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Archive for Friday, August 19, 2005

Kline sues Sebelius to end state-funded abortion

Attorney general wants court to rule that life begins at fertilization

August 19, 2005

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— Atty. Gen. Phill Kline opened a new front Thursday in the fight over abortion, filing a lawsuit against Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to prohibit state-funded abortions.

The expenditure of state funds to end pregnancies violates the Kansas Constitution's protection of "inalienable natural rights, among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," the lawsuit stated.

The suit also seeks to have the court determine that life starts at fertilization when "a new, unique and genetically distinct human being is formed, distinct from its host while dependent upon her."

The state is allowed to pay for abortions in instances of rape, incest or the life of the woman is endangered. The money comes from Medicaid, a federal- and state-funded program that provides health care to low-income Kansans.

Since October, the state has allocated $1,907 for seven of these abortions, state officials said. In the year before that, it was $999 for three abortions.

Sebelius' office said a Kline victory in the matter could threaten the Medicaid program in Kansas.

"The state of Kansas is required to follow federal law, which restricts Medicaid funding to three areas only: in the cases of rape, incest and when the life of the mother is threatened," said Nicole Corcoran, a spokeswoman for Sebelius.

"Failing to comply with these requirements would jeopardize the health care dollars Kansas receives from Medicaid, which totaled $1.2 billion last year alone," she said.

House resolution

Whitney Watson, a spokesman for Kline, said the attorney general was simply following instructions from the Legislature.

The Kansas House in 2002 approved a resolution directing the attorney general to seek a court determination whether state funds can be used for abortions.

"We did what we were compelled by the Legislature to do," Watson said.

When asked if Kline agreed with the petition, Watson said, "It was filed on behalf of the attorney general."

The resolution, H.R. 6003, was approved by a 70-50 vote. It became an issue in the 2002 election contest between Kline, a Republican, and his Democratic rival Chris Biggs.

During the campaign, Biggs, a former Geary County prosecutor, called the resolution "political grandstanding" and said if the Legislature wanted to restrict abortions it should have passed a state law that could have been challenged in the courts to determine whether it would pass constitutional muster.

Kline had said he was ready to carry the resolution to court.

At the time of the contest between Kline and Biggs, former Atty. Gen. Bob Stephan, a Republican who endorsed Kline, said he thought the resolution was meaningless.

Stephan said that in the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a woman has a right to an abortion. Any attempt in state court to run counter would be futile, he said.

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Kinzer appointed

The new lawsuit was filed in Shawnee County District Court on behalf of Kline by a fellow abortion opponent, state Rep. Lance Kinzer, a Republican from Olathe.

Kline appointed Kinzer as special counsel in the case.

"I was asked to bring a suit to determine whether there is a conflict to using state funds, through Medicaid, for abortions," Kinzer said.

He said for the court to resolve that issue, "there has to be a determination that the unborn baby qualifies as a person in Kansas' Bill of Rights."

Kinzer said the lawsuit would not affect the rights of women, outside of the Medicaid program, to get an abortion because the U.S. Supreme Court has protected that right.

The lawsuit is before District Judge Terry Bullock, the judge who ruled against the state in the school finance lawsuit. It was filed against Sebelius, Secretary of Administration Duane Goossen and Bob Day, who is head of Sebelius' health and policy division.

Debate continues

Abortion opponents praised Kline for filing the lawsuit.

"There is no legal defense for the state of Kansas to spend one cent on elective abortion," said Elmer Feldkamp, president of Right to Life Kansas Inc.

"Such expenditures must be stopped. We heartily support the Attorney General's efforts to see to it that all human beings, born and preborn, are protected from the criminal act of abortion subsidized by the taxpayers of our great state," Feldkamp said.

Abortion rights advocates said the lawsuit was another example of Kline trying to impede women's rights.

"He's just showing his true colors," said Traci Gleason, public affairs director of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri.

"He continues to use his office to force extremist ideology on the people of Kansas," she said. Trying to deny health care to poor people, she said, "is unconscionable."

Last year, at Kline's request, a state judge issued subpoenas for the records of 90 patients at two women's clinics. Kline said he was investigating allegations of child rape and illegal late-term abortions.

The clinics have sought to block the subpoenas and accused Kline of contempt of court. The case is before the Kansas Supreme Court.

Comments

lunacydetector 9 years, 4 months ago

When do you consider a human to be a person?

jayhawks71 9 years, 4 months ago

So, Kline is so offended by the expenditure of taxpayer dollars for abortion that he is willing to spend 10s of thousands of dollars to fight the expenditure of 1450 dollars (avg) per year in advance of likely 10s of thousands of dollars spent across the lifespan of an unwanted child?

gccs14r 9 years, 4 months ago

I wonder if Kansans would be so gung-ho to prevent State-funded abortions if they knew that their taxes would have to go up 50% to make up the Medicaid shortfall should the Feds pull their subsidy?

craigers 9 years, 4 months ago

A human being is being formed at conception. So I know you can gather my stance on this issue from that. No abortions.

