Archive for Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Supporters of new abortion bill say KU working to solve issue

February 6, 2013


— A wide-ranging bill that would regulate abortion more strictly in Kansas was introduced in the House on Wednesday, but it includes language that key legislators said would allow Kansas University medical students to receive privately funded abortion training.

Supporters of the bill said they believe that provision, worked out in a deal with KU Medical Center, would allay concerns that the tougher regulations could jeopardize accreditation of the medical school’s obstetrics and gynecology program.

“I think we are going to be in a posture where there isn’t going to be a KU issue with this bill,” said Rep. Lance Kinzer, R-Olathe, who is a vocal opponent of abortion.

C.J. Janovy, a spokeswoman for the KU Medical Center, said, “While we haven’t yet seen a final copy of the measure that was introduced this morning, we believe we have found an administrative remedy that would not put our residency programs at risk if the language described were to become law.”

Last year, a major battle erupted over a bill banning the use of state funds for abortions.

Among the many provisions of that bill was one that would have prevented state employees, including doctors in training at the medical center in Kansas City, Kan., from performing abortions on state property or state time. KU Medical Center officials voiced concerns that the accreditation of its obstetrics and gynecology program would be in danger under that provision.

Legislators added a provision saying medical residents could do abortion training off-site, on their own time, for a year. But the Medical Center wanted a permanent exception.

The bill was approved by the House but eventually died in the Senate after then-Senate President Steve Morris, R-Hugoton, sent it back to committee, citing concerns about the bill’s impact on the medical center.

In the new version of the bill, Kinzer and Rep. Steve Brunk, R-Wichita, said KU will use private dollars to pay the residents, rather than public funds.

“For purposes of this bill, if they have a process set up where those folks are truly, completely, hermetically sealed off from any state dollars, then this bill doesn’t impact that and that is what they are working to do,” Kinzer said.

Brunk said he didn’t think the issue was completely resolved, but KU officials have been eager to seek a solution with the Legislature.

Brunk introduced House Bill 2253 in the House Federal and State Affairs Committee. The bill states that the unborn child shall have all rights and privileges available to other people.


fiddleback 5 years, 2 months ago

KU saw the writing on the wall last year with Brownback's purge of moderates in pursuit of a rubber stamp Senate, plus the pro-life zealots being emboldened by a similar measure passing in Arizona. No real surprise that KU figured out how to arrange private funding -- good for them.

oldexbeat 5 years, 2 months ago

The liars of the GOP Koch Tea Party -- that they care about children -- seems only true in the womb -- cerainly their cutting of health programs for kids and their refusal to get involved in the national help program for children, plus not even knowing enough to see that abortions are necessary at times to save lives -- posers. Anything to hurt women's health is A-OK with Brownback and in Brownbackistan, irrational medical decisions are expected. But do not believe the liars that they care about all children. BS.

maybeso 5 years, 2 months ago

If men got pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.

hujiko 5 years, 2 months ago

Protecting [existing] life has nothing to do with your personal bigotry against [wo]men.


Cait McKnelly 5 years, 2 months ago

Given the new makeup of the legislature, everyone saw this bus coming from miles away. The bill that was introduced in committee yesterday was a seventy page omnibus bill and has all of the same provisions that were tabled last year by the Senate. (It had passed the House last year.) It also has even more provisions than the previous bill. Among those provisions is one that would not just protect physicians that don't tell women something is wrong with their fetus to prevent them from aborting, it now requires that physicians not say anything. It outlaws physicians from even declaring a pregnancy non-viable.
Does anyone else find it odd that legislators whose backgrounds are in owning car dealerships and furniture sales are now practicing medicine?
I feel so sorry for the women of Kansas.

William Weissbeck 5 years, 2 months ago

While it is good to see that KU is being inventive with a solution, I'd much rather that they take a stand. There are very few institutions/organizations in the state that are large enough, capable of organizing and with the prestige of KU that can take on the legislature. I would rather they have threatened to shut down the medical school, rather than accept the legislature's interference. By KU rolling over - there is little left to stop the legislature and our modern day Richard III's tyrannical rule for at least the next 2 years. There is no White Knight within the state and none outside the borders that is preparing to invade and reclaim the throne and restore good government.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 2 months ago

"threaten to shut down the medical school" - And if the legislature called their bluff?

