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Kansas abortions down, impact of state website & new laws touted

by | Apr 3, 2012

By Kathy Ostrowski Legislative Director, Kansans for Life

Last week’s Kansas Health Department (KDHE) report showing a welcomed reduction in the number of abortions for the fifth year in a row strongly suggests the importance of the passage of a strengthened informed consent law and the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.

In 2011 there were 7,851 abortions in Kansas, down by 6.2% from the nearly 8,400 abortions performed in 2010, and down by a whopping 30% from the 2006 abortion total of 11,271. This reduction also included a decline in abortions among minor girls under age 18.

In round numbers, 8,600 women walked into three Kansas clinics [Aid for Women, Center for Women’s Health, and Planned Parenthood of Kansas & Mid-Missouri] in 2010 while only 8,000 walked into the same three Kansas clinics in 2011.

There may be a direct reason nearly 600 fewer women even stepped inside Kansas abortion clinics: existence of the best state “Woman’s Right to Know” website in the nation (http://kansansforlife.wordpress.com/2011/10/26/kansas-pre-natal-video-website-wildly-successful), including

*comprehensive 4-D ultrasound video /audio providing real-time movies of the developing unborn child;

*clearly marked directory headings for free ultrasounds and help for challenging pregnancies;

*better written information describing the unborn child’s body systems and beating heart;

*a 24-hour hotline.

Abortion clinics must file monthly “certifications” with KDHE indicating the number of women who come to clinics and receive informed consent information. Significantly fewer women actually complete an abortion after receiving informed consent materials. In 2010, there were 8,338 abortions after 8,615 women received initial paperwork inside clinics. 2011, 8,033 certifications were filed, with only 7,851 women returning for an abortion.

What else does the report (found at www.kdheks.gov/hci/abortion_sum/2011itop1.pdf) show?

Chemical abortion using the RU486 protocol dropped 26%– from a high of 2,202 in 2010 (26.4% of annual Kansas abortions) to 1,624 in 2011 (20.7% of annual Kansas abortions). The decrease may stem from one of the three Kansas abortion clinics– Aid for Women– which put on its website that it no longer would offer such abortions. This announcement occurred right after the clinic failed initial qualifications to become inspected and licensed under a new clinic regulation bill. The licensure bill was put under injunction July 1, 2011.

In addition the statistics reveal that strengthened by the passage of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child law in 2011, no abortions after 22 weeks gestation (LMP) were recorded in Kansas. KDHE received reports from other states of eight Kansas women who did obtain abortions in the latter half of pregnancy in other states, although it is not known whether all 49 states record such data and forward it to the agency.

In addition, fewer teens under 18 years of age were aborted in 2011 (341) than in 2010 (396). Unfortunately, the number of abortions under age 14 was 8 in 2010 and 9 in 2011.

Also possibly contributing to lower abortion numbers was another new Kansas law that segregates abortion from ordinary health care coverage—both in private insurance policies and any future ObamaCare federal/ state health exchanges.  Several states have had laws for decades that deny private insurance coverage of elective abortion unless individual “riders” are purchased.

Categories: Legislation