On a side note, I don't think it is right for the feds to be able to pull funding if an individual state doesn't agree with paying for a medical procedure like abortion. Without debating either side of the issue, this shows that the federal government does have too much control on the states.

trueninetiesgirl 9 years, 4 months ago

why is it that we should have to pay just because some one cant keep there leggs together and the get pregnant? i was always told that if you can play then you can pay the price of what you have done. people should be a lot more careful if they dont want kids,and if you dont want them all on srs assistants, there are a lot of things out there to help from getting pregnant. if you use them like you are suppost to.

spikey_mcmarbles 9 years, 4 months ago

I heard an interview with the state medicade director, and he said that the agency only pays to abort pregnancys that result from rape, incest, or if the pregnancy threatens the life of the mother. That sounds pretty reasonable to me.

Centrist 9 years, 4 months ago

Hey, "trueninetiesgirl" ... you're obviously from the 1890's ..... read the article. Sebelius is trying to defend those who are the VICTIMS of rape, incest or a critical pregnancy. This is NOT about teenage sluts ...

trueninetiesgirl 9 years, 4 months ago

i also think that only for these reason should we pay (aka) the state.

ImpactWinter 9 years, 4 months ago

I think that while abortion is an ethically questionable issue, legality is not always a question of morality. Laws exist to protect the hardworking people of our civilization from eachother, and sometimes themselves. I think a legal crusade to legislate Kline's personal beliefs, however widespread they may be, is a gross abuse of power made all the more blatant by his attempts to intimidate women who seek professional medical help for deeply personal problems. Denying women a safe and regulated outlet for a sometimes neccessary procedure is abhorrent, however distateful the procedure might be. The fact that it would strip more than a billion dollars of Healthcare funding from people who so desperately need it should end this discussion entirely.

Phil Kline's time in office has been spent trying to bully his way into a womans rights, and bypass legislative laws that, Thankfully, forced the education budget to be amended. He was attempting to strip the supreme court of the powers they used to block the budget from passing initially. I think the Secretary General of Kansas should find better uses for his time than screwing the state out of whatever good things are left in it.

Baille 9 years, 4 months ago

"When do you consider a human to be a person?"

Wrong question. When does afertilized egg become an actualized human and not just a potential human?

Why do the Reactionary Republicans scream about activist courts and then actively petition the court to set policy?

And what happens to ectopic pregnancies under Phill's Moral Regime? IVF clinics? After all of "life starts at fertilization" there are all sorts of moral quandaries that must be answered. Not that Phill is capable of following the discussion past the soundbite...

Baille 9 years, 4 months ago

"A human being is being formed at conception."

That is a statement of belief, not fact.

for_LIFE 9 years, 4 months ago

A human is a human no matter whether they we're concieved through incest or rape. And all of you who believe that life does not begin at conception: check your human biology knowledge or maybe you just skipped that day of class.

staff04 9 years, 4 months ago

I am opposed morally to abortion, however I am also relatively well versed in our nation's and state's constitutions. The one thing that concerns me most about restricting abortion is the overall issue of a State (nation) taking control of reproductive rights. By constitutional default, any state that gives itself power to control reproductive rights by banning abortion also grants itself the right to mandate abortion. Look at China. Two in the country, one in the city.

Densmore 9 years, 4 months ago

So, Phill Kline comes out swinging against rape and incest victims. Incredible. You would think that the state's chief law enforcement officer would have no time for this because he would be too busy directing the fight against drugs, child abuse, white collar crime and the many other evils that plague our society.

Craigers, you said "On a side note, I don't think it is right for the feds to be able to pull funding if an individual state doesn't agree with paying for a medical procedure like abortion. Without debating either side of the issue, this shows that the federal government does have too much control on the states." What are you talking about? Do you think that they should just fork over the funding with no right to pull it? I don't get it. Please elaborate.

erichaar 9 years, 4 months ago

When will the individuals who support abortion realize that they will never, ever sway pro-life persons to their line of thinking by using the argument that it's a woman's "right."

Think about it this way: if I were living in 1850's America, I wouldn't support a Southerner's "right" to own another human being, even though it was, tragically, legal under the law. Calling another human being your personal property was no more a right in 1850 than abortion is a "right" in 2005.

staff04 9 years, 4 months ago

Arminius- John Roberts adopted two white babies. There are thousands upon thousands of black and other minority babies in this country waiting to be adopted. I don't see conservatives lining up for them, but there are 5 and 6 year waiting lists for white babies. If they were so concerned about adoption as a viable alternative, why aren't they lining up for those kids instead of waiting five or six years.

onehotmomma 9 years, 4 months ago

hey - truenintiesgirl - maybe the girls wouldn't get pregnant if the boys kept their pants on. Stop acting like girls are the bad influence. It's high time everyone stood up and took personal responsibility for their own actions. Crucify the girl, the guy gets the same. He is just as guilty as she is.

