Kansas Legislator Backs Down From More Late-Term Abortion Restrictions
by Steven Ertelt
August 31, 2007
Topeka, KS (LifeNews.com) — A top pro-life Kansas lawmaker is backing down from proposing more restrictions on late-term abortions. Instead, state Rep. Arlen Siegfreid says he wants to make sure the health department is following the law and accurately and adequately reporting how many of the abortions are done and why.
Siegfried also wants to propose new legislation making the reporting requirements for abortion practitioners more thorough.
Current state law requires that late-term abortions only be done to save a woman’s life or to prevent “substantial and irreversible harm” to “a major bodily function.”
However, Wichita abortion practitioner George Tiller, under charges from former Attorney General Phill Kline, appeared to have been doing abortions for specious mental health reasons.
Siegfried planned to submit legislation limiting the abortions to cases when the life of the mother is in danger, but he told the Lawrence Journal World “I’m not getting good feedback on that.” He said attorneys have told him such a bill could be unconstitutional.
Instead, he is going to push for better reporting requirements so state officials can crack down on abortions done outside the law.
He said abortion practitioners are currently just “reiterating the law back to us on the form” by saying the abortion was needed for the reasons stated in the law.
Mary Kay Culp, executive director of Kansans for Life, the head of Kansans for Life, told the newspaper she backs the idea.
“We want the reasons and the basis written down,” she said.
Gov. Kathleen Sebelius has vetoed previous efforts to put more reporting limits in place.