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Archive for Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Kansas state officials continue working on new rules for abortion providers

September 6, 2011, 12:47 p.m. Updated September 6, 2011, 5:33 p.m.

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— Kansas health officials moved ahead Tuesday with work designed to preserve new regulations for abortion providers despite a legal challenge in federal court that so far has blocked their enforcement.

The state Department of Health and Environment was still taking written comments on its rules, which tell abortion providers what drugs and equipment they must stock and set minimum size and temperature requirements for procedure and patient recovery rooms. Spokeswoman Miranda Myrick said the agency will consider changes proposed by Wednesday.

The health department also planned to have a hearing on the rules Wednesday in Topeka. Its officials initially bypassed a public hearing and consideration of possible changes to get the rules in place quickly. But unless the department goes through that process, the regulations will expire on Oct. 29.

Two of the state's three abortion providers, as well as their doctors, filed a federal lawsuit against the regulations in June, and a federal judge blocked their enforcement July 1. The department already had announced plans to have a hearing and consider changes, and major revisions could affect the lawsuit.

"All comments, whether written or oral, will be considered by the department," Myrick said.

The department is trying to impose its rules under a new law — also on hold because of the federal lawsuit — requiring hospitals, surgical centers, clinics and doctor's offices to obtain a special, annual license if they perform five or more elective abortions a month.

The federal lawsuit was filed by Drs. Herbert Hodes and Traci Nauser, his daughter, who provide abortions and other services at the Center for Women's Health in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park. Also involved is the Aid for Women clinic in Kansas City and its physician, Ronald Yeomans.

The health department told both Aid for Women and the Center for Women's Health that they wouldn't receive abortion licenses; each acknowledged that it would have to undergo extensive renovations to meet the new requirements. The third provider, Planned Parenthood, received a license for its clinic in Overland Park.

Among other things, the new regulations said abortion providers' procedure rooms must have at least 150 square feet of space, excluding fixed cabinets, each with its own janitor's closet of 50 square feet. Recovery rooms must have at least 80 square feet of space for each patient.

Dionne Scott, spokeswoman for the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights, which is representing Hodes and Nauser, said the two doctors will suggest changes to the regulations during Wednesday's hearing. She said if the state makes extensive enough changes, the doctors would consider dropping their lawsuit.

The providers argue the rules aren't necessary to protect patients' health and are designed to prevent clinics and doctor's offices from performing abortions. Abortion rights advocates doubt the department will entertain significant changes.

"This entire process has been politicized from the beginning," said Kari Ann Rinker, state coordinator for the National Organization for Women. "It has nothing to do with the health and safety of women."

The regulations have strong support among abortion opponents, and Gov. Sam Brownback, an anti-abortion Republican who signed the licensing law, has called them reasonable.

Before passing the licensing law, legislators didn't cite or compile data showing that abortion has a higher rate of death or complications than other procedures done in doctor's offices and clinics. But abortion opponents have for years publicized occasional ambulance runs to clinics and tracked malpractice and regulatory cases involving providers. They expected to present some of that information to health department officials Wednesday.

Officials at the anti-abortion group Kansans for Life argue that special rules are necessary for abortion providers because patients who encounter problems are not likely to sue abortion providers or go to regulators out of shame over having terminated unwanted pregnancies.

Kathy Ostrowski, the group's legislative director, said abortion providers were going to file a lawsuit no matter how the regulations were written.

"If you don't give them specificity, they sue for vagueness. If you're specific, they say you're being punitive," she said. "They just don't want to be regulated."

Comments

kansanjayhawk 2 years, 7 months ago

Rape becomes more common as we become used to the violence in society. Abortion is a reflection of that violence! One act of violence does not make another act of violence better or make it go away--thus abortion will never make a rape better only make the mental suffering worse--as the woman has to face her own act of violence. Abortion is a brutal violation of human rights and the dismemberment of a child should never be viewed as a cure for other societal ills!

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Cait McKnelly 2 years, 7 months ago

Apropos to the link I posted earlier, I recently got into a conversation with a friend. One of the things alarming us is the fact that it's becoming more and more apparent that we are living in a culture where rape is becoming more accepted. We believe that it's an outcome of the so called "culture of life"; that as women are feeling increasingly helpless at having both birth control options and options for abortion taken away from them they are becoming less sexual. After all, abstinence is what's preached at them. Men, seeing their sexual choices narrowing, are feeling less inclined to take "no" for an answer and as a consequence, not only is "date rape", workplace rape and the like on the rise, it seems our culture is more inclined to accept and condone it. (The recent legislation introduced in Georgia that would have changed victims of rape from being called "victims" to "accusers" comes to mind.) This puts women in the crosshairs of a triple whammy; restricted access to birth control and abortion and no tools to deal with it when they are forced. So tell me, what are a woman's options? Accept wearing a burka and living under the Taliban? So tell me, kansanjayhawk, ksrush et all. I'm waiting breathlessly for your comments.

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TheBellTolls 2 years, 7 months ago

Roe v Wade was decide by the courts and was undemocratic. As pro-choice mothers tend to have fewer children (for various reasons), the trend is to a population more and more against the practice of abortion. It is only a matter of time. Abortion is not a constitutional right and can be made illegal through legislation.

