by Steven Ertelt
August 24, 2007
Topeka, KS (LifeNews.com) — Arlen Siegfreid is one of many members of the Kansas state legislature who want to know more information about how the state health department is keeping track of the number of late-term abortions done there. He wants to know why the state is not keeping more detailed reports.
The state health department’s reporting has become an issue because of the charges of illegal late-term abortions the state’s attorney general has filed against Wichita abortion practitioner George Tiller.
Siegfreid, of Olathe, is the chairman of the joint committee on Federal and State Affairs and he is planning a hearing on the matter for August 31.
He wants to ask state health officials why they’re not requiring abortion practitioners to list the reasons for the late-term abortions when the state law requires they only be done for legitimate medical reasons.
Siegfreid has already promised to bring a bill before the 2008 legislative session to prohibit abortions after 21 weeks of pregnancy. He said exceptions in the current law allow for too many late-term abortions for illegitimate reasons.
"The less exceptions in the law the more luck we’re going to have enforcing it," Siegfreid said in June.
Records from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment show 1,086 abortions of viable unborn children from 2003-2006. None were necessary to save the life of the mother.
Mary Kay Culp of Kansans for Life previously talked about the abortions that are involved in the charges against Tiller. She said analysis from a Johns Hopkins psychologist found that all of the abortions involved special mental health reasons.
"Expert witness Dr. Paul McHugh of Johns Hopkins said he saw nothing in the records that got close to meeting the criteria in Kansas law for performing these very late abortions," she explained.