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Posts Tagged ‘South Wind Women’s Center’

Sen. Jake LaTurner

Sen. Jacob LaTurner

This afternoon, the Kansas Senate passed a “technical clarification”  [S Sub HB 2228] that aims to get a 2011 ban on “webcam abortions” into effect in Kansas.

So-called “webcam abortions” are premised on the abortionist never being in the same room as the woman obtaining abortion pills.

15 other states have such bans already in place, with 2 more going into effect in July.

The Overland Park, Kansas father-daughter abortion duo at the Center for Women’s Health had sued the entire Kansas 2011 Abortion Clinic Licensure law and obtained a block against it before it was scheduled to go into effect. The law included language governing abortions “by pill.”

CWH attorneys had complained that the original abortion pill provision potentially interfered with medication-induced abortions in hospitals. Today’s language should satisfy them of legislative intent. This would allow the Kansas Attorney General to petition the Shawnee County District Court to grant a motion allowing the abortion pill provision it to go into effect while litigation proceeds.

Sen. Jacob LaTurner (R-Pittsburg) carried the measure, which passed 39-0 without debate. The House is expected to take up the measure next week after the holiday break.

The new language clarifies that, except in the case of labor induction abortions at hospitals, the RU 486 (mifepristone) abortion drug

shall initially be administered by or in the same room and in the physical presence of the physician who prescribed, dispensed or otherwise provided the drug to the patient.”

The new language also grants an exception for a medical emergency posing a threat to the mother’s life or physical health. As updated last year, “medical emergency” applies uniformly to all Kansas abortion statutes and satisfies the past concerns of the abortion clinic attorneys suing this 2011 law.

S Sub HB 2228 clearly governs abortion pills– not “morning after,” “Plan B,” “Ella,” or other so–called emergency contraception governed under K.S.A. 67-6502.

BACKGROUND
The RU486 abortion pill protocol used in Kansas and nationally, typically involves a woman taking an initial dose of RU486 (mifepristone) followed within 2 days by a second drug,, misoprostol, generally taken at home.

These abortions “by pill” cause excessive bleeding– four times as much as surgical abortions– and pose serious risks to women. As of 2011, the FDA reported abortion pills resulted in at least 14 reported deaths and over 2,200 “adverse” events including 612 hospitalizations, 340 transfusions and 58 undetected (and life-threatening) ectopic pregnancies.

Despite the risky nature of this protocol, abortionists in Iowa implemented “webcam” abortions that excluded an in-person exam or consultation with a physician. In a “webcam” abortion, the pills are dispensed via a drawer beneath a computer screen, activated after on-screen contact with a long-distance physician.

Of note, the Iowa medical board opposes the substitution of a webcam contact for an in-person abortion exam and consult. The Iowa webcam ban, after being upheld in district court, is being appealed by Planned Parenthood to their state Supreme Court.

Webcam abortions eliminate the expense of hiring onsite abortionists, and might especially appeal to abortion clinics that currently rely on non-resident “fly-in” practitioners, as does the South Wind Women’s Center in Wichita, Kansas.

Frankly, pro-lifers do not support abortion by any method but the legislature has the minimum duty to insure that the mother’s life isn’t going to be put at even greater risk for some economic benefit of abortion businesses.

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up down arrowsFirst, the good news—Kansas continues to see annual abortion numbers steadily decrease. On Wednesday, we learned there were 3% fewer Kansas abortions in 2014 (7,263) than in 2013 (7,485), according to the annual preliminary report from the Kansas Department of Health & Environment.

Also encouraging is that clinics reported 115 women received informed consent certification and did not go through with a Kansas abortion in 2014.

As has long been the pattern, almost exactly half –49%– of Kansas abortions were obtained by out-state residents (3,578). The heavy majority came from Missouri (3,381) which has only one operative abortion facility in St. Louis. That means that women from northwest Missouri, including the populous Kansas City metro area, obtain abortions right over the state line at Planned Parenthood and the Center for Women’s Health in Overland Park, Kansas.

