By Kathy Ostrowski, Legislative Director, Kansans for Life
Former Texas State Sen. and failed gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, was caught on video Saturday saying tragic medical conditions cause all late-term abortions.
However, ten years of Kansas abortion statistics demolish that claim, as well as a recent radio interview of Kansas ex-abortionist, Kris Neuhaus.
“An associate of George Tiller,” Neuhaus admitted that most late-term abortions were due to teens in denial.
Let’s look first at Davis’ response, to a friendly-sounding questioner who asked, ‘how does a pro-choicer defend aborting seven-pound babies?’ (This is a reference to Sen. Rand Paul’s recent challenge that Democrat pro-abortionists, such as DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, be forced to answer that question.)
“First of all that never happens. It never happens. It really never happens. And, the only time that late-term abortions occur is when something has gone horribly wrong and either the mother’s life is in danger or the child’s life is in a very precarious situation.”
So ”it never happens, but when it does….”
Davis’ answer is what abortion industry media advisors want the public to hear– that “late” abortion is crucial to saving mothers’ lives and ending the lives of unborn children diagnosed with medical challenges.
But that’s not what ten years of abortion statistics from the Kansas health department (KDHE) indicate.
From mid-1998 to mid-2007, there were 5,179 abortions 20 weeks post-fertilization reported to KDHE. Post-20 week abortions were not obtainable after the Tiller clinic closed in June 2007. Such abortions were then banned by law effective July 2011.
In all of these 5,179 late-term abortions, 41% of the total were reported as performed on a “non-viable” pregnancy. Only 13 of them cited a specified fetal malady.
In all ten years’ statistics, there was only one medical emergency listed (although undescribed) and not a single one of the 5,179 late-term abortions were reported as done to save the mother’s life. None.
So the remaining three fifths of Kansas late-term abortions were performed on viable unborn children without explanation. No physical medical conditions, much less “horrible” ones for those mothers, have ever been reported. Nada, Zero.
Moreover, during 1998 and 1999, when the partial-birth method was still in use in Kansas, all those abortions were specifically reported as performed for the mother’s “mental health.”
That’s why Kris Neuhaus’ radio commentary last week is relevant.
In 1998 Kansas passed a law to ban post-20 week abortions UNLESS the woman would die or suffer ”substantial and irreversible” harm, as verified by an independent practitioner.
However, a loophole was created when then-Kansas Attorney General Carla Stovall opined that such irreversible harm could include mental health. And thus a job was made for a physician willing to claim that temporary anxiety was “substantial and irreversible” harm that could only be relieved by an abortion—not delivery of a child.
From 1999-2007 Neuhaus was an otherwise unemployed Kansas-licensed abortionist who was paid to come to Tiller’s Wichita abortion business to provide supposedly unbiased “second opinions” [approvals, that is] for abortion seekers.
Neuhaus, in a self-serving interview meant to rev up contributions to her new online “fund-me” event freely revealed that most late abortions were due to the immaturity of teens in denial about their pregnancy!
According to Neuhaus, the teens didn’t really understand their pregnant condition and didn’t want the family to know they’d been sexually active.
Neuhaus said that some late -term abortions were sought for fetal anomalies but insisted the majority are done for “maternal” non-medical reasons, notedly:
“you have a bunch of young women who, for whatever reasons, have decided to put themselves at risk of an unintended pregnancy and then suddenly when confronted with that– don’t always deal with that in the manner that they might at the age of 20…so that really comprises the largest percentage of [late-term abortions] that were there strictly for maternal reasons.”
In fact, those kind of abortion-seeking teens were evidenced in her 2003 medical records, subpoenaed in 2004 by former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline. Specifically, eleven cases were selected in which teens obtained third trimester abortions after Neuhaus “excused” them as being under threat of irreversible, psychological harm.
Those subpoenaed records were used by the state Healing Arts Board of Kansas to charge Neuhaus with improperly evaluating those vulnerable girls and breaking state regulations requiring a proper health record for each patient. (The Board revoked her medical license in 2012, and after reversal on appeal, again revoked her license this January, for which she again has filed an appeal.)
Contrary to the assertion of Wendy Davis, those eleven approximately ‘seven-pound’ babies were not aborted by those teens in 2003 because of bona fide medical tragedies. Nor were most of the late-term abortions obtained in Kansas, as ten years of state stats show.