Manager of Abortion Biz on Trial for Assaulting Pro-Lifer

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 1, 2011   |   1:10PM   |   Kansas City, KS

The manager of an abortion facility in Kansas City, Kansas is now facing a trial after witnesses say he assaulted a pro-life advocate who was outside the abortion center at the time.

Mary Anne Sause was putting away her pro-life signs when Mark Pederson, the manager of the Aid for Women abortion center came up to her and began taking pictures of her. After doing so, Sause tells Fox 4 News that he, unprovoked, slammed her to ground.

“I’m thinking as a former rape victim that he’s going to find out where I live,” Sause told the television station. “He literally picked me up and body slammed me into the ground.”

Witness Kyle Nelson was present at the time and said he though Pederson was trying to rob Sause, so he called 911 on his cell phone.

“I started hearing some screaming,” he told the television station. “It sounded like this woman was being robbed. He grabbed her arms in a way, and they had the camera you know in their hands. He flipped her like you would in a wrestling move to get someone onto the ground.”

Robin Marriott with the Pregnancy Resource Center also witnessed the assault and told Fox 4 that she told Pederson he needed to let Sauce go.

“I just told him, it doesn’t need to come to this kind of behavior,” Marriott said.  “I knew he’d been trying to take a picture of her license plate, well that’s what he said he was trying to take a picture of her license plate for FBI reasons.”

Now, Pederson faces a trial on a misdemeanor battery charge, which Sauce says should be upgraded to a aggravated charge because Pederson had a weapon on him at the time of the attack. Pederson would not talk with the television station about the incident but confirmed he has a permit to carry a gun but said he did not have it on him at the time of the attack.

After a December 28 trial, Pederson faces a year in prison if convicted on the charge, though a prosecutor told the television station it is more likely Pederson would be required to take anger management classes.

The Aid for Women abortion business is behind a lawsuit against a Kansas law the state legislature approved earlier this year that has already resulted in temporarily closing one abortion center and may result in the closing of two others that may fail to meet the new health and safety standards it requires.

The new law pro-life Gov. Sam Brownback signed requires abortion centers to meet the same basic health and safety standards as legitimate outpatient surgical centers such as, according to the bill, “having an emergency door that can accommodate a gurney … maintaining proper emergency equipment, drugs and protocols, having proper lighting and ventilation, lavatory areas, and spaces for the sterilization of surgical equipment. Clinics must also have a licensed nurse in the clinic when abortions are done.”

The state health department has an 18-page checklist with more than 200 criteria abortion centers must meet in order to remain in compliance with the law. Abortion facilities must obtain an annual license from the health department and explain to officials the drugs and equipment used.

Kathy Ostrowski, of Kansans for Life, says Aid for Women has never had the best interests of women in mind.

“For many years, abortion businesses in Kansas have claimed to legislative committees that they do not need state oversight and that they already adhere to high industry standards,” she explained. “Ironically, most provisions in the new Kansas law were taken from the published standards of the National Abortion Federation. To that was added requirements that any abortion must be done by a Kansas-licensed physician with local hospital privileges, and that chemical abortion pills must not be provided via computer.”