There is one other Kansas abortion business, South Wind Women’s Center (SWWC) in Wichita, which opened in April 2013. SWWC is located in the same building that abortionist George Tiller occupied for decades and which closed in June 2009. A fourth abortion clinic, the Aid for Women clinic in Kansas City, closed in July 2014.

The Kansas annual report shows that most of the abortion patterns as to age, ethnicity and pregnancy history remain unchanged. However, of concern in this report is

  1. the continued rise in abortions by pill to an annual figure of 3,228 —now 44.4% of total abortions– and far above the reported national average;
  2. an unexpected 9% rise in D&E/ dismemberment abortions from 2013 (584) to 2014 (637); and
  3. a troubling rise in abortions obtained by metro Wichita-area women in the past 2 years while abortions have consistently declined in every other metro area.

First, the increase in abortions induced by abortifacients is a national trend, and a 2011 Guttmacher report tabbed it as 22.6 % of all abortions. In Kansas, abortions by pill are available at all 3 clinics, and rose from 2.903 in 2013 to 3,228 in 2014. Only one clinic, SWWC, publishes the cost of such– $600– on its website.

Second, it is very disturbing that the number of D&E/ dismemberment abortions rose last year to 637, after the number had been decreasing.

State data shows the D&E figures as: 932 in 2008,793 in 2009,715 in 2010, 661 in 2011, 640 in 2012, and 584 in 2013.

The SWWC website describes the D&E method as the “removal of the pregnancy with forceps” — similar to the deceptive descriptions from the other clinics. None of their “informed consent” documents reveal that the living unborn child will be painfully torn limb from limb and bleed to death.

SWWC charges $800-$2,000 for a D&E, according to a Feb. 20, 2015 PBS NewsHour story. The other clinics do not post their D&E pricing. All three clinics testified in opposition to SB 95, the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, which passed the Legislature March 25 and awaits the promised signature of Gov. Sam Brownback.

The third trend of concern in the Kansas abortion data is that one county has shown a rise in women obtaining abortions over the past 2 years: Sedgwick– which covers the Wichita metro area where SWWC opened in April 2013. Annual abortions obtained by Wichita area women were down to a historic low of 566 in 2012, but rose to 691 in 2013, and then increased again to 834 in 2014.

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Aid for Women closes

KCK’s Aid for Women clinic

As confirmed by the Associated Press today, the Aid for Women (AFW) abortion clinic has closed abruptly, citing the retirement of its abortionist, Ronald Yeomans (age 73), as the reason.

The closure was announced on the AFW website, which was infamous for its churlish remarks undermining Kansas informed consent statutes. AFW’s website dissed state health agency abortion information as forced by “Republican misogynist (women-hating) bullies” and asserted that cancer was a living human organism like the unborn child. (read more here)

AFW was ripe for state oversight. The Kansas clinic licensure and regulation law– long fought for by Kansans for Life– was twice vetoed by past Gov. Kathleen Sebelius before finally being approved by Gov. Sam Brownback in 2011.

AFW applied for– and failed to attain –a state-issued license in June 2011.

This was hours before the new law was blocked in federal court from going into  effect. Aid for Women was quoted they’d “have to gut the place” to be in compliance.

Although the licensure law is stalled in state court, yet to be litigated, AFW did stop provision of abortion pills after the law’s passage.

As has been the case for so many previous Kansas abortionists, Yeomans was trained at the University of Kansas medical school (KUMed) and worked at Planned Parenthood. The Kansas legislature sealed off that sad legacy by ending onsite abortion provision at KUMed in 1997 and onsite abortion training at KUMed in 2013.

AFW abortionists had a long history of malpractice cases and disciplinary actions issued by the Kansas State Healing Arts Board, including original co-owner abortionists Malcolm Knarr and Sherman Zaremski, as well as later staff abortionists, Kris Neuhaus, and Krishna Rajanna.

