Kansas Anti-Abortion Bill Threatens Doctors’ Training

If the Kansas legislature passes an anti-abortion bill that would prevent state agencies that provide health care from including abortions, then the Kansas University Medical Center could lose its accreditation for the obstetrics/gynecology program because its medical residents are considered state employees. “It would cause them to not be able to train OBGYNs anymore,” said state Rep. Sean Gatewood (D):

One provision of the bill states: “no health care services provided by any state agency, or any employee of a state agency while acting within the scope of such employee’s employment, shall include abortion.” […]

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.

Officials have offered an amendment that would exclude medical residents being trained at the medical center from the prohibition, but legislators have not considered the amendment. University of Kansas officials explained in a statement that abortions are not performed at the university’s hospital, so obstetrics/gynecology residents already train at facilities not owned or operated by the university.


But unless legislators amend the bill, which is pending before the House Federal and State Affairs Committee, then doctors effectively would be cut off from necessary training for their program at the KU Medical Center.


Anti-abortion groups are pushing for the legislature to ignore the medical center’s proposed amendment. “There is no professional reason that ob/gyn resident physicians have to learn how to destroy unborn children in order to achieve competency in pregnancy management, stillbirth evacuation or treating abortion complications,” said Kathy Ostrowski, of Kansans for Life.