John-Henry Westen


Abortion at Kansas Clinic Led to Woman’s Death Leaked Governor’s Memo Admits

John-Henry Westen

WICHITA, KA, February 22, 2005 ( - Abortion clinic activists with Operation Rescue in Wichita have videotaped five ambulance transports from George Tiller’s Wichita Women’s Health Care late-term abortion clinic to Wesley Medical Center in the past 13 months. 

One was last week (Feb. 17) and one was January 13 which involved a woman who they were later informed had died. To date, there has been little media inquiry and little coverage, probably because of a lack of official recognition of the death.

That same abortion clinic is paid by provincial governments in Canada to perform late-term abortions on Canadian women. 

Kansans for Life was recently given a February 2 memo from Governor Sebelius to Larry Buening, Executive Director of the Kansas Board of Healing Arts (BOHA). In the Feb. 2 memo, Governor Kathleen Sebelius asked the BOHA to investigate “the circumstances of the death of a patient at the Wichita Women’s Health Center on or about January 13, 2005.” 

Kansans for Life is taking that as an official indication that the woman in the January 13 incident indeed died. confirmed that the memo is genuine. 

Nicole Corcoran, press secretary for Governor Sebelius told said of the memo, “Yes, it is a memo that the Governor sent to the board of healing arts.” 

The findings around the death could have serious political ramifications for Governor Sebelius. The memo asks for ‘the Board’s determination of whether H.B. 2176, passed by the 2003 legislature would have in any way mitigated or prevented the patient’s death.’ HB 2176 (the Abortion Clinic Licensing bill) was vetoed by Sebelius in 2003. In her veto message she asserted that: “Kansans experience and appreciate some of the highest standards for medical care in the country.”

Kansans for Life Executive Director Mary Kay Culp said that having the BOHA investigate the situation was not adequate, especially given the relationship between the board and the Governor’s office. 

Kansas for Life revealed and the Governor’s office has confirmed that BOHA Executive Director Larry Buening is married to a top Sebelius staffer. Governor Sebelius’ office is now attempting to suggest that the wording on the memo was not exact and should have asked for an investigation into a “potential” death rather than a “death” as the memo reads. 

Corcoran told, “Governor Sebelius learned from some media reports that there was a potential death at a Wichita clinic so she asked the board of healing arts to conduct an investigation.”

Corcoran said that once findings are reported they will be made public. 

“We have not heard, gotten a report or any results from the board of healing arts at this time, but we are expecting one, and once we have it the governor said she would share that,” she said. 

Kansas Attorney General Phil Kline’s office has also announced it is investigating the case. 

See related coverage: 

Kansas Abortion Clinic Sends Another Woman to Hospital Weeks After Reported Death 

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