Abortionist Suspended for Violating Child Rape Protection Act

Thomas M. Messner, J.D.  

A Kansas abortionist has had his license suspended for 90 days for violating the Kansas Child Rape Protection Act. The final order suspending the license of Allen S. Palmer, D.O. to practice osteopathic medicine and surgery was issued on September 13, 2017 by the Kansas Board of Healing Arts.


As explained in the final order, the Kansas Child Rape Protection Act “requires physicians to preserve fetal tissue extracted from abortions performed on patients under 14 years old and submit the tissue to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (‘KBI’) or a laboratory designed by the director of the KBI.”


“‘If you’re younger than 14 and you’re pregnant, there’s only one way you got there – and that’s statutory rape,’ said Sen. Kay O’Connor, R-Olathe, sponsor of the law when it was before the Kansas Senate,” as reported around the time the law took effect in 2005.


According to the final order, in December 2014 Palmer committed a “suction abortion” on a 13-year old girl at Planned Parenthood, where he worked as an independent contractor. However, Palmer “did not ascertain the patient’s age prior to, during, or immediately after” committing the abortion and Palmer “did not preserve the fetal tissue obtained from the abortion.”


The Kansas Board of Healing Arts found that Palmer “committed conduct likely to harm the public because a failure to preserve and submit fetal tissue” as required by the Kansas Child Rape Protection Act “may hinder a criminal prosecution.” Committing conduct likely to harm the public is a violation of the Kansas Healing Arts Act, which provides the legal grounds for suspending Palmer’s license. The Board concluded that Palmer violated the Healing Arts Act in multiple ways, each related to the underlying violation of the Child Rape Protection Act.


The final order issued by the Board explains that Palmer “admitted that he had not reviewed the patient’s history in her medical records prior to the procedure,” which constituted surgery under Kansas law. The Board concluded that physicians have an independent duty “to review a patient’s medical history prior to performing surgery, regardless of a facility’s procedures.” Had Palmer reviewed the 13-year old girl’s medical history, the Board explained, “her age would have been ascertained.” Palmer’s “failure to review his patient’s medical history prior to performing a surgery” was, the Board concluded, an “aggravating factor” sufficient to warrant an “upward modification” in the discipline imposed on Palmer.


The suspension of Palmer’s license takes effect on Monday, September 18, 2017. Palmer has 15 days following service of the final order to petition for the Board for reconsideration of its order and 30 days to seek judicial review of the final order by filing a petition in court.


Thomas M. Messner is a Senior Fellow in Legal Policy at the Charlotte Lozier Institute.


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