Archive for Thursday, November 17, 2011

Kansas still wants to license abortion providers

November 17, 2011, 12:23 p.m. Updated November 17, 2011, 5:38 p.m.


— Kansas officials are still trying to move ahead with a new licensing process for abortion providers amid ongoing legal challenges in state and federal court, and an attorney said Thursday that two doctors will be harmed professionally if the state succeeds.

The state Department of Health and Environment has been unable to enforce new regulations for hospitals, clinics and doctor's offices performing five or more elective abortions a month. The rules dictate the equipment, medications and staffing abortion providers must have on hand, set other standards for their buildings and require them to make patients' medical records available for inspection.

Dr. Herbert Hodes and his daughter, Dr. Traci Nauser, have lawsuits pending in federal and state courts challenging the regulations, and judges have blocked enforcement of the rules. The doctors already have been denied a license to keep performing abortions at their offices in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park and have said in court filings they doubt they could obtain a license in the future.

But the health department still wants to consider and rule upon applications from prospective abortion providers, attorneys for state officials said in a filing this week in Shawnee County District Court. The state's attorneys asked District Judge Franklin Theis to allow the health department to continue the licensing process "in its usual and orderly fashion," even if the agency can't punish providers for not following its rules.

Attorneys for Hodes and Nauser filed a response by fax late Wednesday, protesting that if the doctors' offices were denied a license, they'd have to report it to numerous other parties, including hospitals and their insurance carriers, harming their professional standing. Theis issued an order last week preventing the health department from enforcing its regulations until he has another hearing Dec. 6 and 7.

"A central function of the restraining order is to prevent the state from moving ahead," said Bonnie Scott Jones, an attorney for the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights, which is representing the two doctors. "I'm not sure what the urgency is on their part."

The health department doesn't have any pending applications from prospective abortion providers, said spokeswoman Miranda Steele. The state's request didn't detail why the agency wants to continue with the licensing process; Steele referred questions to the attorney general's office, which declined to elaborate.

A new state law established the licensing process and required the health department to write health and safety regulations for abortion providers. Supporters contend the rules will protect patients, but critics see them as burdensome and medically unnecessary.

The licensing law was among several policies enacted this year in Kansas by anti-abortion majorities in the Legislature and Gov. Sam Brownback, a Republican abortion opponent who took office in January.

Another policy would keep the state from providing federal funds for non-abortion family planning services to Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri. A federal judge overturned it, but the state appealed, and Planned Parenthood attorneys were facing a deadline to file a response with the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.


Cait McKnelly 6 years, 7 months ago

Spend money and manpower to enforce what is, at this time, an unenforcable law. Only in Kansas....

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

My guess is that you believe there is no law that restricts abortion--which you consider a method of birth control-- that could be enforceable. When the Kansas Legislature enacts a law and the process is followed once all of the court hearing are over there will be a law in effect that is much more restrictive than the one it replaced! You may not like it but that is why we have elections and political parties so that we can express our personal opinions and have them reflected in Constitutional laws!

jafs 6 years, 7 months ago

Do you really care about the constitutionality?

Or is your desire simply the desire to eliminate abortion?

Nobody, by the way, has ever argued that there should be no regulations involving abortion, and there were perfectly fine ones in place already.

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 7 months ago

...--which you consider a method of birth control--... Keep taking my words out of context, KJH. I have to smile and shake my head. Obviously, the people at OR and AoG really are your cohort; lie, cheat, obfuscate and prevaricate to uphold your agenda. But really, the people on this board that matter to me know who and what I am and also know who and what you are. Your tactics aren't going to change their minds. I guess that's all that counts. As for your words re: the Constitution, you have no more real respect for that document than a piece of used toilet paper. Starting with the First Amendment.

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

It is just the words you used--remember?

Mike1949 6 years, 7 months ago

Well, don't be surprised if some of our law makers (which is a joke to me) don't get elected again. A lot of Kansans from both sides of the fence are seeing the total farce, the lose of freedoms, and a general over all repression of all Americans. I am keeping my fingers crossed that America has woken up because the Republicans are literally destroying this country and they are proud of it that they throw it in everyone's face. All they need to add to their election campaigns, "bend over people, and you better smile!"

C.D. Henning 6 years, 7 months ago

Don't like abortion? Don't have one, and mind your own bussiness.

Kathy Theis-Getto 6 years, 7 months ago

cait - I fear you have used words KJH won't understand - hope she knows how to crack a dictionary.

average 6 years, 7 months ago

They aren't licensed? Sure, they're licensed. I can't open a clinic in the morning. They're licensed exactly the same way as every other medical provider who provides medical services of similar risk and complexity.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 7 months ago

It's likely the new "license" would only be granted to those doctors who pledge to never perform abortions.

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

Governor Brownback cares about rebuilding a culture of life in Kansas. We have had two very liberal governors in the recent past who did all they could to undermine the respect for human rights and values such as respect for life. Remember how Sebelius used her office to give a dinner party for the late-term abortionist George Tiller who funded so many of her campaigns and agendas? Pro-life Kansans are proud to have a governor who is willing to take the courageous stand to begin restricting abortion in Kansas. We will not rest until there are no more abortion clinics that destroy and dismember our unborn in Kansas! We support the position taken by the Susan B.Anthony a women's rights activist from early Kansas history who opposed abortion!

jafs 6 years, 7 months ago

"We will not rest until there are no more abortion clinics".

Well at least you're finally being honest about it - thank goodness for that.

