Kansas already has enacted laws this year to tighten restrictions on abortions after the 21st week of pregnancy and to require doctors to get the written consent of parents before performing an abortion on a minor. Abortion foes also hope to pass a bill restricting private health insurance coverage for abortions that aren't necessary to save a woman's or girl's life.
"The party of small government and limited regulation is spending an extraordinary amount of time and taxpayer money interfering in medical care and enacting new and dangerous regulations," said Peter Brownlie, president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri.
Kansas regulates hospitals and surgical centers, but not doctor's offices and clinics. Instead, individual physicians are licensed and regulated by the State Board of Healing Arts. Abortion opponents have repeatedly questioned the board's oversight.
The clinic-regulation bill would require doctors who perform abortions to have privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion clinic. A clinic's medical director would have to be a doctor licensed to practice medicine and surgery in Kansas, and all abortions after the 21st week of pregnancy would have to be performed in a hospital or surgical center.
The bill's backers noted that the Board of Healing Arts forced a Kansas City, Kan., physician to shut down his abortion clinic in 2005, finding substandard conditions there, but two years after complaints surfaced.
Haley said there were no deaths reported at the clinic and said even the services it provided were better than alternatives poor women might seek if the bill shut down other clinics.
But Sen. Garrett Love, a Montezuma Republican who supported the measure said: "I don't believe semi-clean to be OK. I don't believe it to be OK for poor women. I don't believe it to be OK for rich women."
The clinic regulation measure is House Sub for SB 36.
Kansas Legislature: http://www.kslegislature.org
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