Archive for Thursday, March 15, 2012

Committee approves abortion bill; puts in amendment for KU Medical Center

March 15, 2012


— Kansas University Medical Center on Thursday dodged a possible accreditation fight over abortion, but a bill approved by a House committee would require physicians inform women seeking an abortion of an unproven assertion — that there is a risk of breast cancer from the procedure.

“To require physicians to give out information that is not based on medical science is wrong,” said state Rep. Kathy Wolfe Moore, D-Kansas City, Kan., who opposed the bill.

Moore said she understood some scientists have said there is a link between the increased risk of breast cancer and abortion, but that the overwhelming amount of research by the National Cancer Institute, American Cancer Society and other major health organizations say that isn’t so.

She made a motion to remove the cancer provision, but that failed on a 6-13 vote.

State Rep. Joe Patton, R-Topeka, said the provision simply gave women information. “We want women to be fully informed,” Patton said. But Rep. Judith Loganbill, D-Wichita, said it was a “scare tactic.”

Training at KU Med

The 68-page bill was then pushed out of the House Federal and State Affairs Committee after a major dustup with the Kansas University Medical Center was settled.

As originally proposed, House Bill 2598 would have prevented medical residents who are being trained as obstetrics-gynecologists from training for abortion-related procedures. That would have jeopardized accreditation of the OB-GYN program, which will be reviewed this fall, KU said. Kansans for Life, however, said that KU was wrong.

After days of negotiations, which included attorneys from the KU Medical Center, state Rep. John Rubin, R-Shawnee, amended the bill to bypass the dispute by designating the OB-GYN medical residents as nonstate employees. The amendment would expire in June 2013.

Rubin and other anti-abortion legislators said this would ensure state funds aren’t used for abortion training, resolve KU’s accreditation question, and give legislators time to re-visit the issue next year. Committees are facing a Friday deadline to move bills for possible enactment later in the session.

Some abortion rights supporters opposed giving the amendment an expiration date, and predicted another round of political fighting. “This gives the women of Kansas a year to flee the state,” said Rep. Sean Gatewood, D-Topeka.

Loganbill, who supports abortion rights, said the Legislature shouldn’t interfere with training at KU.

“I think it would be a travesty for us to have rural doctors in rural Kansas without proper OB-GYN training,” Loganbill said. “It’s in the best interest to make sure we have doctors who are fully, fully trained in OB-GYN practices,” she said.

But Mary Kay Culp, executive director of Kansans for Life, said, “The evidence shows that abortion training is not ‘best practices’ — but was mainstreamed into OB-GYN physician resident programs to recruit abortionists and normalize abortion as healthcare.”

In a statement, KU Medical Center said, “The KU Medical Center will continue to work constructively with all policymakers and others who govern our medical education and training to ensure that our state’s medical center and its OB-GYN program continues to be fully accredited and provides outstanding physicians for our state.”

Fetal heartbeat provision

The committee also removed a provision of the bill that says for pregnancies at least 10 weeks from the last menstrual period, the abortion provider must use a hand-held Doppler fetal monitor and “make the embryonic or fetal heartbeat of the unborn child audible for the pregnant woman to hear.” Committee Chairman Steve Brunk, R-Wichita, said there had been too much confusion on that issue.

But the bill, called the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, made numerous other changes in state abortion law.

“This committee is practicing medicine without a license,” said Kari Ann Rinker, state coordinator for the National Organization for Women.

One part of the bill would eliminate a civil cause of action for wrongful life or wrongful death, according to a state bill summary. Rinker said this could allow physicians to conceal from the pregnant woman information about abnormalities in the fetus.

The measure also would have the effect of creating new taxes on expenses related to abortion services or insurance coverage for abortion, and imposes state sales taxes on drugs and medications used in an abortion.

The bill also excludes the threat of suicide or self-harm from the definition of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function for the purposes of seeking a post-viability abortion.

And it would prevent any group providing abortion services, such as Planned Parenthood, from offering materials for human sexuality classes in school districts.


Paul R Getto 6 years, 1 month ago

A bit convoluted, but this might get them past the crisis for a while.

Janis Pool 6 years, 1 month ago

He wants a one year bye so it can be sneaked back in during a non election year. Dump the bill!

Paul R Getto 6 years, 1 month ago

+1. I agree, but arguing in the 'fact-based' world won't slow these folks down.

voevoda 6 years, 1 month ago

Do we really want legislation that tracks when women have menstrual periods? Talk about intrusive government!

