The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

State News

June 25, 2007

Kansas: Key lawmaker to seek new restrictions on late-term abortions

The Associated Press

TOPEKA, Kan.— Frustrated that Dr. George Tiller isn’t being prosecuted over allegations of performing illegal late-term abortions, a key legislator said Monday that he will pursue legislation to impose new restrictions.

Rep. Arlen Siegfreid said he wants to ban all abortions after the 21st week of pregnancy, except to save the life of the mother. Current law restricts late-term abortions, but hundreds still occur every year in Kansas, many when the fetus can survive outside the womb.

Siegfreid, R-Olathe, is chairman of the House Federal and State Affairs Committee, which handles abortion legislation. His concept has the backing of other abortion opponents, including House Speaker Melvin Neufeld, R-Ingalls.

Anti-abortion lawmakers also are hoping that legislative leaders appoint a committee to study late-term abortions. Some remain critical of Attorney General Paul Morrison, an abortion rights Democrat, over how Morrison has handled an investigation into Tiller, of Wichita, who is among the few U.S. doctors who perform late-term abortions.

As about 150 abortion opponents watched, Siegfreid and five other legislators participated in a news conference designed to pressure Morrison into filing criminal charges against Tiller. Morrison plans to announce a decision by Friday.

“I do believe we have a problem with enforcing the late-term abortion law,” Siegfreid said during the news conference. “My personal preference is — and I’m researching the constitutionality of — just banning all abortions after the 21st week in the state of Kansas.”

Responding to the news conference, Morrison spokeswoman Ashley Anstaett said, “The attorney general will not be influenced by political stunts. He is influenced only by the law and the evidence in the case.”

Siegfreid said he intends to have his bill on late-term abortions ready when the Legislature convenes Jan. 14.

State law permits abortions after the 21st week of pregnancy. However, if the fetus is viable, two doctors must conclude that a mother’s life is at risk or that she faces “substantial and irreversible” harm to a “major bodily function” for the procedure to be done. Officials have assumed a major bodily function includes mental health, in keeping with past court decisions on abortion.

Text Only
State News
  • r022113ice.jpg Gov. Nixon declares state of emergency in Missouri

    Gov. Jay Nixon today declared a state of emergency in Missouri in response to severe winter weather that began early this morning, bringing hazardous travel and the possibility of power outages.

    February 21, 2013 1 Photo

  • Party on? No local love in Princeton Review rankings

    There's no love for Missouri Southern State University, Pittsburg State University or Crowder College in the new rankings issued by the Princeton Review. Which, given many of the survey categories, isn't necessarily a bad thing.

    August 6, 2013

  • Publicist: Andy Williams dies

    According to a publicist, Emmy-winning TV host and 'Moon River' crooner Andy Williams has died.

    September 26, 2012

  • Lions climb into share of MIAA men's basketball lead

    Without taking the floor, Missouri Southern has climbed into a first-place tie in the MIAA men’s basketball race.

    February 22, 2012

  • 2.6 magnitude earthquake recorded in Oklahoma

    The U.S. Geological Survey has recorded a 2.6 magnitude earthquake near Wellston in central Oklahoma.
    No injuries or damage is reported.

    January 19, 2011

  • Audit: $108,000 taken from Missouri Veterans Commission JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A former employee of the state auditor’s office embezzled nearly $108,000 while working as an accountant for the Missouri Veterans Commission, the state auditor alleged Monday.

    Stacy Griffin-Lowery was fired by the Veterans Commission in March 2008 and pleaded guilty three months later to a misdemeanor theft charge. She repaid the state $17,665, the auditor’s office said.

    But Missouri Auditor Susan Montee on Monday accused Griffin-Lowery of swiping an additional $90,192 by getting reimbursed for cash advances and purchases made on her personal credit card.

    April 12, 2010

  • Race in Kansas’ 2nd District could heat up for GOP incumbent TOPEKA, Kan. — A conservative Kansas legislator said Monday he will announce in a few weeks whether he will challenge freshman U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins in the Republican primary.

    State Sen. Dennis Pyle’s actions in recent months suggest the Hiawatha farmer, who’s served in the Legislature since 2001, is running against Jenkins in the Aug. 2 primary. He set up a campaign organization in November and has a Web site featuring a brief video of him on his farm, asking viewers for support.

    April 12, 2010

  • Oklahoma tea party leaders, lawmakers envision militia OKLAHOMA CITY — Frustrated by recent political setbacks, tea party leaders and some conservative members of the Oklahoma Legislature say they would like to create a new volunteer militia to help defend against what they believe are improper federal infringements on state sovereignty.

    Tea party movement leaders say they’ve discussed the idea with several supportive lawmakers and hope to get legislation next year to recognize a new volunteer force

    April 12, 2010

  • Missouri: Senate panel cuts $500 million from proposed budget JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A Senate committee declared Thursday that it has sliced more than $500 million from Missouri’s proposed budget for next year — meeting a target set by Gov. Jay Nixon to bring it in balance.

    April 8, 2010

  • Kansas: Wichita-area casino in doubt after governor’s decision TOPEKA, Kan. — A proposed casino south of Wichita was in doubt Thursday after Gov. Mark Parkinson refused to grant its developers a regulatory reprieve. Partners in the $225 million Chisholm Creek project wanted to delay a state board’s decision on their plans.

    April 8, 2010