by Steven Ertelt
May 22, 2006
Topeka, KS (LifeNews.com) — Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius has vetoed a modest measure that would provide for more accurate and comprehensive reporting of abortion statistics to state officials. The bill requires abortion practitioners to keep detailed information about any late-term abortions performed and notes on whether the baby was healthy before the abortion.
In her veto message, Sebelius said she refused to sign the measure because she claims it would not reduce abortions.
The governor also said she wouldn’t sign it because she claimed the measure "will force women to provide intimate, sensitive health information to the government."
"As we have seen in recent months in Kansas, we can never take our health privacy for granted," Sebelius said, referring to lawsuits involving two abortion businesses that are refusing to comply with Attorney General Phill Kline’s investigation into potential abortions on girls who are victims of statutory rape.
The abortion facilities are refusing to turn over medical records from the abortions that would aide Kline in prosecuting those cases and others involving possible illegal late-term abortions.
Kathy Ostrowski, the legislative director for Kansans for Life, took exception with Sebelius’ reasons for vetoing the bill.
She said the bill would actually help reduce abortions in Kansas by stopping those "that are apparently being obtained in violation of the 1998 late-term abortion law," she said in a statement provided to LifeNews.com.
"That’s why abortion lobbyists and pro-abortion lawmakers tried desperately to keep SB 528 from reaching Sebelius’ desk in this election year," she said. "They knew she would have to veto the bill, because it would significantly impact the abortion industry" — including Wichita-based late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller, a longtime Sebelius financial supporter.
Abortion practitioners already send some abortion statistics to the state for its records, and this bill is partly intended to make sure they are complying with the state’s law-term abortion law.
Ostrowski also said that women having abortions in Kansas have no privacy fears because, for eight years, "Kansas law has required reporting of the reasons late term abortions are sought-information based on sensitive patient information."
Kansas law requires that an abortion on a baby older than 22 weeks along can only be done if the pregnancy threatens the mother’s life, or "substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function."
However, Ostrowski pointed to a Los Angeles Times article showing some abortions being done at Tiller’s abortion business simply because the baby had Down syndrome.
Sen. Jim Barnett, a Republican and physician who supported the bill, agreed.
"The public has a fairly significant lack of awareness in that most of those babies are perfectly normal, healthy babies that are aborted late term," he said previously.
The state House approved the bill on a 89-34 vote and the Senate backed it 25-15.
The legislation is SB 528.
ACTION: Contact Gov. Sebelius at 877-579-6757 or go to https://www.ksgovernor.org/contact.html for more contact information.