By Kathy Ostrowski, Policy & Research Director, Kansans for Life
On Wednesday Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed Senate Bill 83, the Disclose Act, into law. He told the assembled audience,
“The dignity of life and the inherent right to life is shared by all people, both born and unborn. The complexities surrounding countless crisis pregnancies are many and varied. Too often women are led to believe that abortion is their only option when it clearly, clearly is not. Regardless of a woman’s ultimate decision regarding abortion, she has a right to know about the provider and their medical qualifications.”
The Disclose Act is an important update to the state’s 1997 Woman’s Right to Know Act that dictates basic professional information required on abortion informed consent documents. SB 83 passed the Senate 25-15 and the House 84-38. The bill had many sponsors in both chambers, including the three practicing physicians who are state reps.
The Disclose Act is a response to the fact that Kansas abortion clinics minimize and undermine state-required information they find unfavorable to the abortion sale
During debate about SB 83, pro-life Senators committed their support of SB 83 into the formal record:
“Before this legislation in Kansas, there was no way for women to know when a clinic had a 100% turnover of their staff in 3 years, or about the recent hire of a 76-year-old neurologist that would give abortions but has not had ob-gyn training, or many other various issues that could endanger their health…. Because of the nature of abortion, however, which causes women to want privacy for a variety of reasons, women need ready access to this information to make the best decisions for their care.”
Specifically, SB 83 requires that professional data each abortionist be listed on the consent form, including:
- any negative disciplinary actions from the State Healing Arts Board,
- state of residency,
- year medical degree attained,
- when employment at this clinic began,
- status of local hospital privileges,
- malpractice insurance.
Abortions in Kansas are mostly obtained with only an email or phone contact. No medical referral or office visit is required. 65% of abortions in Kansas are being obtained for the first time, meaning those women have no concept of the procedure or knowledge of the skill of the practitioners.
Moreover, in Kansas, women don’t “choose” an abortionist; they are assigned one.In fact, contrary to legislative intent, women are instructed to download the clinic form at home and sign away “consent” to a list of all potential abortionists on staff.
CLINICS BURY DISFAVORED INFO
Kansas abortion clinics all design their online consent forms with the sections of state-required data that they deem unfavorable formatted in reduced font size and hard-to-read ink color. This is in addition to negative comments about the validity of the required information.
At least one clinic alters the legal wording of a state-required live link to the state Health Department and instead of placing it on the clinic website home page, buried it amidst pages of clinic information!
The Media Research Center reported Tuesday that the Disclose Act,
“will give women more information on the doctors about to perform their abortion procedures…but the new regulation has inspired a leftist freak-out…obsessed with the bill’s font size requirement. It makes total sense that the state [legislature] would require a specific font size in order to prevent providers from trying to circumvent the law by using minute, unreadable lettering. If the purpose of the bill is to ensure women are able to make an informed decision, it needs to make sure the women are actually informed (i.e., they can read the information they are given).”