Overhaul: Gov. Brownback tightens abortion clinic regs, readies to gut Planned Parenthood funding
TOPEKA, Kansas, May 17, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The once-ironclad Kansas abortion industry is being shaken up by more clinic regulations, a pro-life health insurance law, and a budget that would gut Planned Parenthood’s funding, all part of a seismic shift in the state’s abortion politics that followed the November elections.
On Thursday, the Kansas state legislature wrapped up the legislative session by passing a budget depriving Planned Parenthood of $334,000 in federal family planning funds. The budget cut was proposed by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback, who on Monday also signed a bill that calls for more oversight of abortion clinic practices, requires ultrasounds, and bans so-called “telemed” abortions.
The budget cut, once signed by Brownback, will make Kansas the second state in the nation to deprive Planned Parenthood of public funds based on its involvement in the abortion business.
Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri has said it would consider suing the state over the new budget, which CEO Peter Brownlie complained would “undermine women’s health” by defunding the abortion giant.
The bill signed on Monday, SB 36, will require that state abortion clinics be inspected at least twice a year, and will hand a wealth of additional oversight powers over abortion clinics to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
SB 36 also requires abortionists to be physically present to dispense the abortion drug RU-486, thereby banning the dangerous “telemed” abortion procedure spearheaded by Planned Parenthood, and ensures the right of women to view their ultrasounds before an abortion.
Also passed on Thursday was a bill that bans health insurance packages from incorporating abortion coverage; it allows the coverage in a separate insurance rider, however. Brownlie has also threatened to challenge the health insurance restriction, saying that a possible technicality during passage could bring down the bill.
The Kansas legislature has passed five pro-life bills this year - a situation that Kansas-based pro-life leader Troy Newman of Operation Rescue called “night and day” from that under the deeply pro-abortion administration of former Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius, now Obama’s Health and Human Services Secretary.
“You go from radically sold-out abortion supporters who would cover up abortion, to all of a sudden one that is willing to sign pro-life legislation,” said Newman in a telephone interview with LifeSiteNews.com Tuesday.
Newman said that previously not only the administration, but the “entire government apparatus” was radically pro-abortion, including the state health department, the Kansas Board of Healing Arts, and the Attorney General’s office. This, he said, made it impossible for years to prosecute abortionists breaking the law, including slain late-term abortionist George Tiller.
“I’ve yet to find an abortion mill that doesn’t violate the law,” said Newman, whose organization is dedicated to exposing corrupt practices among abortionists in the United States. He said that if the government actually prosecuted according to the new laws, it “will close two abortion mills right off the bat” in the state.
The pro-life leader credited the recent victories to the November elections, when Kansans and the rest of the country took to the polls to vent their anger against the radically liberal policies of the Obama administration, particularly the health care law.
“People are waking up and saying, doggone it, now I’ve got to get involved to right the wrong,” said Newman. “Obama has been one of the greatest gifts to the pro-life movement, because he shows the antithesis of what we are as Americans.”