Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Gov. Brownback says he believes a resolution can be reached between KU Med and abortion opponents

By SCOTT ROTHSCHILD, The Lawrence Journal-World

Gov. Sam Brownback on Tuesday said he believed resolution can be reached between Kansas University Medical Center and abortion opponents over training in terminating pregnancies.

"I hope it can all get worked out," Brownback said shortly after speaking to a crowd of at least 1,000 people at an anti-abortion rally on the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision.

"I think it can be worked out," he said. Brownback, a staunch opponent of abortion, declined to elaborate.

Last year, abortion opponents pushed for legislation that would have prohibited doctors in training at the KU Medical Center from abortion training as part of the obstetrics and gynecology program. But KU officials said that could have jeopardized the program's accreditation.

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education said it doesn't comment for or against pending legislation on abortion, but in a statement the group presented its policy on accreditation.

"No program or resident with a religious or moral objection shall be required to provide training in or to perform induced abortions. Otherwise, access to experience with induced abortion must be part of residency education," the group stated.

No abortions are performed at the KU Hospital, but KU officials last year said that the school has a contract with the University of Colorado's medical school to provide abortion-related training.

The measure from last year was approved in the House but then Senate President Steve Morris sent the bill to a committee for further study with only days left in the session. Morris had said he was concerned about the bill's effect on KU Med Center's accreditation. The bill stayed in committee.

But abortion opponents have promised to ask legislators to enact the proposal.

Since last year, Morris was defeated and conservatives are now in firm control of the Senate.