by Steven Ertelt
May 23, 2006
Topeka, KS (LifeNews.com) — Kansas pro-life lawmakers are uncertain if they will attempt an override of an abortion records reporting bill that pro-abortion Gov. Kathleen Sebelius vetoed. 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.
Sen. Karin Brownlee, a Republican from Olathe, told the Associated Press that lawmakers may wait to make a decision until all legislators return on Thursday from their break to conduct last-minute business before ending the legislative session.
“I’m talking with colleagues,” Brownlee said. “There is interest in attempting to override.”
The bill would provide for more accurate and comprehensive reporting of abortion statistics to state officials.
The state House approved the bill on a 89-34 vote and the Senate backed it 25-15. Lawmakers would need 27 votes in the Senate and 84 in the House to override Sebelius’ veto and the Senate would probably vote first on a possible override.
House Speaker Doug Mays, a Republican, told AP his chamber likely wouldn’t take up an override unless the Senate was successful.
“I think the chances of it being overridden in the Senate are slim, so I don’t know that we’ll worry much about it unless somehow they were to send it over,” Mays said.
Brownlee said, “I think we’re close in the Senate," when AP asked her to estimate the chances of an override.
Kansans for Life is asking lawmakers to move forward with an override and strongly criticized Sebelius for vetoing the bill.
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.
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 to express your opinion about her veto.