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 2 months ago

Then they should do it. Every teacher and student at that school have careers and reputations that other schools would salivate to have at their institutions. It would destroy Brownback's career. And given how cold and calculating of a snake he is, I don't think he would let it happen. The med school just flat out needs to revolt and if the legislature interferes, take their National Cancer Institute accreditation and hit the road. Frankly, it's a lot like a musician and a recording label. "Give me creative control or kiss your cash cow goodbye."

jhawkinsf 5 years, 2 months ago

Sure, teachers and students at the med center would have other opportunities elsewhere. What about the patients? This isn't like a musician and a record label. It's like a crazy person (the legislature) pointing a gun at you. Sure, maybe he shouldn't have the gun and he certainly shouldn't be pointing it at you. But here we are, dealing with that reality. And given that reality, I wouldn't advocate flipping him off.

chootspa 5 years, 2 months ago

If the state actually cares about the patients, they shouldn't hold them hostage to their anti women agenda.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 2 months ago

The state has gone crazy. That doesn't mean the med center should reply in kind.

chootspa 5 years, 2 months ago

Moving to a state that would allow them to educate the next generation of doctors wouldn't be crazy. It would just be sad.

verity 5 years, 2 months ago

Yes, I agree that it's time for KU to stand up to these thugs. JSF argues that this would be bad for the patients if their bluff was called. In the long run, I think it will be worse for the patients, and all of us, if KU allows these fools to dictate unsound and dangerous policies. If they get this, do you really think it will stop there?

For the anti-abortion people, do you really want mandated lying to patients? And withholding truth when it is to another person's harm is lying. How is that moral?

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 2 months ago

One of the provisions of the omnibus bill is that women undergoing abortion would have to be told BY LAW that there is a link between abortion and breast cancer and that it threatens future fertility. Both of these are flat out lies and have been repeatedly disproven and debunked. The cancer link was disproven by no less than the National Cancer Institute, the same agency that the med school was so hot from which to get accreditation. I seriously wonder how that agency will take the state forcing it's physicians to lie about something in which they had a hand in proving false?

KSManimal 5 years, 2 months ago

"The bill states that the unborn child shall have all rights and privileges available to other people."

Would those be the rights and privileges of union or non-union other people?

chootspa 5 years, 2 months ago

Are they going to issue fetus social security cards?

Lisa Medsker 5 years, 2 months ago

That was my question... I mean, if it's a "person", shouldn't it also be a tax write-off, or be able to be claimed as a dependent?

Joe Hyde 5 years, 2 months ago

If a daughter or grand-daughter of any conservative Republican were raped and that rape resulted in an unwanted pregnancy, or if she had a planned pregnancy that went bad and her life could be saved only by aborting the fetus, you can bet cash money the conservative Republican would hustle her onto the next flight to Mexico for a hush-hush abortion.

But if it's anybody else's daughter or grand-daughter facing those same terrible circumstances, the pregnant woman has no rights to decide her own future. She can't even use KUMC-trained doctors to save her own life if pregnancy threatens it. She is forced to sacrifice her reproductive rights and even her life to satisfy the conservative Republican's perverted concept of morality.

Such politics is not evidence of common sense governing: it's the characteristic of extremism, of dictatorship.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 2 months ago

A beating heart is not "life". A heart is nothing but a muscle that pumps blood. and in a fetus it doesn't even do that.
If you truly believed that there shouldn't be a ban on abortion to "save the life of the mother" then you would support legalization across the board with no exceptions. EVERY pregnancy "threatens the life of the mother". It's just that, to a lot of women, it's an acceptable risk. And I'm ok with that. Every woman should have control of her body and what risks she does or doesn't face.
And by the way, a fetus is not a "baby". The homunculi theory of conception went out the window in the 17th century when van Leeuwenhoek invented the microscope.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 2 months ago

"EVERY pregnancy threatens the life of the mother" - It's hyperbole like this that allows for late term abortions of a fetus that is perfectly normal being characterized as a threat to the mother's life. Or abortions for the purposes of gender selection. Or abortions done because it bums out the woman. Every abortion can be rationalized as a threat to the mother's life.

Where have I heard similar hyperbole? Oh, yes, when the killing of a doctor is said to be a good rationale for "saving lives" of the unborn. Or hateful and persistent harassment of women is characterized as freedom of speech.

Hyperbole is fine, for anonymous forums such as this. Let's hope that public policy is made by people with well thought out positions based on common sense, the very thing lacking in comments like "EVERY pregnancy threatens the life of the mother".

