by Steven Ertelt
April 25, 2005
Topeka, KS (LifeNews.com) — When Kansas lawmakers return to the state legislature on Wednesday, one of their few remaining items of business will be to try to over ride a gubernatorial veto of a bill that would put stronger safety measures in place for women having abortions.
With two abortion deaths this year and an abortion practitioner disciplined for safety violations, pro-life groups say the bill is needed.
Gov. Kathleen Sebelius vetoed the bill, which would have required licensing of abortion facilities by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. The department currently regulates hospitals and outpatient surgery centers, but not abortion facilities.
The bill also makes sure abortion businesses report any abortion-related deaths to the state within a day.
Mary Kay Culp, director of Kansans for Life, confirmed to the Associated Press that the override will be attempted. The chances of succeeding are difficult because bill supporters must come up with two-thirds in each chamber to override the governor’s veto.
The measure passed handily by a vote of 87-36 in the state House, but obtained just 27 of the 33 votes necessary in the state Senate for an override.
Culp hopes legislators will be sympathetic to the concern about women’s safety.
"It is an extremist, indefensible position to say that restaurants and beauty shops have to have proactive department of health inspections but not abortion clinics," Culp said. "Women are getting hurt."
But, abortion advocates claim the bill is only an attempt to shut down abortion businesses.
Sarah London, a lobbyist for Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, told AP that the only goal of lawmakers backing the proposal is to create enough "red tape and bureaucracy" to force abortion facilities to close.
Sebelius vetoed a similar bill in 2003 claiming that medical professionals should be setting the standards for abortion facilities rather than state legislators. She vetoed the bill this time around for the same reasons.
Related web sites:
Kansans for Life – https://www.kfl.org