by Steven Ertelt
February 23, 2006
Topeka, KS (LifeNews.com) — The Kansas state House rewrote legislation intended to provide commonsense safety regulations at abortion businesses and changed it to cover all medical clinics that perform surgeries where anesthesia will be used. The move came despite objections from the state’s leading pro-life group.
Kansas for Life had wanted the legislation to focus only on abortion facilities because it worries the broader bill will have a less likely chance as passing.
Also, the group says abortion facilities have not been subjected to rigorous inspections that could have prevented a woman’s death last year at one abortion business and the terrible conditions that were exposed at another.
The House voted 66-56 to rewrite the bill and then approved the measure on second reading on a voice vote.
Under the revised measure, the state health department would conduct random inspections of health clinics across the state. But the Kansas Catholic Conference says the measure has a provision that will prevent abortion facilities from getting the kind of inspections that are necessary.
Gov. Kathleen Sebelius vetoed two previous attempts to regulate abortion businesses in 2003 and 2005 and some lawmakers cited those vetoes as the reason for approving the broader bill.
"I’m tired of beating my head against the wall," said pro-life Democratic Rep. Jan Pauls, according to an AP report. "I do want to have regulation of clinics."
However, Rep. Brenda Landwehr said abortion shouldn’t be treated like legitimate medical procedures.
She hadn’t planned to discuss her own abortion when she spoke on the bill yesterday, but thought it was appropriate at the time. Landwehr spoke of the emotional scars she still faces.
“How many of you have sat down and really talked to a young woman who’s gone through with an abortion, and what she’s living with today?” Landwehr asked, according to the Kansas City Star. “You live with a lot. I’m one of those women. I live with that pain every single day. Because I killed a baby. … It’s more than just a surgical procedure, having a knee repaired or a hip replaced.”
Abortion facilities are currently regulated by the state’s Board of Healing Arts, but pro-life advocates say the board has been ineffective.
Kansans for Life points to the January 2005 death of a mentally disabled teenager from Texas who went to Wichita for a late-term abortion. The abortion killed her but abortion practitioner George Tiller has escaped prosecution.
The Board of Healing Arts concluded he did nothing wrong even though the autopsy showed the abortion killed Christin, the 19 year-old girl.
"It’s sad and ironic that the Kansas House fell for the tricky politics of the governor who was successful in protecting her benefactor, late-term abortionist Dr. George Tiller, today," Mary Kay Culp, the director of Kansans for Life, said.
"I put the emphasis on today because we predict the "all-clinic" bill will never be signed into law, and if it is it will only be because she knows it will end up in court," Culp added.
Pro-life advocates also point to the abortion facility formerly run by Krishna Rajanna in Kansas City. Rajanna recently lost his medical license because of filthy conditions at the abortion center.
However, pro-life groups brought up the problems two years before the state board finally took action.
The House is expected to take a final vote on the bill today and will send it to the state Senate.
The bill is HB 2829.