Kansas Pro-Life Group Wants New Medical Board Chief to Monitor Abortion

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 26, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Kansas Pro-Life Group Wants New Medical Board Chief to Monitor Abortion

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
June 26
, 2008

Topeka, KS (LifeNews.com) — Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius has appointed a new director of the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts, the agency responsible for monitoring doctors. Jack Confer will replace Larry Buening, who resigned amid criticism of the Board failing to hold abortion practitioners accountable.

Confer is the former director of the Arizona Board of Osteopathy and he will take over the KSBHA on July 14 and serve on an interim basis until the Kansas Senate confirms his appointment.

Pro-life groups hope Confer will do a better job than his predecessor at making sure abortion practitioners are disciplined when they violate state abortion law or injure patients in abortions.

Operation Rescue president Troy Newman often called for Buening’s resignation and he told LifeNews.com he has some advice for the new director.

"The Board, under Buening’s leadership, did not do its job of protecting patients, especially from exploitation by shoddy abortionists," he said. "Confer certainly has his work cut out for him if he is to restore public confidence in the Board’s ability to protect the public."

Newman said Confer will be doing his job correctly if he operates independently of the pro-abortion governor, who has a close relationship with Wichita abortion practitioner George Tiller and has received significant financial support.

"He can start by leaving any political posturing at home. He must look at the complaints on their merits, not on what will please Gov. Sebelius," Newman said.

There are currently four complaints pending against Tiller with one complaint dating back to 2006, OR staff member Cheryl Sullenger explains.

"In fact, the basis of that 2006 complaint involved allegations that Tiller committed illegal abortions by violating the second unaffiliated physician requirement in Kansas law, something with which he has since been criminally charged," she told LifeNews.com.

"Yet, Tiller continues to operate without restriction. This is putting viable babies who should have legal protection at grave risk," she said.

In addition, Sullenger recently filed a complaint against Tiller and his employee, abortionist Shelley Sella.

Sella is alleged by a former Tiller abortion facility staff member to have stabbed to death a 35-week old baby that was born alive during a failed abortion.

"The extreme seriousness of the allegations against Tiller demand swift action in the interest of public safety," Sullenger said.

Newman said he hopes Confer will close Tiller’s abortion center while the investigations into the complaints move forward.

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