WICHITA, Kan. -- An anti-abortion group blames the Kansas Attorney General for the presence of abortion clinics in the state.
Operation Rescue used the 41st anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision to announce an online petition drive the group believes will force Attorney General Derek Schmidt to do more to defend a Kansas abortion law against a court challenge.
"We have a problem with our Attorney General," Operation Rescue Senior Policy Advisor Cheryl Sullenger told a group of supporters Wednesday night. "He says he's pro-life, but he does not act like he's pro-life."
Sullenger said Schmidt isn't doing enough to defend a 2011 law that subjects clinics that perform abortions to tougher oversight. She blamed him for not filing enough motions to get the case moving more quickly.
The anti-abortion group is asking its members to petition Governor Sam Brownback to tell Schmidt to do more.
"We're asking Governor Brownback to instruct he Attorney General to defend this law or tell us all why he's neglecting to defend it," Sullenger said.
The Attorney General's office released figures Wednesday showing it has spent more than $1 million on outside attorneys to defend abortion laws enacted in the past three years.
Operation Rescue believes if the 2011 law is finally enacted, there will be fewer abortions performed in Kansas.
"We know that there's at least three abortion clinics in the state that cannot meet the minimum safety standards that are in this bill and they really should not be open," Sullenger said.
She believes Brownback will agree with Operation Rescue.
"We're really counting on Sam, but if he doesn't come through us, we're going to have to move to the next step," Sullenger said. "What that next step is, we're just going to have to wait and see."
Operation Rescue announced its petition drive Wednesday evening. Neither the Attorney General's Office nor the Governor's Office have yet commented.