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 2 months ago

Oh and on the subject of gun control and children; please explain to me the dissonance of a government that will spend untold amounts of money to put armed guards in schools to "protect the lives of our children" and at the same time take away their free lunches and starve them. That doesn't make a lot of sense either.

repaste 5 years, 2 months ago

It is killing a baby, but that Baby is dependent upon and in every way created by the Mother, its a part of her. While a very harsh choice, it seems it must be the Woman's choice to make, as it is Her body, Her fetus. The solution would seem to be in avoiding the unwanted pregnancy, education to attempt to avoid the use of abortion as birth control.

William Weissbeck 5 years, 2 months ago

Am I correct that KU is the ONLY medical school in the state? Seems to me adding to my post above that the threat of closing the only medical school in the state would send a very strong national message to these loons and goons on the right to lay off. We need a debate about academic freedom at public institutions of higher education before the Kochs fund all their hand picked professors, and people buy into the argument that your tax dollars and wealth give you the right to promote nonsense.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 2 months ago

"The bill states that the unborn child shall have all rights and privileges available to other people."

This makes me think of calling a spoon a "nutrional conveyance tool from the food service utensil to the multiuse nutritional/resperational orifice". Call a brick a brick. It's a "personhood" bill.

William Weissbeck 5 years, 2 months ago

Could update the famous Nazi era poem by a German minister: First they came for the Jews, but I did not speak up, for I was not a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, but I did not speak up, because I was not in a union. Then they came for me, the educators and doctors, and there was no one left to speak.

Orwell 5 years, 2 months ago

“For purposes of this bill, if they have a process set up where those folks are truly, completely, hermetically sealed off from any state dollars, then this bill doesn’t impact that and that is what they are working to do,” Kinzer said.

Funny how that isn't acceptable for Planned Parenthood.


werekoala 5 years, 2 months ago

So does that mean any fetus CONCEiVED in the United States is automatically a citizen?

Man, I can't wait for the "anchor fetus" debate to start.

deec 5 years, 2 months ago

Actually this has been an ongoing issue in Nebraska for a few years now regarding medicaid coverage for undocumented pregnant women. Since the fetuses will be American citizens when born, it is being argued that they qualify for prenatal care.

Katara 5 years, 2 months ago

If they want to pursue a personhood bill, they will be forced to cover prenatal care for undocumented pregnant women.

Katara 5 years, 2 months ago

Not all states do and the women are not eligible for any assistance on the Federal level.

"The recent enacted federal welfare reform law, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, has a number of provisions that make it possible for federal, state and local governments to deny prenatal care and nutrition support to undocumented women. Specifically, the law bars all not qualified aliens, including unauthorized immigrants, from receiving federal public benefits with the important exception of benefits designed to meet emergency needs and protect the public health. In addition, the federal law attempts to nullify existing state laws and prohibit state and local governments from providing public benefits, including prenatal care, to not qualified aliens. States are permitted to provide their own benefits to undocumented persons only if they enact new laws affirming an intent to do so. Finally, states are given the option to provide or deny federally funded nutrition support (WIC) to pregnant undocumented women.

The prohibition on federal public benefits may shift the entire burden of providing prenatal care for undocumented women onto states. States in turn are left to decide whether to assume the costs of making this care available and to assess whether provisions of the law or their decisions relative to them will face Constitutional challenges. As state policymakers prepare to make these important decisions it is important that they are mindful of the health- and cost-benefits of prenatal care for women, newborns and communities. "

jhawkinsf 5 years, 2 months ago

What we have here is a failure to communicate. In this case, it's the difference between "in theory" and "reality".

A month ago or so, I was engaged you in a conversation when I said many people go to the hospital to get free medical car. You came back at me with both barrels blazing, telling me that no one gets a free ride. You said the hospital sends bills, collects them, sends unpaid bills to collections, and on. Since then, there was an article in these pages about a $30 Million dollar deficit at LMH in one year that was being written off. So, is that free medical care? I'd say yes.

But as to undocumented women receiving prenatal care, again, wander into any hospital and you will be seen. If it's an emergency, you'll receive appropriate care whether you are able to pay or not. If it is not an emergency, you'll be told what is going on and how to avail yourself of appropriate care. That is itself a certain level of care and again, it doesn't matter if you can pay or will pay. It may not be the best care available, but it is care and it could very well be free.

And then there is the issue of certain sanctuary cities where it is the policy of hospitals to not ask the status of those coming in. We have no way of knowing if the person is a citizen, legal immigrant or illegal immigrant. That question is not asked. Typically, though, sanctuary cities are cities with large undocumented populations. It would be silly to not assume that a significant percentage of those patients are undocumented. Add to that that it isn't just hospitals that don't ask. All city agencies are prohibited from asking. So if it's emergency care, prenatal care, food, clothing, housing, etc., it's all out there for the asking, free of charge.

