Kansas gov. appoints former Operation Rescue attorney to regulate abortion providers
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has appointed a former attorney for the anti-abortion rights group Operation Rescue to a position that would have him regulating abortion providers. Operation Rescue has said publicly that they believe there is “no such thing as a ‘safe’ abortion clinic.”
A national abortion rights group on Wednesday took aim at a lawyer named to the Kansas Board of Healing Arts because he has represented an anti-abortion group.
Trust Women PAC ripped into Gov. Sam Brownback’s appointment of Rick Macias to the board, which licenses and disciplines Kansas physicians. Macias, who was appointed Tuesday, has done legal work for Operation Rescue.
Operation Rescue President Troy Newman has told The Florida Independent that he thinks all abortion clinics commit crimes. “I have yet to find an abortion mill that doesn’t violate the law,” he said.
The group also thinks that all abortion providers should be scrutinized. Recently, the group announced that it would be conducting a “massive research project to identify every abortionist in the country.” The group asked fellow anti-abortion advocates to contribute any information they can about abortion providers where they live.
Now Macias will be part of a “15-member Board of Healing Arts handles licensing for medical doctors, physical therapists, and other health care providers,” Mother Jones reports. Macias will serve on the board through June 2014.
Macias has represented anti-abortion activists in cases dating back to the early ’90s in which they were accused of trespassing at [George] Tiller’s clinic to protest. He has also represented Kansans for Life in court. Macias has a private firm specializing in adoption services, and his website includes the tag line, “Your Baby, Your Choices!” He has also supported anti-abortion electoral candidates through the Kansans for Life Political Action Committee. His brother, Archie Macias, currently serves as the treasurer of the PAC.
Several national abortion rights group condemned Brownback’s selection of Macias in a statement Wednesday. “This is just another example of Brownback’s obsession with restricting access to women’s reproductive health in Kansas,” said Julie Burkhart, executive director of the Trust Women PAC.
Kansas officials are also facing legal problems and criticism for enacting a set of laws aimed at shutting down the state’s last three abortions clinics.