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Sen. Rob Olson

The Kansas legislature is sending Gov. Sam Brownback another first-in-the-nation pro-life bill.

This morning the state Senate approved, 25-15, Senate sub SB 83, an update to the 1997 Woman’s Right to Know statute, that the House passed Friday 84-38.

“I think this is a bill that will help women make the right choice and an informed decision,” said Sen. Rob Olson (R-Olathe), who carried the bill today.

Rep. Susan Humphries

The Disclose Act was introduced this session in both chambers with numerous pro-life co-sponsors, including the three practicing physicians who are state representatives. The bill carrier in the House was Rep. Susan Humphries (R-Wichita).

The Disclose Act requires abortion businesses to provide –in an easily readable typeface –minimum professional information about each abortionist listed on clinics’ online informed consent documents.

Kansas abortion clinics cannot defend not providing basic data about the pool of practitioners they list on the informed consent documents they all make available online. State law requires this consent document as the gateway form that must be downloaded and time-stamped at least 24 hours prior to the abortion.

Currently if a woman uses the clinic’s form, she doesn’t “choose” the abortionist; she is assigned one. Nor can she evaluate if that practitioner is acceptable to her. She has no idea of the abortionist’s training, age, and professional reliability. This information stranglehold is not faced in any other elective procedure.

The Disclose Act requires these physician minimum topics:

  • Kansas residency,
  • medical degree year,
  • years employed at that abortion location,
  • whether hospital privileges are in effect,
  • malpractice coverage,
  • disciplinary actions completed by the State Board of Healing Arts (which regulates physicians).

Abortion clinics can very easily add this information in a one-time data entry to their online admission forms. Abortion clinics unjustifiably defend withholding this information–calling it harassment–the very words some abortion supporting Senators used today in debate.

Sen. Ty Masterson

SENATE DEBATE
A hostile motion by Sen. Dinah Sykes (R- Lenexa) to send the bill back to committee– to extend the disclosures to other medical practitioners– failed 16-23.

Sen. Ty Masterson (R-Andover) chastised opponents for veiling their opposition to the Disclose Act under the complaint that abortion was being treated differently. “Abortion is different because there is a third person involved in the procedure [the unborn baby].”

Sen. Steve Fitzgerald (R-Leavenworth) added, “The point is that in this procedure, the intended result is a dead human being.” He hammered at the claims from senators not to know this difference, saying this “must be explained not [due] to ignorance but to insincerity, deceit and self-delusion; and that is offensive.”

Sen. Steve Fitzgerald

Sen. Fitzgerald continued, charging that the actual intent of opponents “cloaked in ‘concern’ [about other medical procedures]” was

“to deny women important, relevant information in a convenient format at the appropriate time.”

Rebutting claims that the state Healing Arts Board makes providing disclosure to women unneeded, Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook (R-Shawnee) reminded that the Board does not act as a consumer protection agency, and “it is [our] legislative duty to protect, not point to another agency.”

Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook

Sen. Pilcher-Cook also read some excerpts from the National Abortion Federation convention which indicated the coarseness of abortionists. “The nature of abortion is ugly and it’s evil because it kills a human being,” she said.

The comment from one senator that too much time had been spent on this bill when budget issues remained, sparked this rebuttal from Sen. Gene Sullentrop (R-Wichita): “I don’t think money is more important than life…we should be making law about this and pass it.”

ABORTION VIA EMAIL
The Disclose Act is a recognition that–unlike decades ago when the Woman’s Right to Know Act became law–the great majority of abortions in Kansas are currently secured with a phone call or internet contact, not an office visit or medical referral.

Sen. Gene Suellentrop

Under state law enacted in 2013, each abortion clinic’s home page must include a live weblink to the state website for helpful “Woman’s Right to Know” information. However, proponents of the Disclose Act charge that abortion businesses have

  • disobeyed the location for that mandate or
  • printed it as to be barely-readable in tiny grey type on a tinted background.

That is the reason for requiring baseline data about abortionists be printed in black ink, 12 pt. size, on white paper.

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Sen LaTurner

Fed-State Chair Jacob LaTurner

Should Kansas abortion clinics continue to deny basic data about their abortionists from women considering abortion?

The Kansas Senate Federal State Affairs committee said “no!” to that on Wednesday morning.

With only the ranking minority and the two newest senators in opposition, the committee passed SB 98/ the DISCLOSE ACT. Committee chairman, Sen. Jacob LaTurner (R-Pittsburg) said he expects it will likely be voted on by the full Senate next week.

SB 98, the DISCLOSE ACT, updates the 1997 Kansas Woman’s Right to Know statutes by requiring that the abortion consent form reveal a few essentials about each abortionist, including year of medical degree, state residency, and whether he/she has local hospital privileges.

Women in Kansas considering abortion are completely in the dark about the practitioner that will be assigned to them by the abortion clinic. Kansas abortion appointments are made with a single phone call or email contact.

Paperwork designed by each clinic that supposedly covers the legal requirements of informed consent is available online. But the clinics’ consent forms really do not properly embody the intent of the Woman’s Right to Know law when they list all staff abortionists and have the woman estimate her gestational age.

Sen. Rob Olson

Sen. Rob Olson

Some of the data about Kansas physicians in the DISCLOSE ACT  can be found– with diligent effort –on the state website of the Kansas Board of Healing Arts. Too bad that the Board uses only half of the categories recommended by The Federation of State Medical Boards for physician profiling (see: here and here)

Pro-abortion testimony in Tuesday’s hearing showed grave ignorance of the principles of voluntary and fully informed consent. Testimony generally whined that the proposed simple disclosures were “unnecessary”, “absurd”, “redundant” and “prejudicial.” Poppycock.

WOMAN, NOT CLINIC TO CHOOSE INFO
A woman has a complete right to choose her physician by balancing factors she considers relevant in the abortion context. These include a practitioner’s gender, age, training, skill (or lack of it), length of time he/she has been working at that clinic, and whether he/she can participate in possible emergencies at the hospital.

The Kansas abortion clinics may indeed be embarrassed to disclose information that shows:

  • four of the seven Kansas abortionists are 75-78 years of age;
  • four (or fewer) of the seven have local hospital privileges;
  • one clinic has had 100% turnover in abortionists in only 3 years;
  • one abortionist was told by the Healing Arts Board not to practice ob/gyn.

Abortion consent forms under existent statute KSA 65-6710(b) must be printed in a typeface large enough to be clearly legible.

Kansas abortion clinics, however, have been playing games with the forms as to font sizes and colors and inserting opinion statements meant to undermine the mandated facts. That forced SB 98 to insure that the disclosures are in 12 pt. Black ink, Times New Roman font. To remedy potential mischief of black type on black background, Sen. Rob Olson (R-Olathe) amended SB 98 to insure the form prints out on white paper.

Read more about the new SB 98 here.

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