Kansas Senate Fails to Override Sebelius Veto of Bill to Limit Late-Term Abortions
by Steven Ertelt
May 8, 2009
Topeka, KS (LifeNews.com) — The Kansas Senate failed in a late Thursday vote to override a veto from former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius of a bill that would place more limits on late-term abortions. The bill requires abortion practitioners to provide the state health department with detailed information about why the abortion was done.
The legislature approved H Sub 218 with the House casting a final vote of 82-43 for the bill and the Senate voting 25-11 for it.
Sebelius vetoed the bill and the Kansas Senate override vote was 25-13, two short of the two-thirds majority needed to overcome her decision. The veto came just days before the U.S. Senate confirmed Sebelius to become President Barack Obama’s health secretary.
Mary Kay Culp, the director of Kansans for Life, told LifeNews.com she is disappointed the state Senate failed to reach an override majority.
She said it is "an especially insulting and indefensible outrage because it concerned an attempt to stop abortions performed illegally, that is, outside the legal limits set out for unborn babies big enough to live outside the womb at the time of the abortion."
"The only hope now for vulnerable young women and their babies remains with the new leadership of the Kansas Board of Healing Arts which has announced that they are pursuing findings of illegalities against late-term abortionist Tiller," she added.
Culp is also hoping that new Governor Mark Parkinson will sign the new state budget that de-funds Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion business.
Kathy Ostrowski, the legislative director for Kansans for Life, previously told LifeNews.com that the bill was sorely needed.
"LeRoy Carhart does late-term abortions with George Tiller every few weeks in Wichita. Carhart has twice battled all the way to the US Supreme Court to protect his ‘right’ to use this grizzly partial birth procedure," Ostrowski noted.
"When Kansans contact lawmakers to ask why they did not adopt the best available restrictions on partial birth abortions with the number-one promoter of such a procedure here in our state, the vote to achieve override should improve," she said.
Most of H Sub 218 was taken from the Comprehensive Abortion Reform Act, vetoed last year by the governor, without two provisions to which she objected.
"The measure closes loopholes in diagnostic reporting for post-viability abortions and improves the partial birth abortion law to exclude ‘mental health’ reasons, using Supreme Court-approved language," Ostrowski explained.
The bill came on the heels of a jury acquitting late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller of charges the state attorney filed against him for allegedly violating another late-term abortion law requiring a second, independent physician to sign off on the validity of the abortions.
Hours after the verdict, the Kansas Board of Healing Arts, the agency that monitors doctors in the state, announced that it is considering taking action against Tiller’s medical license.
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