Michael LoBurgio 6 years, 1 month ago

The tepublicans get off on that kind of talk!

sad_lawrencian 6 years, 1 month ago

This is a sad, sad state of affairs, when all these people want to do is write one anti-abortion statute after another. Have they nothing better to do? I wish the entire legislature, along with the governor, could be overthrown, or at least defeated in the next election.

roadrunner 6 years, 1 month ago

Since when did our legislators get their medical degrees? The cancer link sounds like a very far reach for a lay person to make a judgement on, nevermind all the other ridiculous parts of this bill!! How is this shrinking government involvement in our daily lives?

JayhawkFan1985 6 years, 1 month ago

Let me see if I get this...

Corporations are people. Fetuses are people. Women are not people. Residents drawing paychecks are not employees. 2+2=5

It must be 1984.

JayhawkFan1985 6 years, 1 month ago

I was referring to the dysutopian novel by George Orwell. But point taken...

Evan Ridenour 6 years, 1 month ago

"The bill also excludes the threat of suicide or self-harm from the definition of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function for the purposes of seeking a post-viability abortion."

And what if the suicidal woman then kills herself? Both "die." How can people not realize the blatant hypocrisy of their position....

Katara 6 years, 1 month ago

"One part of the bill would eliminate a civil cause of action for wrongful life or wrongful death, according to a state bill summary. "

So since a physician is allowed to lie to a woman if the physician believes she would seek an abortion when knowing the facts about her particular pregnancy, that physician is now completely from any malpractice suits that could be brought by the woman's family if she or the fetus dies as a result of the physician's lies, whether they be outright lies or lies of omission.

And this does not bother anyone????

The family has absolutely no recourse whatsoever due to deliberate or negligent malpractice.

Shelley Bock 6 years, 1 month ago

The provision to allow deliberate misleading of the patient by a physician is shocking and repugnant. It would go completely contrary to the Hippocratic Oath. It destroys the physician-client relationship because if the doctor can lie about one thing, what else might he/she lie about? An individual physician would be wise to offer a statement to their clients that he/she would provide all information regardless of any legal immunity. I'd trust that physician more than anyone who wouldn't.. I'm surprised that physicians aren't outraged at this provision. If they aren't, it calls into question anything they say.

Anti-abortion, anti-contraception and anti-sex education mean sex is only meant for procreation in a state controlled environment. How out-of-date are these people. Should we change the National Anthem to "...and the home of the Puritans."?

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 1 month ago

It was a slam dunk this was going to get out of committee. Other than the handful of Dems who probably didn't even try to fight it, the bulk of the committee are good little lock step ALEC soldiers. It still has to get by a vote of the legislature but that's a slam dunk too. The question is, are these people even aware of the ground swell taking the country? The disgust, anger and disbelief at all of these cookie cutter, copy cat bills? It may take a year or two. Kansas is the "provinces", after all, and it's always been a couple of years behind the rest of the country. The hard line South, I think, will be the first to fall, given what's currently going on in Virginia, Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi. So these legislators have secure jobs for the time being. But I really do think that ALEC's day has come. This November will be very, very interesting.

voevoda 6 years, 1 month ago

The "abortion-breast cancer" warning reminds me of the stickers the Legislature wanted to put into science textbooks a few years back, warning readers that evolution was "just a theory." Similar politically-motivated disinformation. But also disinformation that could be countered by another sticker.
If a year from now the Legislature mandates that doctors present this misinformation, I hope that the doctors also tell their patients that it is misinformation that they are presenting only because the State Legislature commanded it. If the Legislature tries to forbid them to do so, it is stifling their freedom of speech.

MarcoPogo 6 years, 1 month ago

Cool. Can we get a list of all the LJW booze hounds?

William Weissbeck 6 years, 1 month ago

The GOP complains about a 2,000 page ACA legislation, but how does it take 68 pages just to regulate one medical procedure? You know that no one has read this bill, except the lobbyists that wrote it.

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 1 month ago

One of the things I'm wondering about is just how lying to women is "protecting" them? This is just as much about the mythical "breast cancer/abortion" link as it is about the ability of doctors to legally lie to women about their own health or that of their fetus.)

Scribeoflight 6 years, 1 month ago

also, love how Brownback's staff keeps trying to scrub negative comments off his facebook page. I like this guy less and less every day, and that is saying something.

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