A new year, a new governor, a new war on women and their doctors in Kansas:
Filling a request from Gov. Sam Brownback, a coalition of Kansas House conservatives filed legislation on Wednesday to tighten state regulations on abortion.
The bill would change Kansas law to require parental consent for teenagers to get abortions and increase reporting requirements by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. It also would give the attorney general and county prosecutors’ access to state health reports on abortions performed in the state.
Rep. Lance Kinzer, an Olathe Republican, said that the bill also contained late-term abortion provisions vetoed over the past three years by Democratic Govs. Kathleen Sebelius and Mark Parkinson.
It's not as if Kansas is currently a safe haven for women seeking to exercise their right to obtain a legal medical procedure. Kansas already requires parental notice for minors. It already requires a 24-hour waiting period. It already requires that doctors encourage their patients to undergo completely unnecessary ultrasounds. It already requires that doctors lie to their patients about the so-called link between breast cancer and abortion. (Hint: there is none.) It already protects medical providers who refuse to provide abortion services or information to patients.
But that's not enough for the virulent forced birthers in Kansas, like Gov. Brownback and State Rep. Kinzer.
[Kinzer] said the legislation was aimed at preventing another doctor from coming to Kansas to begin providing late-term abortions following the May 2009 killing of Wichita’s Dr. George Tiller. Kinzer also said the law would bring Kansas in line with the federal ban on a procedure opponents call partial-birth abortion.
“Certainly, I think legislative inaction, at this point in time, really opens up that opportunity,” Kinzer said. “We think it’s important to act proactively to make sure that the same loopholes and lack of enforcement that allowed Kansas to become a late-term abortion destination spot don’t exist in our laws going forward.”
Of course, the reason that Kansas became a "late-term abortion destination spot" is that Dr. George Tiller was one of only three doctors in the entire country who performed the extremely rare procedure. Until he was gunned down in his church, that is.
And of course all of this legislation is completely pointless because:
Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Sarah Gillooly said since Tiller’s death no abortions were being provided in Kansas after the 22nd week of pregnancy.
“I think it’s a shame that politicians are spending taxpayer time and money to regulate a procedure that doesn’t even occur in our state,” Gillooly said.
She said after Tiller’s murder by an anti-abortion activist and efforts by former Republican Attorney General Phill Kline to prosecute abortion providers that the climate in Kansas is not conducive for abortion providers to relocate to the state.
“I think it’s totally unfounded fear. What physician would want to provide that care in the state?” Gillooly said.
But when it comes to the war on women and their doctors, no legislation is too costly, too invasive, too restrictive, or too unconstitutional for the people who claim to want to protect life because only the lives of fetuses matter.
The lives of women and their doctors? Not so much.