SORDID HISTORY
Knarr, a convicted drug felon from Oklahoma, opened the business as a Medicaid and abortion facility in the impoverished inner city of Kansas City, Kansas in the early 1980’s. In 1993, KFL orchestrated the citizen petition drive that resulted in a grand jury convened to force government agencies to take action against Knarr.  During this time, he was averaging a malpractice suit every few months.

Although the grand jury was derailed, Knarr was forced out of medicine in 1994, and the state Healing Arts Board has kept him on a permanently suspended license. However, Knarr was able to keep ownership of the clinic with the Board restriction that he not enter any Kansas doctor’s office, hospital or other health-care facility except as a patient or as a visitor of a patient.

Zaremski, a failed lung doctor, joined AFW as Knarr’s business partner and fabricated years of non-existent prescription records. Zaremski performed at least one abortion, if not more, on young sisters who were repeatedly victimized by their step-father (see details here). He took retirement after years of battling licensure penalties and restrictions.

Neuhaus worked for AFW in the mid 1990s, in Kansas City and a Topeka branch. She staged a media event “locking out” Knarr at his own clinic. She then parted company, and worked –and  failed– at two abortion businesses in Lawrence and Wichita. During those years, the Healing Arts Board twice labeled her a “danger to the public” but let her keep her license, enabling her to provide “approval referrals” for late-term abortions at the George Tiller clinic in Wichita. Neuhaus lost her medical license two years ago but is litigating the revocation.

Rajanna was a failed internist who trained at AFW until he left to set up a competing mill down the street—a rat-and-rodent-overrun facility with open syringes of drugs and bags of fetal parts kept in the staff lunchroom refrigerator.  Rajanna lost his license in 2005 (read more here). Five years later, Rajanna caused a media ruckus when he was caught dumping old patient abortion files with personal information into a school dumpster.

SUDDEN CLOSINGS
With abortion rates dropping each year, many abortion businesses across the nation are closing or consolidating. In August 2010, Planned Parenthood of Kansas Mid-Missouri announced the sudden closing of its small Lawrence clinic merely with a note posted on the door, explaining only that continued operation was no longer “financially feasible.”

Yeomans’ Kansas annual medical license renewal was filed and accepted this month by the Healing Arts Board. But that begs the question of why an aging abortionist would pay for a state license if he knew his sole Kansas facility, AFW, was imminently closing?

Yeomans has been an itinerant abortionist for years, for a long time in West Virginia, so he may not have retired from abortions, only at the AFW Kansas City location. The SouthWind abortion clinic appears to need an abortionist—they opened last year in Wichita, Kansas, with three non-Kansas resident abortionists but only one remains on staff. We wouldn’t be surprised to find Yeomans on their roster.

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Cheryl Chastine

Cheryl Chastine

Last Friday was the fifth anniversary of the slaying of George Tiller, notorious for performing late abortions up through the ninth month of pregnancy. There were a number of stories lauding Tiller.

We learn from the Wichita Eagle that a joint media conference call from Julie Burkhart, Tiller’s former Political Action Committee (PAC) director, generated the “Tiller legacy” tribute stories at NPR, MSNBC, Wichita Eagle, Salon, and other pro-abortion outlets.

These reports served several purposes: to portray Tiller as a hero, vilify pro-life legislation, and to promote the fledgling South Wind Women’s Center (SWWC) abortion clinic. SWWC is run by Burkhart, using an Illinois fly-in abortionist, Cheryl Chastine.

SWWC is located in the same Wichita, Kansas, building Tiller occupied for decades. Reporters were informed SWWC hopes to expand to Oklahoma City and possibly beyond.

The engine for the “Tiller legacy” media campaign is Burkhart, who ran Tiller’s ProKanDo PAC from 2002 until 2009. The PAC spent over $2.4 million dollars to elect pro-abortion candidates, including former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (see details here).

After the Kansas State Healing Arts Board initiated legal actions to revoke Tiller’s medical license for violating the Kansas post-viability abortion ban, Burkhart left for St. Louis to head Missouri ProVote, a pro-Obama / pro-abortion political activist coalition.

