Kansas Senate passes law requiring abortion providers to report suspected abuse


The Kansas Senate on Thursday passed and sent to the governor a bill that would strengthen abortion reporting requirements, The Witchita Eagle reports.

However, the bill is expected to be vetoed by the state governor.

If signed into law, the law would require abortion clinic employees to report suspected abuse of underage girls. 

The bill would also allow a woman’s husband or other family members to try to stop her from having a late-term abortion if they believe the law is being broken or the abortion would dispose of evidence of abuse or incest. 

The legislation would increase the information physicians who perform partial-birth abortions must provide to the state when they perform the procedures. 

Under the new provisions, county or district attorneys could obtain a woman’s medical records if they have probable cause to believe an abortion has been performed illegally.

The bill passed 25-13, two votes short of a veto-proof two-thirds majority.

Senator Phil Journey said he was concerned there would not be enough support to override an expected veto from Governor Kathleen Sebelius.  He said he could only count on one additional vote, from a senator who was absent due to illness.

The provision increases county or district attorneys’ access to medical records when they have probable cause to believe an illegal abortion has been committed.  The provision arose from former attorney general Phil Kline’s efforts to obtain the records of Wichita physician George Tiller, a notorious late-term abortionist.

Kline was voted out as attorney general in November 2006, but as a district attorney in Johnson County he has continued his efforts to prosecute abortionists.
The bill’s proponents said that the provision allowing family to intervene would help provide evidence of incest or sexual abuse before an abortion is performed.

"If that entity, the baby, can be eliminated, that's less evidence of the crime," Huelskamp said.

Bill opponent Senator Laura Kelly said that less than one percent of women who have abortions say it is because of coercion or abuse.  She said the decision should be made by the pregnant woman, rather than family members.

Others debated whether provisions dealing with access to medical records would compromise the privacy of doctors and patients.

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