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Kansas State Senate President derails pro-life bill with phony excuse

by | May 12, 2012

Kansas Senate President Steve Morris

By Kathy Ostrowski, legislative director, Kansans for Life

Despite  the claim of Senate President Steve Morris that he will always fight for pro-life values,” Morris has derailed Senate action on the Pro-Life Protections Act, claiming it was due to his concerns that it could negatively affect the accreditation of the University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC). This is a phony issue on at least three grounds.

First, the  KUMC language in Pro-Life Protections Act, is the EXACT LANGUAGE that already exists in all of this year’s budget proposals in both chambers, including the versions Morris voted for!

   Second, as Kansans for Life has repeatedly explained, accreditation of KUMC is not in jeopardy.  Federal legislation enacted in 1996 (the Coats amendment, supported then-U.S. Senators Dole and Kassebaum) specifically provides protection to medical schools that do not take part in abortions or abortion training.  Such a school is to be viewed as accredited by the federal government and all other governmental bodies receiving federal funds.

That federal protection was created after the independent accreditation agency for medical schools demanded that  all graduate medical training include actual abortion practice. The Coats law focuses on states’ right to keep the entire graduate program out of abortion training, not merely individual ob/gyn physicians-in-training who request an “opt-out.”

And third, Arizona in 2011 passed a similar ban on tax-funded abortion training for medical schools and their “flagship” medical school did not lose accreditation.

   Morris is now lending his power to preserving KUMC’s abortion fervor under the phony excuse that accreditation is threatened. 

As reported in the Kansas City StarLawrence Journal World, and the Associated Press, Morris claims he’s concerned about a provision limiting [KUMC] state employees to performing abortions off state property and on their own time.” Why didn’t he raise his concerns long ago?

Morris’ statement itself is problematic, since a ban on elective abortions on KUMC property is already law! Morris was in office in 1998 when–-after an acrimonious two-year battle to become an independent hospital entity-– KUMC accepted a provision barring them from performing abortions, other than those to save the mother’s life.

However KUMC interpreted that agreement to mean its resident ob/gyn physicians-in-training could do abortions off-site. KUMC has utilized Planned Parenthood abortionists as instructors for decades and admits it only ended this practice at the startup of  the Brownback administration.

The Pro-Life Protections Act would effectuate what the 1998 law did not fully succeed in doing—ending tax-funded, state-employee doctors-in-training from doing abortions.

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