This makes all of your other stuff about "reasonable restrictions" rather odd, though, and almost seem like lies.

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

It is called incrementalism--you take what you can get approved--but yes in the end pro-life citizens want the slaughter of the unborn to completely stop. We are working within the system by voting and working for candidates to get the law changed! This is how democracy works in America and in Kansas!

jafs 6 years, 7 months ago

That's fine as long as you don't claim that you're just interested in reasonable regulations to benefit the health and safety of the women.

Please be honest about your agenda and don't hide behind those sorts of misleading statements any more.

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

I am interested in reasonable regulations that are constitutional at this time that can pass the legislature!

jafs 6 years, 7 months ago

No, you're not.

You're interested in eliminating abortions - why not be direct and honest about it.

"We will not rest until there are no more abortion clinics".

And, we've beaten this issue into the ground - the regulations you support are not reasonable and necessary - previous regulations were sufficient. The problem, based on your own sources on the matter, was a lack of adequate enforcement of those regulations.

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

The regulations that I support are perfectly reasonable and constitutional! They were needed because of abuses here in Kansas and that is my opinion. You may not agree with that position but a majority of the Kansas Legislature and the Governor did and that is why the law passed!

jafs 6 years, 6 months ago

Based on your own sources, there were no problems with the previous regulations - there was a lack of adequate enforcement of them.

And, the courts ruled that some of the new regulations were not in fact correct, and so they were discarded.

You seem to have some difficulty understanding that your opinion, and that of a majority of the KS legislature, are not sufficient to decide these issues - courts are involved in that determination.

Also, I question your continuous use of exclamation points - are they always needed to express your views?

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

I have not been dishonest at all why don't you be specific with what you think you disagree with and I can address that issue?

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 7 months ago

Today they will save the unborn.

Tomorrow, the unfertilized.

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

I remember in the 1990's in Kansas how citizens in the Wichita area first became aware that Dr. Tiller was killing little unborn children in the seventh, eighth, and ninth month of pregancy. The result for Kansas politics was a sea-change in which the delegation from Wichita area went from many moderate Republicans and liberal Democrats to many more conservative Republicans and fewer Democrats! Then the entire legislature tipped and became pro-life dominated for many years with moderate Republican governors and liberal Democrat governors preventing change. Brownback's election only completes the circle begun in the 1990's because he will sign the bills that reach his desk! The pro-life revolution in Kansas began a very long time ago.

jafs 6 years, 7 months ago

The "pro life" movement would have more integrity if the people involved seemed at all interested in the children once they are born.

By the way, what's your stance on capital punishment and war?

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

I think there are many in the pro-life movement who demonstrate their true love for people and children! Check out how many of our hospitals and medical clinics were started by Christians and pro-lifers! Also, note that the death penalty punishes the guilty while abortion punishes those who have committed no crime!

jafs 6 years, 7 months ago


What do you do to help those children once born? Since you've advocated against taxes and spending programs at the government level that might help them, once we stop doing that, they'll be at your mercy.

So, you're in favor of capital punishment? And war?

So much for a "pro-life" position then.

Capital punishment takes a life, just as killing somebody in war does - a truly "pro-life" person would be against both war and the death penalty, due to their reverence for human life.

I wonder how many on the right that are so opposed to abortion take that position - I bet there aren't that many.

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

you can be pro-life and support capital punishment because of the enforcement of the law and the provision of due process. Canon law has always allowed for the implementation of the death penalty in certain cases! Crisis pregnancy centers, food banks, and rescue missions as well as para-church organizations, missions organizations, schools, and my church are organizations that I support.

jafs 6 years, 7 months ago

You cannot be "pro-life" and support any taking of human life.

I don't care what "canon law" says, or any of the other things you mention.

If human life is sacred and revered, then all human life is so, without exceptions.

Otherwise you're just picking and choosing which life you consider worth preserving, which lacks consistency and integrity.

As I read it, 4 out of 7 of your organizations are religious in nature, or connected to religion.

If the schools you mention are religious as well, that makes 5 out of 7, leaving only 2 non-religious groups that would help people.

Many such organizations are currently struggling with funding - if/when you get your wish, and we stop paying taxes and supporting social programs at the governmental level, those organizations will be even harder pressed to help all those that need help.

Also, only 2 of your organizations - food banks and schools - are designed to help children once born (without a religious component, which often involves proselytizing and attempts to convert people).

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

  1. I do not agree with you on the pro-life issue. Many Christians support capital punishment of guilty criminals who have committed first degree murder but are fully pro-life.
  2. Religious affiliation is a positive thing with any organization I give to I support the Church being involved with helping people. Telling people the truth is not the same thing as "proselytizing".

jafs 6 years, 7 months ago

I know that your 1st statement is correct, but it makes no sense.

It is one of the reasons that many "pro-life" advocates are unconvincing.

You may think that you're just telling people "the truth", but you're actually trying to convert them.

If you were consistent in your "pro-life" ideas, and opposed capital punishment and war, while simultaneously supporting non-religious groups that help people, you'd be more convincing.

This way, it just looks like you're a religious believer who wants to convert others, while being unaware of the contradictions within your own views.

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

simple fact is that there are different issues when you bring up war and those facing capital punishment. Remember there is a "just war theory" and remember that there are those who are clearly guilty of crime and violence.

jafs 6 years, 6 months ago

There are many theories.

The fact is that if one believes human life is sacred, then all human life is so, not just those lives that we deem to be worthy in one way or another.

Those who apply that sacredness to some, but not all, don't really believe in the sacredness of human life.

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