Archive for Friday, March 16, 2012

House approves measure aimed at KU Medical Center, abortions

March 16, 2012


— Anti-abortion legislators on Friday criticized the Kansas University Medical Center and pushed through a proposal that some said could jeopardize its accreditation.

State Rep. Joe Patton, R-Topeka, said he believed KU Medical Center officials want to use taxpayer funds to perform abortions. "I don't think they should be doing that," Patton said.

Near the end of a more than 6-hour debate on a state appropriations bill, Patton proposed an amendment that would prohibit any state employee acting within the scope of his or her employment from performing an abortion, with the exception being to save the life of the pregnant woman.

But several legislators said Patton's amendment could cost the school accreditation of its obstetrics-gynecology program. Medical residents are considered state employees and receive OB-GYN training in abortion related procedures, unless they opt out for religious or moral reasons.

State Rep. Kathy Wolfe Moore, D-Kansas City, Kan. said she was "pro-life," but could not vote for Patton's proposal. "We cannot risk taking a bad vote. I absolutely refuse to put the accreditation at KU Medical Center and OB-GYN at risk," she said.

KU Medical Center issued a statement that said residents are trained in abortion procedures through a contract with the University of Colorado School of Medicine. "The University of Kansas, in fulfilling both the letter and spirit of the law, has not allowed residents to receive this required training in state-owned facilities," the statement said.

And the statement noted that abortions are not performed at KU Hospital, which is the primary site of residency training for residents at KU Medical Center.

State Rep. Sydney Carlin, D-Manhattan, said training for OB-GYN must include abortion related procedures.

"If we don't have people trained, then they cannot perform life-saving measures," she said.

Patton's amendment, however, was approved by the House on a voice vote. KU Medical Center's statement said officials would continue to work with legislators to avoid unintended consequences that could threaten the school of medicine's accreditation.

The debate occurred just one day after the House Federal and State Affairs Committee approved a wide-ranging anti-abortion bill that included a provision sought by KU Medical Center.

That provision exempted KU Medical Center for one year from the bill, which is called the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. Supporters of the KU provision said it addressed KU Medical Center's concerns about accreditation, and gave legislators more time to study the issue.

But on Friday before the full House, Patton, who is vice chair of that committee, said he wasn't satisfied.

He said KU claimed it needed the exemption to keep its accreditation. But he said he didn't believe that was true.

That position is backed by the influential anti-abortion group Kansans for Life.

“Expert medical advisers say the act of ending the lives of unborn children does not need to be performed, or watched, in order to learn how to evacuate the uterus, and to learn how to manage pregnancy and abortion complications,” said Mary Kay Culp, executive director of Kansans for Life.

But the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education says that residency programs for OB-GYN “must have an established curriculum for family planning, including complications of abortions and provisions for the opportunity for direct procedural training in terminations of pregnancy for those residents who desire it.” There is an “opt out” provision for those who have religious or moral objections to performing abortions.

Patton said he had a lot of questions about the issue, but KU officials refused to testify publicly before the committee.

Earlier Friday, Senate leaders were cool to the bill that came out of the Federal and State Committee.

In addition to the tax issues related to abortion, the bill would require physicians inform women seeking abortion of an unproven assertion: that there is a risk of breast cancer from the procedure.

Another part of the bill would eliminate a civil cause of action for wrongful life or wrongful death, which abortion rights advocates say could allow physicians to conceal from the pregnant woman information about abnormalities in the fetus.


verity 2 years, 1 month ago

This isn't about abortion. It's not even about women's health and birth control. This is about putting women in their place. These filthy men (yes, I said it) are getting off on degrading women and regaining their power and control.

Outlawing abortion is not going to stop it---does anybody really think so?

Women have always managed to get abortions and they will continue to do so. Some of you talk about safety. If you really cared about safety, you would promote birth control, sex education and access to health screenings for women. Things that would really promote safety and less abortions.

Women will always manage to get abortions and more will die---from that or from carrying out dangerous pregnancies. But I suppose according to some of you they will deserve it.

The ones with who can come by enough money will travel to where they can get legal and safe abortions. The others---


Mike Wasikowski 2 years, 1 month ago

I'm sure that these representatives would be willing to let people get a driver's license without proving they can safely operate a motor vehicle on a live roadway? After all, a written test covering the concepts used while driving should suffice.


oletimer 2 years, 1 month ago

if brownback and his cult followers spent as much time trying to improve the economy in Kansas as they are cutting ties with abortion, the budget would be taken care off. brownback was elected for one reason and one reason only. Do away with abortion. He could care less about the rest of the state issues. He and his cult followers have to go for the good of the state.


poolside 2 years, 1 month ago

I read the bill. Did you know someone can be sued in civil court for up to three times the cost of even the "life saving for the mother" abortion.
And no one is allowed to educate on contraception Come on Senate be strong!!


Cait McKnelly 2 years, 1 month ago

I keep asking the same question and not getting an answer. How is lying to women "protecting" them? Any of the anti-abortionists on the board want to take a shot? Mercy? Kansanjayhawk?


Michael LoBurgio 2 years, 1 month ago

Recall Brownback, State Rep. Joe Patton, R-Topeka and the rest of the teapublicans before it's too late!


verity 2 years, 1 month ago

actio et reactio

The pendulum swings and then it swings back. Unfortunately the pendulum swing seems to keep getting wider. For those of you who are pleased with this nonsense, do you realize that the next swing may be to the extreme left?


parrothead8 2 years, 1 month ago

"He said KU claimed it needed the exemption to keep its accreditation. But he said he didn't believe that was true."

So Patton is an expert on accreditation? What is wrong with this guy?


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