By Kathy Ostrowski, Legislative Director, Kansans for Life
Kansas has a history of abortionists lacking formal training in obstetrics & gynecology, and abortion clinics have kept women in the dark about that.
Even now, with Kansas abortion clinics posting their abortion admission/consent forms online, they have not been including profile data on their abortionists on that form. Knowing zilch about the abortionist contradicts the intent of full “consent.”
Kansas abortion clinic websites (except one very newly updated site) give no inkling of
- the abortionists’ ages (five of the eight Kansas providers are over age 74)
- or training (or lack of it).
For example, the Planned Parenthood business in Overland Park, Kansas, has recently begun listing a 76-year-old neurologist/psychiatrist, Irene E. Bettinger, on their online abortion consent form.
Bettinger received a medical degree 51 years ago. It’s anyone’s guess why she’s begun doing abortions. There was no news release found about Bettinger, or her qualifications for abortion provision. Perhaps she’s getting “on the job” training from Planned Parenthood’s other two abortionists, 76-year-old Ron Yeomans and 75-year-old Orrin Moore.
In 2005, Bettinger testified against a pro-life bill in Kansas designed to protect teens from rapists coercing them into abortion. She has financially contributed to Planned Parenthood. But that is incidental to the fact that Planned Parenthood has decided she will be their provider.
Women searching for information online about Kansas abortion clinics
only learn what the businesses want them to know.
Abortions in Kansas are initiated with one phone call or email contact. The Kansas Board of Healing Arts website can be searched to find some data on licensees, but there is no information on malpractice suits filed, the state where the abortionist actually resides, or the length of time they have been employed by the clinic.
The Kansas abortion consent forms (all online) are statutorily intended to be a “contract” verifying that the woman is fully informed about her provider, the exact abortion method to be used, medical risks, and the developmental characteristics of her unborn child.
The current abortion consent forms are not personalized, specific fact-based contracts. They name all the staff abortionists, leaving each woman guessing whether she is stuck with someone who
- is very inexperienced –or long past retirement;
- has merited– or been stripped of– hospital privileges; and
- is only in Kansas a few hours per month for abortions and not available for complications.
A Kansans for Life priority bill, the Disclose Act, HB 2319, was passed by the Kansas House 87-37 on March 30. An identical companion Senate version, Disclose Act, SB 98, awaits a vote in the Senate after they return from their recess in three weeks. The Disclose Act requires seven bullet points of data for each staff abortionist be itemized on the consent form.
Women should be given all relevant medical information before weighing an abortion decision, as well as a list of the free maternity support services in Kansas. The Woman’s Right to Know website provides this information and state law says that abortion clinics must post “an easily identifiable link” to that site on the clinic’s “home page.”
But that is not happening! One abortion business has no state link on the home page and the other clinics drastically reduce the link’s type size and use light grey ink so it’s barely visible, or readable, much less “easily identifiable.”
Abortion clinic websites that are not correctly following Kansas law to help inform women are at the same time withholding the most elementary and pertinent information about their staff practitioners.
That needs to change.