A provision that some lawmakers fear could prevent the University of Kansas Medical Center from providing abortion training to residents is casting uncertainty over a sweeping abortion bill.
The provision is part of a measure that seeks to ensure no taxpayer money goes toward abortions in Kansas, including making it illegal for someone to claim medical expenses related to an abortion on their tax returns.
The specific provision would not allow any state employee to perform abortions, but some lawmakers are concerned that the medical center could lose accreditation if it did not provide the required abortion training to residents studying to be obstetricians and gynecologists. The bill is in the House Federal and State Affairs Committee.
Rep. Steve Brunk, a Wichita Republican and chairman of the committee, said the issue had been discussed, but concerns were raised after the formal hearing on the measure. Brunk has suggested the bill could be sent to the full House as is, leaving the medical center issue for the Senate to address later.
The bill isn't likely to be taken up again until next week.
The medical center has issued a statement saying officials have tried to work with legislators as they drafted the measure. The release said abortions aren't performed at the medical center or any facilities operated by the medical school. Students get that training elsewhere.
"Accreditation requirements for obstetrics/gynecology residencies, however, require that residents gain experience with induced abortion and complications due to abortion, unless they have a religious or moral objection," the statement said.