Archive for Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Statehouse Live: Abortion clinic regulations focus of pro-choice rally

Leslie Goodwin, a Kansas University student and one of the founders of Speak for Choice, talks Wednesday about the group's pro-choice rally that was held outside the Statehouse.

September 7, 2011


— As state officials Wednesday considered licensing regulations of abortion clinics, about 30 people rallied outside the Statehouse to try to stem the tide of anti-abortion legislation coming out of Gov. Sam Brownback's administration.

Women attending a rally Wednesday outside the Capitol hold a pro-choice sign. From left to right they are Carol Ramirez of Topeka, Melissa Carlson of Overland Park and Marilynn Ault of Topeka.

Women attending a rally Wednesday outside the Capitol hold a pro-choice sign. From left to right they are Carol Ramirez of Topeka, Melissa Carlson of Overland Park and Marilynn Ault of Topeka.

"We're defending against a legislative and cultural attack on our lives, futures and even our bodies," said Kaspian Zero, a single mother from Kansas City.

Diane Wahto of Wichita said women must have the choice to decide their fate. "It is immoral and unjust to force a woman to give birth to a child she can't take care of," she said.

The rally was put together by Speak for Choice, a group formed by several Kansas University students.

One of the founders, Leslie Goodwin, said the group is trying to raise awareness about anti-abortion laws that have recently been enacted with an eye toward getting more pro-choice people elected.

"We need new people in office," she said.

Meanwhile, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment held a public hearing on proposed regulations to license abortion clinics.

An abortion clinic regulation bill, which was passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Brownback, was supposed to take effect July 1. But a federal judge blocked the rules until he decides a lawsuit brought by abortion clinics.

Anti-abortion groups said the regulations were reasonable.

"These abortion clinic regulations are a long time coming," said Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue. "Quite frankly, Kansas has been in the Dark Ages when it comes to abortion clinic regulations."

But Drs. Herbert Hodes and Traci Nauser, a father-daughter team of obstetrician-gynecologists from Overland Park, who provide abortions and sued the state over the regulations gave detailed testimony in opposition.

They argued the regulations would impose "medically unnecessary requirements that far exceed the prevailing medical standards of care."

The regulations, they said, would shut down their business and be "particularly harmful to women who are suffering from medical complications during pregnancy or have received a diagnosis of serious fetal anomaly."

For example, one of the regulations would require facilities that provide abortions to have procedure rooms of at least 150 square feet, excluding cabinet areas. "A procedure room of this size for the performance of abortions is neither medically necessary, nor required by the applicable standards of care. Indeed, even hospitals and ASCs (ambulatory surgical centers) in Kansas, which provide far more invasive and complex procedures, are not mandated to have procedure rooms this size," the doctors argued.

Another regulation would require a 50-square foot janitorial and storage space for each procedure room. Again the doctors said this was unnecessary "evidenced by the fact that the other regulated medical facilities in Kansas are not required to meet such a specification."

Two other bills signed into law by Brownback are the subject of court challenges. In one, a federal district judge blocked a state budget provision and ordered the state to pay Planned Parenthood federal family planning funds.

While the funds are for non-abortion services, the budget provision was pushed by anti-abortion legislators who say any tax funding of Planned Parenthood is wrong because the organization does do abortions.

And in another lawsuit, the American Civil Liberties Union sued to block law that will prohibit private insurance policies from covering abortion costs, unless the procedure is needed to save the life of the woman.

Brownback has said the laws represented "the will of the Legislature and the people of the state of Kansas."


situveux1 6 years, 8 months ago

30 people? After being advertised in the Lawrence paper?

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 8 months ago

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kansanjayhawk 6 years, 8 months ago

Maybe the "pro-choice" "masses" disappeared when they realized what they were defending in the name of "choice"! The dismemberment of a human child should never be lauded as women's rights or anything else other than an act of violence!

minxcomix 6 years, 8 months ago

Unable to attend, through no choice of their own, were 85,327 people aged 16 and over who have been aborted in Kansas (easily half of these were female).

Also noticeably missing are the innumerable post-abortive women who have left behind the lies of "pro-choice" for having known first hand how anti-choice the very act of abortion is. Anti-choice for them, for once the act of death is performed on their Little One, all choices are gone, and anti-choice for their Little One who never made the choice to die.

And too, missing are those who are grateful that their mothers did not discriminate and label them as a "choice", but instead acknowledged their dignity as human beings and raised them with this knowledge.

Missing from this rally also are those that recognize the dignity and rights of all humanity, not just the humans they wish to acknowledge. This includes women in crisis pregnancy situations and their unborn Little Ones. All.

Missing are people who are knowledgeable enough about science to know that the fact that the life of a unique human being begins at the moment of conception is not disputed in any scientific circle, and believe that all are created equal with an inalienable right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. And that without the right to Life, all other rights are inconsequential and moot.

Yes, there are many missing from this rally.

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