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Cait McKnelly 2 years, 7 months ago

Want to know what's a "brutal violation of human rights"? A 15 year old girl is raped, not once, but twice and impregnated by a 51 year old man who is a fellow church member. She tells the pastor about it and her rapist claims it was "consensual". This FIFTEEN year old girl is then forced by the pastor to apologize publicly to the church congregation for having sex with a married man!!!!!!!!!!!! This was before the pastor shipped her off to Colorado (from New Hampshire) to live with complete strangers and forced into giving the baby up for adoption, something that in the world view of more than a few people on this board would be just peachy keen.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/06/ernest-willis-new-hampshi_n_950332.html

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kansanjayhawk 2 years, 7 months ago

Abortion is a brutal violation of the human rights of unborn children. The pro-abortion world view never takes into account what God might think about the situation or how it will effect the woman long-term. Abortion on demand is really an act of selfishness on the part of society, as children are dismembered and destroyed, all for our selfish ends!

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Paul R Getto 2 years, 7 months ago

If men got pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.

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Grump 2 years, 7 months ago

Phill Kline would be proud. (Remember, he's watching you!)

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Dan Eyler 2 years, 7 months ago

So the state would make enemies with any woman, friend or family who they make listen to the beat of a living being or watch a sonogram of a fetus beating heart, sucking its thumb and blinking it eyes? I doubt it. Some will make enemies, those who want to ignore the child and just make it go away. How difficult can it be to take the pill, use a rubber, get a shot. You don't decide the kid is going to live in poverty after the birth. Women want responsibility for their body then take that responsibility and don't get pregnant. The methods listed above work almost always. Almost is acceptable if your trying. But if you have the attitude that I don't want to take birth control and if I get pregnant I can do whatever I darn well want with the pregnancy simply isn't going to fly. This makes up nearly all of the abortions and the attitudes of those who support abortion on demand. The state has every right to protect the fetus from the parent not taking responsibility you so desire.

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Ray Parker 2 years, 7 months ago

Some abortion advocates endorse legalized killing of infants up to 2 years of age, based on the concept that infants are not “self-aware” and therefore not entitled to a right to life. They learn this concept from leftist baby-hating monsters teaching in America’s taxpayer-funded universities. See video page http://www.youtube.com/createdequalfilms

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edjayhawk 2 years, 7 months ago

And its not going to stop. Next it will be illegal for a woman to have an abortion even if she is raped or has medical issues. Trust me. There are no limits for these lunitics.

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Cait McKnelly 2 years, 7 months ago

Comments by people like kansanjayhawk and homechanger prove beyond a question of a doubt that this is a "TRAP" (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) law and has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with providing for the safety and welfare of women (and, in fact, may actually act counter to their "stated purpose"). Trap laws are the new "in" way of anti-abortion, pro-birth forces to force clinics across the country to shut down. It will be highly interesting to see how this plays out in the Federal courts. Kansas isn't the only state to pass Trap laws. A handful of others have as well. What the courts decide in Kansas could set precedent for those states as well. As for Texas, I can guarantee that for every woman you force to listen to the heartbeat of the fetus and every woman you force to view the fetus on a sonogram you have made an enemy. You will also make an enemy of her family members and friends and you may also create an activist just as vocal and strong as you are. When you push masses of people they tend to push back. That goes for women just as much as men.

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 7 months ago

Any truly honest assessment of this issue will come to the conclusion that abortion foes are trying to nickel and dime the issue until such a time as any abortion will become so hard to get, that there will be no abortion services available. That said, any truly honest assessment of the other side will come to the conclusion that any abortion will be available at any time to any woman with no restrictions. There must be some middle ground. Abortions must be available to women who legitimately want and need them while certain societal concerns must also be addressed. But as long as the discussion is dominated by those on either end of the extreme, no real solution, no real compromise will be possible.

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Cait McKnelly 2 years, 7 months ago

Fifty square feet for a janitor's closet??? My god, my aunt's bedroom /office is smaller than that!!!!

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somedude20 2 years, 7 months ago

I love how there are a list of quests that a female must do in order to gain control over her body (did I say HER body). Texas ( the shhhh it) state that it is now requires women to listen to the heartbeat before having HER abortion. So, should the flip side be that if a woman wants to keep her baby they should have to show how she/they will take care of the baby financially and prove that she will be a fit mother who can care for her kid(s) forever. Everything is so one sided these days.

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kansanjayhawk 2 years, 7 months ago

The fact is that there have been some terrible abuses in these clinics that call out for a law to protect the public health and the public interest. The Supreme Court has allowed reasonable restrictions to be placed upon abortion and health and safety regulations have been upheld. Here the people of Kansas are simply demanding that the law be respected and that min. standards of care must be met. Brownback and the legislature are both doing a fine job representing the best interests of the people of Kansas!

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AppologiesMyLiege 2 years, 7 months ago

Rule number 1: Ladies play your "choice" card first to not get pregnant. Do not hold it for the river in hopes for a better hand.

Rule number 2: Providers not needed.

Rule number 3: Officials have open time on their schedules.

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somebodynew 2 years, 7 months ago

Yeah, let's keep spending that money we don't have for things like this that are going to be ruled against by the courts. But I am sure all this is 'faith based' so it must be good.

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