Kansas scrutinizes doctor over 13-year-old girl’s abortion

(AP Photo/The Wichita Eagle, Mike Hutmacher)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas’ regulatory medical board is weighing disciplinary action against a doctor who Planned Parenthood self-reported may have violated state law in handling a 13-year-old girl’s abortion.

The Kansas State Board of Healing Arts on Thursday was to discuss a petition alleging Dr. Allen Palmer illegally failed to preserve fetal tissue from the December 2014 abortion and submit it to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

The petition — by Susan Gering, the board’s deputy litigation counsel — says Palmer was a part-time Planned Parenthood contractor solely tasked with performing abortions for patients in their first trimester.

Palmer has been licensed in Kansas since 2008 to practice osteopathic medicine and surgery and had it renewed in October of last year, according to the petition, which presses for Palmer’s license to be revoked, suspended, placed on probation, censured or otherwise limited.

It was not immediately clear Thursday if Palmer still provides services to Planned Parenthood, which did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

A man who answered the telephone at a suburban St. Louis listing for Palmer hung up Thursday on an Associated Press reporter. The petition says Palmer’s attorney has insisted his client inadvertently violated the state law and regulations because he wasn’t aware of them and had not received training on the relevant Planned Parenthood policies and procedures involving the treatment of minors.

According to the petition, the 13-year-old girl impregnated by her then-19-year-old boyfriend during consensual sex sought a surgical abortion at Comprehensive Health of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri Inc. in December 2014, when the fetus was nearly 11 weeks old.

Palmer, while filling in for a vacationing medical director, performed an in-clinic abortion but failed to preserve fetal tissue extracted and submit it to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation as required by state law, according to the petition. Kansas requires collection of fetal tissue for any abortion performed on a minor under the age of 14. The procedure was Palmer’s first involving someone younger than 14.

Planned Parenthood argues that Palmer “found it unnecessary to familiarize himself in detail with (Kansas) laws requiring the preservation of fetal tissue extracted during an abortion procedure” on a minor.

 

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