Kansas Abortion Numbers Drop, Following National Trend

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 12, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Kansas Abortion Numbers Drop, Following National Trend

by Maria Gallagher
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
December 12, 2003

Wichita, KS (LifeNews.com) — Mirroring a trend found in other states, the abortion rate has declined in the state of Kansas, according to figures released by the Kansas Department
of Health and Environment.

The statistics show that the total number of abortions performed in Kansas dropped from 12,422 during 2001 to 11,844 in 2002.

While pro-life leaders are pleased that the overall abortion rate is going down, they are alarmed by the fact that the use of the abortion drug RU-486, also known as mifepristone, is on the rise.

"The number of surgical abortions actually decreased by more than 1,000 but the number of RU-486 abortions more than tripled from 187 to 667," said Mary Kay Culp, executive director of Kansans for Life.

"Kansans for Life has recently requested state investigation of RU-486 distribution," Culp added. "Our fear is that most of the increase in chemical abortions comes from clinics in low income, minority areas, which advertise cheaper RU-486 prices for regimens that do not meet the dosage level, supervision, or visits required by FDA protocol."

New concerns have been raised about the safety of RU-486, following the death of Holly Patterson, a California teenager whose death has been linked to RU-486. Numerous groups are now calling on the FDA to remove the drug from the market in light of safety concerns.

Kansans for Life believes that the decrease in surgical abortions in Kansas is due to last year’s closing of an abortion center in Lawrence, a college town located thirty minutes west of Kansas City.

In September of 2002, abortion practitioner Kristin Neuhaus closed her center near the University of Kansas campus following a lengthy dispute with the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts. The dispute emerged after the federal Drug Enforcement Administration placed limits on Neuhaus when questions were raised about her methods.

"Despite having twice declared her an ‘imminent danger to the public’ and requiring random drug testing for her entire staff, the Board failed to close her doors and to alert the public," Culp said. "We believe she closed the clinic because she found it too expensive to operate under proper medical protocol."

Culp added that Kansans for Life is pleased that college students are no longer falling victim to Neuhaus’ abortion center, and that abortions are on the decline statewide. "However, we fear the near-quadrupling of RU-486 abortions reflects target marketing of risky, price-reduced chemical abortions to poor, disadvantaged women," Culp said.

Last year, the Kansas House and Senate passed legislation involving licensing standards for abortion centers. However, Democratic Governor Kathleen Sebelius vetoed the bill.

Although she has described herself as a Catholic, Sebelius received political donations from the pro-abortion fund known as Emily’s List, late-term abortionist George Tiller, and an inner-city abortion practitioner who had been caught selling RU-486 abortions that did not meet FDA protocol.

Related web sites:
Kansans for Life – https://www.kfl.org