Katara 5 years, 2 months ago

Yes, there is definitely a failure in your communication.

You stated that we already provided prenatal care to undocumented women. I replied that not all states do and the information I provided shows that the Feds are prohibited from doing so.

Additionally, no one is required to offer prenatal care to undocumented pregnant women. With a personhood bill passing, there would be a requirement to do so as it would be the fetus who has the rights to prenatal care, not the woman.

You obviously don't understand free as opposed to unpaid. When one talks of free care, it is offered as a free service. There are no bills for free service. No one attempts to collect upon free service. One does not have a debt when the service is free. There is nothing to write off. You wish to redefine free medical care to include unpaid debt. I encourage you to make that argument to any of your creditors. I'm sure they will be swayed greatly by it.

You then meander on to discuss sanctuary cities. Sanctuary cities are not states nor are they Federal government. They are not offering free care. You are still billed for it. Many states do not have sanctuary cities. So, again, you offer stories about how this place or that place does this or that without anything to back it up other than your say so.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 2 months ago

After reading your reply, I see the error in my post. An unpaid bill is "passed on to the taxpayer" while a person going to a hospital intent upon receiving free care has their bill "passed on to the taxpayer". Yes, I now see the difference to which you are saying is so clear. How could I have missed it, honest communication being the guide to conversations in this forum.

The Feds say it's prohibited, so it must be so. All those communities that command their staffs not to cooperate with the Feds on immigration issues, they must all be anecdotes. All those places that allow medical marijuana, or have decriminalized it, or legalized it, those too must be anecdotes for as your post says quite clearly, the Feds prohibit it, therefore it must be so.

But then it's data you demand, not anecdotes. Even from places that have as their official policy to not gather such data. So in the absence of such data, and your unwillingness to accept anecdotes, we're left with sticking our collectives heads in the sand. If you choose to do so, go right ahead. However, I decline your invitation to join you.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 2 months ago

You forgot that the procedure should be done free of charge, it should be a paid holiday, the employer picking up that tab and she should get a merit badge too.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 2 months ago

But you did say "for whatever reason they deem necessary at any time in the pregnancy". That would include abortions for the purposes of gender selection. That would include terminating a pregnancy of a perfectly well formed fetus one day prior to due date. That would include abortions done instead of using other forms of contraception. It would include all sorts of things that we as a society have determined to be abhorrent. I would say your comment is equally inflammatory as any of those being spewed by the most ardent pro life advocates.

In my opinion, the conversation has been too long dominated by those on both fringes. It's time for those in the middle have our voices heard rather than drowned out by hateful rhetoric.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 2 months ago

You obviously do not trust women enough to know that any woman that carries a pregnancy past the second trimester does so because either she wants to or has been forced into it by lack of access to abortion at an earlier date.
Every state in the country has "viability" laws outlawing abortion past the point of viability (21 weeks in some states, although the medical community itself sets it as 24 weeks). The "post viability" laws have been upheld by the Federal courts.
Even so, there are times when a "one day before birth" abortion may actually be necessary in the case of a malformed fetus that has no chance at survival. In that case, it isn't an abortion, it's an induction that allows the baby to die.
Would you deny that to a family?

jhawkinsf 5 years, 2 months ago

First, I do trust women, or at least the overwhelming majority of them. But not 100%. I trust doctors, or at least the overwhelming majority of them. But not 100%. There is no person or group on this planet that I trust 100% and that includes the guy I see in the mirror every day. That's not a condemnation. It's a mere recognition that we're all human and we all make mistakes and we have all made misjudgments.

So do I believe that there is the potential for abusing whatever standards we set? The unfortunate truth is that yes I do believe there is the potential for abuse. I believe there is actual abuse. The question then becomes shall we make it easier for such abuse? Such abuse would become much easier if the official policy were as Machiavelli_mania stated, "Abortion should be medically-safe and legal for anyone who wants it for whatever reason they deem necessary at any time in the pregnancy". That statement is an invitation for abuse. It's a reckless statement.

And would I deny a family the right to terminate a pregnancy under the conditions you laid out? Certainly not. There are many, many instances where it's neither my place to impose restrictions nor do I personally believe I should have any voice at all. The times that it is a matter of public welfare are the very rare exceptions. Gender selection would be one of those rare exceptions. And given that rare exception, coupled with the fact that neither 100% of women nor 100% of doctors will behave in accordance with public policy, there needs to be some mechanisms for enforcing that public policy, in my opinion.

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