 years, 4 months ago

What about Sebelius and her agenda? She didn't seem to keep it at home when she was governor? Get real...

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Cait McKnelly 3 years, 4 months ago

Sebelius never tried to shove God or Jesus Christ down anybody's throat.

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gkerr 3 years, 4 months ago

Merrill,

What? And leave the playing field of legislation to the likes of those who would push abortion, social deviance, secular religious values, government spending, union shop laws and regulations, relentless increases in entitlement spending- the whole sad and degrading liberal agenda of the past 100 years. No thanks Merrill. You stay home if you wish, but I hope the muddled masses continue to push rightward to turn this out of control ship of state around. Gkerr

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Cait McKnelly 3 years, 4 months ago

Where have you been living Kerr? Kansas has had a Republican majority in it's state house for well over forty years. The only thing having a Democrat for a governor ever did was keep their insanity in check.

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kansanjayhawk 3 years, 3 months ago

I disagree I believe his moral beliefs should be brought into the office of the Governor.I want a Governor with real character and values and I am proud of Sam Brownback and intend to continue supporting him in the future. Liberals being upset is just a sign that we are making progress on a conservative positive agenda and rolling back the years of social liberalism that has been a blot upon Kansas.

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HomeSlice 3 years, 4 months ago

If the Left would stop aborting their base, perhaps they would have enough votes to defeat this evil, life saving governer.

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gkerr 3 years, 4 months ago

Home Slice,

Well said. Thanks GKerr

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MyName 3 years, 4 months ago

Yeah, because there are so many latte libruls in rural Western Kansas (where telemedicine is used most often). It's a good thing they're passing laws making it even more difficult for them young libruls to have a safe and legal medical procedure.

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Mike1949 3 years, 4 months ago

His laws (republican) aren't going to stop anything. It will just move underground and then we are going to have women having abortions in a back room like they did in the 20's. The problem is, women will be dying in the process. But that is what the republicans want, everyone knows that. They will say, my my, shame on you for getting pregnant.

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kansanjayhawk 3 years, 4 months ago

You have absolutely NO EVIDENCE to support your contention. Just a bunch of pro-abortion talking points that have never proven to be correct. Let us make abortion rare and rebuild a culture of life to protect unborn children and their mothers.

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jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

Great.

I assume you also therefore support a wide variety of social programs to help those families, once the children have been born, and programs to help the parents financially to help them afford the medical costs of the births.

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Cait McKnelly 3 years, 4 months ago

You have to be under forty. I actually lived in an era prior to the legalization of abortion. I can guarantee you that a LOT more women died from illegal abortion than have EVER died from legal abortion. If you seriously think that PRO-CHOICE ( No one is "pro-abortion". They are "pro-choice". A huge difference.) "talking points" have no evidence to back them up then I suggest you provide credible sources refuting them. Your very language proves exactly who and what you are.

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kansanjayhawk 3 years, 3 months ago

As does your language...a liberal pro-abort not willing to listen to reason...not willing to see that times have changed and we now need to reevaluate this abortion for birth control law that we have been working under.

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pace 3 years, 4 months ago

they are very generous in using state money and state power to circumvent a woman's civil rights. They are using tax money and state power to illgally strip the rights of citizens. I don't care if you think women should have the civil rights, I care that the government is playing dirty games to block a woman's right. Law is being denigrated.

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kansanjayhawk 3 years, 4 months ago

No dirty games here. We are just trying to clean up the dirt in some of these so-called clinics.

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gkerr 3 years, 4 months ago

Pace, Laws have been on the books for decades, but abortion clinics have not been held to them as are surgery centers for other purposes. Because abortion mills had been so loosely regulated there were poorly maintained records and cleanliness and sterile techniques used. Some were filthy. Most did not comply with the laws regarding statutory rape which all other institutions had to comply with. This just brings the abortion industry in compliance with other medical providers.
GKerr

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Cait McKnelly 3 years, 4 months ago

I want proof of this. Abortion clinics follow the same rules and regs as any other stand alone surgery center. Where's the proof???????

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kansanjayhawk 3 years, 3 months ago

Obviously there was enough proof to get the Kansas Legislature to act upon this issue. You need to consider what you are opposing--reasonable health and safety rules-- that is it for this law.

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MattyPro12 3 years, 4 months ago

It amazes me that the right constantly touts the fact that they alone are the defenders of freedom and liberty...

Yes the right is all for freedom... Unless you're a woman, or African American, or Hispanic, or any other minority, or you're not a christian, or in a union, or are poor, or are unemployed, or a college student, or are elderly, etc. Unless you're an rich, christian white man willing to give thousands of dollars to help keep the extremist right wing in power, in exchange for said extremist right wing politicians literally whoring themselves out to their corporate/religious pimps to ensure that only said corporate/religious pimps get all the breaks.

Once again Fuhrer Brownback and his little puppets in the Kansas Legislature are neglecting the needs of it's citizens, instead choosing to focus all their time and energy to do their part to bring about the dawn of a new reich that is the republican party.

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kansanjayhawk 3 years, 4 months ago

I guess dismemberment of a small human person is no big deal to you? Maybe you need to think about what you are supporting the killing of a baby.

