Important Pro-Life legislation supported by the Kansas Catholic Conference is facing opposition from the Kansas University Medical Center. While KU Med officials did not testify against HB 2598 at its committee hearing, they have been contacting members of the Legislature to oppose language in the bill that prevents state employees from participating in the abortion procedure. Medical residents at KU are considered state employees, and it turns out that these residents have been receiving abortion training in their capacity as state employees. This is despite the fact that the Legislature long ago banned abortion at KU Medical. In order to comply with the law, KU Medical has been sending it residents off-site to receive abortion training.
KU Medical Center officials are claiming that passage of HB 2598 will lead to a loss of accreditation for its OB/GYN program. This is because ACGME, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, requires OB/GYN programs to train in abortion. ACGME has indicated that passage of the bill would make the KU medical program “non-compliant,” but it has not specifically declared whether or not it would pull KU’s OB/GYN accreditation. ACGME is located in Chicago.
Supporters of HB 2598 point out that ACGME’s own program requirements allow individual residents to opt out of abortion training. More importantly, Congress passed and President Bill Clinton signed a law in 1996 containing the “Coats Amendment,” which treats the ACGME policy as discriminatory and requires the federal government, and state and local governments, to treat OG/GYN programs as accredited even if ACGME pulls their accreditation over a refusal to do abortion training.