UPDATE AND CORRECTIONS: Kansas Governor Vetoes Abortion Bill


UPDATE: This was updated and corrected at 6:20 p.m. on April 15. An earlier version of this article mistakenly reported that the bill vetoed would have eliminated the mental health exception for allowing an abortion after 22 weeks. This is incorrect. The elimination of the mental health exemption was contained in HB 2166 which passed the House in March, but was never passed by the Senate. The bill Gov. Parkinson vetoed today was S Sub HB 2115, a bill that, according to Sarah M. Gillooly, Kansas lobbyist & public affairs manager for Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, “is a conference committee report and not a normal bill, it is not now nor has it ever been available to the public.”

Today, Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson vetoed a bill that would have added a slew of reporting requirements for doctors performing abortions and contained many provisions affecting physicians and their ability to practice in Kansas.

The Associated Press reports:

The measure struck down by Parkinson would prevent any late-term abortion provider from establishing a practice in Kansas following the May 2009 murder of Dr. George Tiller. Tiller’s Wichita practice was one of the few in the nation performing late-term procedures.

The measure would allow patients or family members to sue doctors if they have evidence an abortion violated state law.

Also, doctors would be required to report more details to the state about abortions performed after the 21st week of pregnancy and involving fetuses considered viable, or able to survive outside the womb.

Legislators approved the bill before taking their spring recess but appeared to lack the two-thirds majority of votes to override the veto. Both chambers return April 28 to resume the legislative session.

The Topeka Capital-Journal has more:

“Kansas’ current law concerning abortion was passed more than a decade ago and strikes a reasonable balance on a very difficult issue,” Parkinson said in his official veto message. “I support the current law and believe that an annual legislative battle over the issue is not in the public’s best interest.”

He also said: “My view is that all abortions are tragedies, which is why I would encourage women who have unwanted pregnancies to consult with their partners, families, doctors and spiritual advisers. I would not encourage women to consult with state legislators, as this is a private decision and should not be dictated by public officials.”

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  • crowepps

    “My view is that all abortions are tragedies, which is why I would encourage women who have unwanted pregnancies to consult with their partners, families, doctors and spiritual advisers. I would not encourage women to consult with state legislators, as this is a private decision and should not be dictated by public officials.”

    I absolutely agree with him that late-term abortions are tragedies, and that the families involved need support and privacy, not harassment and public opprobrium.

     

    Hope this middle-of-the-road, common sense attitude spreads.  The fact that States are scraping the bottom of the barrel for money may just stop the foolishness of passing extremist laws in an attempt to get expensive legal battles going.

  • leahzero

    Why is a late-term abortion any more of a tragedy than an early abortion? That attitude is either arbitrarily ascribing qualities to a fetus at a certain developmental stage that make its termination more “tragic,” or is presuming to know what women who seek late-term abortion feel, want, and believe.

     

    Abortion is not a tragedy, no matter when it is performed. To categorize late-term abortion as “tragic” while early abortion is furtively okayed is intellectually dishonest. It’s just another way of seeming to appease both pro-choice and pro-life contingents while actually supporting neither.

     

    Either abortion is never tragic, or it always is. Nothing special happens during fetal development that changes the procedure from non-tragic to tragic.

  • crowepps

    Nothing special happens during fetal development that changes the procedure from non-tragic to tragic.

    Speaking entirely for myself, and having had this experience personally in the middle trimester, getting pregnant because you want a child, looking forward to that child, and then having the pregnancy go disastrously wrong is a tragedy.

     

    There’s nothing ‘tragic’ about the abortion itself but the reason WHY it is necessary, the “gone disastrously wrong”, deserves some respect for the parents’ pain and some consideration for their feelings. Respect and consideration which I have certainly never seen to be in evidence from the sidewalk guilt trippers even AFTER they are informed of the circumstances.

  • colleen

    Either abortion is never tragic, or it always is. Nothing special happens during fetal development that changes the procedure from non-tragic to tragic.

    A great many people would beg to differ with you including the people who started and contribute to the site linked below:
    http://www.aheartbreakingchoice.com/

  • crowepps

    Virginia pharmacy had plenty of moral convictions, few clients

     

    By Petula Dvorak
    Tuesday, April 13, 2010

     

    The Divine Mercy Care Pharmacy in Chantilly proudly and purposefully limited what it would stock on its shelves. But it turns out that no birth control pills, no condoms, no porn, no tobacco and even no makeup added up to one thing:

     

    No customers.

     

    The self-described “pro-life” pharmacy went out of business last month, less than two years after it opened to great fanfare, with a Catholic priest sprinkling holy water on the strip-mall store tucked between an Asian supermarket and a scuba shop.

     

    No word on whether he returned for last rites.

     

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/12/AR2010041204107.html?hpid=news-col-blog

  • ack

    I would assume that the majority of people frequencing pharmacies don’t go specifically to purchase contraception, porn, or tobacco. The fact that they didn’t go to this one to purchase OTC meds for headaches, allergies, minor wounds, or shampoo says something about either their ideology or their location. (I also go to CVS for Easy Mac, milk, or soda sometimes.) 

  • crowepps

    There actually was a K-Mart, with a pharmacy, across the street where a customer could get their Zoloft AND mascara with one stop shopping!

     

    I’ve got to say, I found it a little weird that a Catholic pharmacy would decide selling make-up didn’t pass their morality test.  So far as I know, there isn’t anything in Catholism that forbids wearing make-up.

  • prochoiceferret

    From that WaPo article:

    Still, it always seemed a bit out of place. In a shopping area where women in colorful saris pass by spiky-haired kids looking at animé books and people dropping hounds at doggie day camp, and where so many languages, nationalities, colors and sizes blend, a business that relied on restriction rather than openness did not quite fit.

    On a busy weekend shopping day, after marveling at a 26-pound jackfruit and thousands of noodle varieties at the neighboring Asian supermarket, I stood outside the closed pharmacy and asked passersby if they missed it.

    “I didn’t even notice it when it was open,” one woman said. About a dozen others said basically the same thing.

    Man, those old-school countries in the Middle East really are modernizing, aren’t they?

  • princess-rot

    The problem here is that this particular vein of thinking labels a widely varying and vastly subjective experience “a tragedy”. Ergo, it assumes every woman (and every pregnancy) is the same. That attitude gave rise to this: “if you do not feel super bummed and beat yourself up and weep daily for your failure to provide a nurturing womb to your tiny widdle baybee, you are a monster”. Of course, I’m being hyperbolic, but it’s accurate. It has the effect of making those who do feel bad feel worse because it pressures them to display that feeling in an self-flagellating way, which is not healthy nor conducive to healing. It demonizes those who felt relief that they wouldn’t have to go through with an unwanted pregnancy and bring yet another unwanted kid into the world because That’s What You Do. It prevents women expressing their individual opinions in favor of a maternal fantasy. It makes dialogue harder. Who wants to talk about it when all you’ll get is a boatload of judgement and shame? “Women should [X]” needs to die. We are not a monolith.

  • princess-rot

    Probably because make-up is associated with heterosexual women dolling up to attract (or if you’re a fundie: tempt) heterosexual men. This leads to sex outside God-approved marriage, which in turn leads leads to abortion. Or something. Ow. It hurts my head, trying to think like a wingnut.