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gkerr 3 years, 4 months ago

MattyPro12, Do you have any idea how many more blacks are aborted than whites? Have you ever wondered why the black population has fallen from about 18% in 1973 to about 12% today and is dwindling rapidly. That's right abortion clinics are set up in black neighborhoods in order to target poor black mothers. Roe v Wade is Doing what slavery and Jim Crow could never do, that is eliminating blacks in America. Margaret Sanger was a Eugenics freak who looked at blacks and browns, gypsys and Jews as inferior racial stock to be controlled. she is getting her way. Planned Parenthood and leftist social experimentation, education and legislation is far FAR closer to the third Reich than dreary old Republicans ever could be. Look at the facts not just some canned left wing talking points that are Illinformed and contrary to the truth. If you can stand the truth about your own leftist history look at the facts not the hype of the propagandists. GKerr

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Cait McKnelly 3 years, 4 months ago

Gee. i can tell what websites you go to.

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William Weissbeck 3 years, 4 months ago

This "problem" would be easily solved if these women's clinics could rent space in respectable same day surgery centers. That doesn't happen because other "respectable" physicians and local zoning fear that "the State" won't protect their properties from the fringe loonies. In many ways this is an AMA issue that they should be leading on. But apparently a physician's affluence comes before his Hippocratic oath.

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kansanjayhawk 3 years, 4 months ago

guess abortion is not viewed as favorably by everyone... guess it is a dirty, destructive, sad business in which a mother is maimed and a child is killed. Guess that does not bother you?

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MyName 3 years, 4 months ago

Does it bother you that you have so little empathy for other people that you can't even think about why women might want or need to have an abortion?

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yourworstnightmare 3 years, 4 months ago

How do these laws create jobs and help the economy?

This is big government intrusion into personal liberty.

The GOP: small government for corporations; big government for personal liberty.

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Armored_One 3 years, 4 months ago

They, as in the governmental body as a whole, won't learn until they manage to shut down the entire concept of abortions. Once that happens, the child welfare system in this state will be completely swamped to the point of being unable to function at all.

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kansanjayhawk 3 years, 4 months ago

Once again we have another comment that has absolutely NO EVIDENCE at all to support it! You don't know that the system would be swamped at all, you don't even know what the numbers would be, but yet you make this kind of a statement. How many children are aborted in Kansas every year? Do you know? Give some numbers before you repeat the "pro-choice mantra"

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Armored_One 3 years, 4 months ago

I could give a fig about the numbers aborted. I care about the numbers involved with the SRS.

There are several thousands of kids in the system right this second, but do you honestly give a hoot about them, or are you only worried about getting them here, and then they are someone else's problem?

Last I read, there were some 7,000 kids in the system right now. On average, we, the tax payers, were shilling out roughly 500 bucks per kid per month. That's not exactly chump change. Just a 10% hike in the numbers would push SRS that much closer to being swamped, wholly and completely. That's not even touching on the concept of the food stamps, child care and medical coverage the state provides for minors through the SRS system.

But given the stance you've taken, proverbially speaking, I'm forced to assume you are "pro-life".

I have a very good question for you. You going to start regulating what plants a person can buy? Apothecaries in the Middle Ages were capable of concocting drinks with similiar effects to RU-485, or whatever number gumbo they gave the morning after pill. Half of them you can buy at Home Depot.

Then again, we'd have to restrict buying peaches. The pits can be processed very easily to produce a type of cyanide.

You can't stop abortions. They will continue. Why not make it safer for everyone involved to let the AMA regulate the blasted process and charge an extra fee for doctors that want to perform said procedure? Increase the state coffers, if nothing else.

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Crazy_Larry 3 years, 4 months ago

Planned Parenthood Opens $8 Billion Abortionplex in Topeka, KS:

http://www.theonion.com/articles/planned-parenthood-opens-8-billion-abortionplex,20476/

During a press conference, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards told reporters that the new state-of-the-art fetus-killing facility located in the nation's heartland offers quick, easy, in-and-out abortions to all women, and represents a bold reinvention of the group's long-standing mission and values.

"Although we've traditionally dedicated 97 percent of our resources to other important services such as contraception distribution, cancer screening, and STD testing, this new complex allows us to devote our full attention to what has always been our true passion: abortion," said Richards, standing under a banner emblazoned with Planned Parenthood's new slogan, "No Life Is Sacred."

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Cait McKnelly 3 years, 4 months ago

Oh geez. That's right. Poke them in the eye. You do know there are loons out there that will take this seriously, right? They will use it as proof for their beliefs and even link to it like it's the gospel truth.

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 4 months ago

Sam Brownback is following the same governing blueprint that Gov Scott Walker of Wisconsin is implementing.

According to Jim Hightower you'll find piles of right-wing money from the Koch brothers, the DeVos family, the Erik Prince(Blackwater Mercenary Army fame) family, and the Waltons of Wal-Mart supporting this racial neoconservative christian fundamentalist venture.

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BigPrune 3 years, 4 months ago

George Soros gave you your talking points George Soros gave you your talking points George Soros gave you your talking points George Soros gave you your talking points George Soros gave you your talking points George Soros gave you your talking points George Soros gave you your talking points George Soros gave you your talking points.......

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phoggyjay 3 years, 4 months ago

That's about as annoying as ALL CAPS!!!

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