Our Common Good

For Kansas women who do not have the option of exodus, in one year’s time they would find themselves in a state that is longer training and accrediting Ob-Gyns. This as the result of a policy purposely enacted and pursued by “pro-life” legislators and groups, specifically Kansans for Life.  These are people who are supposedly advocating for the health of women and babies, yet somehow fail to see the disconnect in their mission that occurs as the result of a lack of trained ob-gyns within their state. 

There was still some confusion on the day of committee debate from anti-choice legislators as to the true need for the amendment. There were several legislators who said out loud, “I’m not a doctor, but…” and would then proceed to expound their non-medical wisdom of why they felt the amendment was not necessary and why KU Med would be just fine without it.  The bill did pass out of committee with the amendment intact… however, it turns out that support was nothing but a smoke screen. 

The very next day on the House floor during the lengthy discussion over the budget, Representative Joe Patton, Vice-Chair of the House Federal and State Affairs Committee and co-founder for Kansans for Life, introduced a new amendment that strikes down the gesture made by the KU Med sunset amendment.  It amends the budget to include the original language in the 68-page abortion bill, preventing any state employee from performing abortions. The amendment passed on a voice vote.  

Today, the accreditation of KU Med School continues to hang in the balance.  The pending bill with the sunset amendment will likely be debated and passed by the House this week, and the budget with the abortion amendment is still pending. Both the bill and the budget must yet meet the approval of the Senate, which is the more moderate body.  This “more moderate body” did manage to approve 5 anti-choice measures last session, however, so the ultimate fate of KU Med School’s accreditation remains bleak.


WI Anti-Choice Group Asks Attorney General To Prevent Med School From Teaching Abortion Procedure To Doctors (ThinkProgress)

A provision inserted in the state budget would prohibit UW Hospital and Clinics from funding abortions, but it’s unclear whether that will stop the hospital from offering required abortion experience to doctors-in-training. 

Abortions are not performed at UW Hospital and Clinics, but obstetrics and gynecology residents train at Planned Parenthood to learn about family planning, which includes the opportunity to perform abortions.


Dr. Carl Getto, senior vice president for medical affairs at UW Hospital, said he doesn’t know if the proposed law means they would need to stop offering abortion training. 

If it does, Getto said the legislation could jeopardize national accreditation for the obstetrics and gynecology training program. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education requires that residents have access to experience with induced abortion. Residents with religious or moral objections are allowed to opt out, although they must learn how to manage the complications of an abortion, he said.

"The OB/GYN residency requires that all graduates of an accredited program have the knowledge and competence in the full range of family planning," Getto said. "That includes terminations and the complications."

Imagine if someone showed up in an emergency room having a heart attack, and for religious reasons, no one had any training in using a defibrillator, and the only one available was in an underfunded clinic across town. That’s the direction we’re going, only we’re suppressing information and skills that would help just women’s lives. Which makes it OK, I guess. No men will die of a placental abruption, so it’s a low priority.

Yet another anti-choice measure was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday. The amendment, offered by Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., would ban health centers from using federal funds for comprehensive medical training, which often includes instruction in the provision of abortion procedures. 

As if it weren’t bad enough that Republicans want to restrict the conditions in which you can have an abortion, they now want to prevent doctors from even knowing how to perform them in the first place. Congress is set to vote today on an amendment that would stop federal funds from being used to train medical residents from learning abortion techniques. It’s part of a larger bill that impacts overall funding for medical students.

This is insane.  What happens when a pregnant woman shows up at the hospital and needs an abortion to save her life.  There will be no one who knows how to do it safely and completely.  Doctors who care about women will have to have underground training programs.