Within a year of Tiller’s death, Burkhart had created a new group -–the Trust Women PAC– with the mission of stopping pro-life legislation and increasing abortion businesses in the “underserved” Midwest and South.

When the Tiller clinic was still in business in 2009, the Kansas legislature passed additional “Woman’s Right to Know”(WRTK) provisions aimed, in part, at the many women who were being led into late abortions to “resolve” their medically-challenging pregnancy.

The improved WRTK provisions included:

  • where to get free medical help, including perinatal hospice, for grave or lethal fetal conditions, and
  • a mandate that the clinic accommodate women who want to hear the fetal heart tones or see a current sonogram before obtaining an abortion.

This WRTK law requires the state health department to prepare medically-accurate pregnancy and fetal development materials in booklet form and available online, and to maintain a 24 hour phone hotline. Of course, according to Burkhart, this is just another “measure designed to shame and guilt” women, and burden clinics.

WHAT ABORTIONIST CHASTINE TOLD MEDIA
Based on several of her statements recorded in Friday’s Salon article, the 32-year old Chastine seems especially uninformed about Kansas’ WRTK abortion law. She said,
“It feels like there’s a third party in the exam room that doesn’t belong there, and I’m very clear with patients when I tell them that. I tell them, ‘The state wants me to tell you this. They also you to do this.’ I don’t try to hide the intrusion. I make sure that they know so that they can understand how their care is being influenced by unnecessary legislation.”

Chastine is quite emphatic about giving SWWC clients a rebuttal to information that she wrongly believes Kansas law requires her to “tell” abortion clients. But Kansas does not require the abortionist to say anything.

WRTK information was in fact designed as an out-of-clinic resource to both counter misconceptions relayed by abortion personnel as well as remedy a lack of relevant information preventing a woman from a freely formed abortion decision. WRTK laws offer a counterpoint to a rushed, forced, and irrevocable abortion, which is why abortion clinics hate them so.

Salon interviewer Katie McDonough further prods Chastine with this:
“Kansas is passing legislation designed to shame patients and place barriers to access in their way. I’m thinking of the 24 hour waiting period here, which is both intended to be a logistical barrier but also an insult to a patient’s intelligence….You probably see people who have come a long way, who have saved up, who taken off work — and you then have to tell them, “I can’t do this for you today. You have to wait 24 hours…”

To which Chastine responds,
“That’s extremely frustrating… I tell the patients…I trust you as a moral decision-maker, and I’m sorry that the state doesn’t do the same.”

The reality is that Kansas’ 24 hour period of reflection is nothing new. It was passed seventeen years ago. Moreover,  it does not require two onsite clinic visits and, in all likelihood, women don’t make two trips to a Kansas abortionist.

They can call the abortion business, tell them their estimated age of pregnancy, get told via phone or clinic website where to access the state materials, and make one appointment. The fact that pregnant women can stay out of the clinic and contemplate medically accurate materials is to their benefit and to the detriment of the abortion clinic’s bottomline.

A legal Kansas abortion does require the woman to sign a paper that she accessed WRTK info 24 hours before undergoing the abortion. Hopefully, each woman does attentively review the WRTK info (including ultrasound images)—especially those who are young, conflicted about abortion, or being coerced. Past testimony to Kansas legislative committees, as well as letters to the U.S. Supreme Court, have expressed the negative effects upon women who did not recognize the humanity of the unborn until years after experiencing an abortion.

Chastine maintains abortion is a “decision” morally equivalent to delivering a child.
“The people who are having abortions and people who give birth are not different people; they are the same people. And they make both of those decisions with their full moral decision-making capacity and for the same reasons.”

That kind of messaging may impress the SWWC staffers who (we are told) have graduated college with gender or women’s studies degrees. Those viewing everything through a lens of “patriarchal repression” may also agree with Chastine’s opinion that,
“I am very, very terrified of the rollback in access to reproductive healthcare… because the people who suffer from this are the most vulnerable in our society and the most voiceless.”

The rest of us think that the most vulnerable and voiceless are the unborn.

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