Pro-Life Group Seeks Probe of Abortion Deaths in Kansas

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 14, 2011   |   5:44PM   |   Topeka, KS

Why are women dying at abortion centers in Kansas and why is the public not getting complete information about what happened to these women and why — that’s what one pro-life group wants to know.

During a hearing before the state legislature, Kansas abortionist Herbert Hodes “revealed something neither the committee nor the public has ever heard,” according to a write-up by Kansans for Life legislative director Kathy Ostrowski. Hodes admitted five women have died from legal abortions in Kansas over the last five years.

The Kansas-based pro-life group Operation Rescue followed up on the claim and informed today that neither the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts (KSBHA) nor the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDH&E) could provide any additional information.

The KDH&E immediately denied a request under the Kansas Open Records Act by Operation Rescue for information about the abortion-related maternal deaths, and would not even confirm or deny the number, the group indicated. The KSHBA did not immediately deny the request made to their agency, but, within minutes of receiving it, KSBHA Executive Director Kathleen Seltzer Lippert e-mailed Operation Rescue senior policy advisor Cheryl Sullenger with extensive reasons why they may not be able to confirm Hodes’ allegation.
According to Lippert, abortion facilities must report patient deaths to the KSBHA, however, if they manage to get the injured woman to the hospital before she dies from the abortion complications, there’s no obligation to report anything. The group says hospitals and extended care facilities are not required to report abortion-related maternal deaths to the KSBHA.

“Because we cannot get a straight answer out of the state agencies who should know, Operation Rescue is filing a formal complaint with Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt asking him to fully investigate this claim and bring to justice the abortionists that are killing women in Kansas,” said Operation Rescue president Troy Newman.

Hodes runs an abortion clinic in Overland Park, Kansas, along with his daughter, Traci Nauser, who is also an abortion practitioner and they do abortions up to 22 weeks into pregnancy.

Newman said Hodes has a problematic past — including suing Kansas in order to get around laws requiring him to report any suspected cases of statutory rape to authorities.

Hodes once sued the state in Federal Court over an opinion issued by former Attorney General Phill Kline that indicated abortion clinics were subject to mandatory child sex reporting laws. That case was ultimately thrown out on a technicality after the reporting law was amended.

During that case, Hodes asked an Assistant Attorney General to define “protect,” when asked if he believed the state had an interest in protecting children. His testimony ended abruptly when questioning about Hodes’ willingness to follow Kansas law was stopped by his attorney, who ordered him not to respond on the grounds that it might incriminate him.

His attorney had reason to be concerned. A staff member at Hodes’ abortion clinic was caught in an undercover phone sting conducted by Life Dynamics, Inc., advising a caller, who represented herself to be a 14-year old girl who was having sex with a 22-year old man, to go to the nearly Planned Parenthood office, with a guarantee that she could get an abortion and/or birth control pills to avoid Kansas parental notification laws.

Hodes is a member of the National Abortion Federation, a group of abortion centers that has been known to harbor among the worst abortionists in the nation, including convicted Arizona abortionist Brian Finkel, who was sentenced to 35 years in prison for raping and otherwise sexually abusing over 100 of his abortion patients. Recently, the NAF has been criticized for not reporting Pennsylvania abortionist Kermit Gosnell after one of their members found gross violations at his abortion center. Months later, Gosnell was raided by police and he now faces charges for the murder of one patient and seven newborn babies.

According to the NAF’s statistics, abortion-related maternal deaths occur once in 160,000 abortions.

“God forbid that we should discover that we have a ‘house of horrors’ here in Kansas where women are apparently dying in secret at a rate nearly 16 times the apparent national average,” said Newman. “Five deaths among so few abortion clinics in five years is an appalling statistic with criminal implications. We have seen abortionists go to jail in other states for killing one woman during an abortion. Five deaths is unheard of. Lives are literally at stake. We call on Attorney General Derek Schmidt to get to the bottom of this for the protection of women and to bring the perpetrators to speedy justice.”