Kansas Senate Falls One Vote Short to Override Veto of Late-Term Abortion Bill

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 5, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Kansas Senate Falls One Vote Short to Override Veto of Late-Term Abortion Bill

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
May 5
, 2010

Topeka, KS (LifeNews.com) — Proving that one vote does indeed matter, the Kansas state Senate today failed to override a veto by Governor Mark Parkinson of a pro-life bill. The Senate voted 26-14 to overturn the veto, which was one vote shy of the two-thirds majority necessary to do so.

Sen. Ralph Ostmeyer, a Republican, said a potential change in the political landscape after November could help ensure the bill is signed into law.

He referred to the potential election of pro-life Sen. Sam Brownback as the governor of Kansas — and he faces state Sen. Tom Holland, a Democrat who voted against the override.

“We will have a change in governor, we will get this passed, it is just a year away,” he said, according to the Wichita Eagle.

Sen. Jeff Colyer, a Republican, talked in support of the override while Sen. Jean Schodorf, also a Republican, voted against it.

The bill concerns a measure that would help provide enforcement to a state law limiting late-term abortions. The Kansas state House voted 86-35-3 to override the veto on Monday.

The pro-life bill provides new reporting standards that could stop more abortions.

The legislation holds late-term abortion practitioners accountable by making them report to the state health department a precise diagnosis used to justify late-term abortions.

Kathy Ostrowski, the legislative director for Kansans for Life, told LifeNews.com after the vote: "This is a tragedy for women and a welcome mat for late-term abortionists to set up shop again in Kansas. Nebraska’s LeRoy Carhart publicly stated his decision to do so was "in flux" due to the status of HB 2115."

Ostrowski said Sen. Jean Schodorf, a Wichita Republican, was the linchpin in upholding the governor’s veto.

"Her vote against ending late-term abortion reporting abuse aided by the Kansas health department shows she wants to be the abortion industry’s candidate in the 4th district Congressional race," she said. "Sen. Schodorf was dishonest about working for a compromise bill, because there is no conflict to be ironed out."

"HB 2115 tells the state health agency to stop the abortion reporting abuse, tells the state Medical Board to take away medical licenses for abortion crimes, and tells the victims of criminal abortion to take it to court," she said.

Kansas law currently bans post-viability abortions unless the continuation of the pregnancy would present a "substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function" of the pregnant woman.

Since 2000, that law has been interpreted to include "mental health" as long as the mental health risk was "substantial and irreversible."

The bill would allow families of women to sue abortion practitioners if they believed the abortion was done illegally. It would have also codify the requirement that the second consenting physician needed for approval of late-term abortions be licensed in Kansas.

"Our 1998 law was supposed to keep post-viable abortions banned (except for very dire circumstances) but it hasn’t been enforced," Kansans for Life said in an email to LifeNews.com before the veto. "Instead, according to official Kansas abortion stats, there have been 3,000 since then."

H.B. 2115 requires that state agencies honor the original legislative intent and mandate that abortionists give real, medical reasons for doing a post-viable abortion. It also gives women and their families standing to sue if they believe the woman received an illegal abortion.

KFL says the bill is especially important as Nebraska-based abortion practitioner LeRoy Carhart determines what to do with his late-term abortion business that is facing new limits from the Nebraska legislature.

"Carhart of Nebraska (who still retains a Kansas medical license) said recently that a new law passed in Nebraska may cause him to move his late-term abortion clinic to another state, and Kansas is one he is considering," KFL says. "He formerly worked for George Tiller and is responsible for many of those 3,000 post-viable abortions mentioned above."

"He enjoyed the fact that while Kansas required reasons be given for post-viable abortions, that Kansas didn’t enforce that requirement the way it was intended by the legislature," KFL adds. "H.B. 2115 does. It mandates a medical reason be listed for post-viable abortions on state abortion report forms. The fact that something that simple could keep Kansas off Carhart’s relocation list shows just how illegal most, if not all, of those 3,000 post-viable abortions likely were."

Related web sites:
Kansans for Life – https://www.kfl.org

Sign Up for Free Pro-Life News From LifeNews.com

Daily Pro-Life News Report Twice-Weekly Pro-Life
News Report
Receive a free daily email report from LifeNews.com with the latest pro-life news stories on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here. Receive a free twice-weekly email report with the latest pro-life news headlines on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here.