Kansas bill requires more details about abortion providers

AP News
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Posted: Feb 08, 2017 2:43 PM

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A proposed law in Kansas would require that information given to women seeking an abortion also include details about the abortion provider's medical credentials, malpractice insurance and past disciplinary action. And that it be printed in a specific 12-point font.

Kansas law already requires that women receive printed information ahead of an abortion, such as the name of their doctor and details about the procedure and its risks.

Lawmakers are now considering a bill that would require more details about the abortion providers, including when they received their medical degrees, when they started working at a clinic, any past disciplinary action and if they live in Kansas. The bill also would require that the information be printed in black ink, in 12-point Times New Roman font, The Wichita Eagle (http://bit.ly/2lnCUCq ) reported.

Supporters say the information would provide necessary transparency. Opponents say the bill is designed to undermine confidence in physicians.

The Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee endorsed the bill on Wednesday, after adding an amendment that the printed material must be in black type on white paper. The bill now goes to the Senate.

"You shouldn't have to think to yourself, 'How would I know if this is a good physician?' " said Kathy Ostrowski, Kansans for Life's legislative director. "This is not harassment. This is not an undue burden."

Dr. Carol Joy Darrah, a licensed physician, noted that the information can easily be accessed from the Kansas Board of Healing Arts. She said the bill's requirements would undermine the confidence in physicians to provide a safe and legal abortion.

"It is clear that this legislation is prejudicial, singling them out in a way that is unnecessary and has no medical basis," she said.

Planned Parenthood lobbyist Elise Higgins called the proposed changes "absurd and completely unnecessary." She said the bill wouldn't provide benefits to protect women's health.

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Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, http://www.kansas.com