Lets keep this in reality. Kline wants to stop medical abortions, not all young woman raped or victims of incest choose to abort, but a woman who has an ectopic pregnancy doesn't have much of a choice.

staff04 9 years, 4 months ago

Arminius- That wasn't my intent. My intent is to point out that the people most in need of adoption are not wanted by the MAINSTREAM adopting families. Conservatives who run around screaming that adoption is a viable alternative and then run overseas to adopt are not helping their own cause.

Baille 9 years, 4 months ago

"And all of you who believe that life does not begin at conception: check your human biology knowledge or maybe you just skipped that day of class."

No, for_Life, I was there. Biology, physiology, advanced biology and then Chem I and II, Organic Chemistry, and Honors Biology in college.

Please educate me where science can show that human life begins at conception. And then, if you would, please evaluate the test that O'Connor articulated in Casey v. Planned Parenthood that attempts to balnce the society's interest in protecting the fetus (or actually the potential human life) with the mother's interest in her own health and body.

John1945 9 years, 4 months ago

There is nothing that quite underlines the crypto-Nazi mentality of liberalism like the abortion issue. Not only do we get to see the callous disregard for human life and the dehumanizing of those we intend to butcher, but as we've seen in posting after posting from wendt (and others) we also see the drooling religious bigotry that was a hallmark of the Nazi regime.

I would also ask anyone who thinks killing a child because of the behavior of the child's father is "reasonable" to show me where else in law that we're punished for the actions of another party.

Kudos for Kline for giving value to human life.

Baille 9 years, 4 months ago

"Maybe state governments should make it easier for non-blacks to adopt black children."

There are no such obstacles in place in Kansas, althought Hubert and Mays would like to make it more difficult for same-gender couples to adopt.

"Kline wants to stop medical abortions."

Kline wants the court - THE COURT (hypocrite) - to declare that "life starts at fertilization when 'a new, unique and genetically distinct human being is formed, distinct from its host while dependent upon her.'" That is much, much broader than Kline has the capacity to understand. I have castrated livestock that was more qualified to serve as AG than our boy Phill.

Baille 9 years, 4 months ago

"I would also ask anyone who thinks killing a child because of the behavior of the child's father is "reasonable"."

It's not. Once the child is a viable human being the state has the power to - and does - regulate the conditions and manner in which the now human child can be aborted. If you all want to limit that to the health or life of the mother, I don't think there would be much opposition. Apparently, this has never happend under the current definitions of "life" and "health of the mother." (Just repeating propoganda. I make no promises as the accuracy.)

The main problem is definitional. You all want to say that life begins at fertilization. Fertilization! Not implantation. Not differentiation. And certainly not viability. That is asinine. Declaring that life begins at fertiliztion creates a host of problems. It is not reasonable or rational.

spikey_mcmarbles 9 years, 4 months ago

Are the citizens of Kansas so callous that they would force a woman to carry to full term a pregnancy that is the result of rape or incest?

trueninetiesgirl 9 years, 4 months ago

hay centrist i just said in my last post that i agree with spikey-mcmarbles on these same items and no i am from the the 1890s i do understand that not just young people get pregnant,

trueninetiesgirl 9 years, 4 months ago

yes i know that boys and men are to blame no just the girls sorry i didnt make that clear earier

hammysammy 9 years, 4 months ago

truenineties-maybe if you actually read the whole article before making your original comments.

craigers 9 years, 4 months ago

Densmore, my statement was stemming from the fact that I always understood that the states were supposed to govern themselves and be able to make policies more strict on anything. For example, we can sell alcohol on anyday we want, but for awhile the state was able to be more strict and not sell it on Sundays for their own reasons. The funding should be allocated to the states, but if the states don't think they should make the citizens pay for a certain procedure then I think we should be allowed that choice since we should be able to govern and make choices ourselves as a state. I hope that clarifies it a little better.

As for the topic, I feel life begins at conception when your cells start splitting and forming more cells. The baby is the victim and is innocent in the whole situation. As horrible as that would be, I don't believe in abortion in any circumstance. The ectopic pregnancies are the only gray area for me because obviously they can't be taken to full term and the mother could die. The mother's life would be my only reason to support aborting a baby.

onehotmomma 9 years, 4 months ago

It is very obvious from this discussion, the male species has absolutely no repsonsiblity when it come to the unborn fetus. Last I knew, girls didn't get pregnant alone.

And having the courts declare life begins at fertilization does create a host of other moral and ethical issues. But, as long as it's only the female who's being held responsible for the welfare of the unborn child, its OK.

Wow, I'm surprised the males involved in this discussion let their women work!!

craigers 9 years, 4 months ago

Onehotmomma, if it made you feel better my true feelings about rapists and people that commit incest is that they should be locked up and neutered. They shouldn't have the right to reproduce. I have heated feelings towards dead beat dads too. I don't like the fact that they have some fun and then run off an never deal with their responsibility.

onehotmomma 9 years, 4 months ago

craigers, I totally agree. Why is it that you must take a test to drive in the state of Kansas, but any moron can participate in procreation?

trueninetiesgirl 9 years, 4 months ago

hay thinkbeforeyouspeak i didnt say that the children were at fault, i do feel for them and i would not stop and think twice about helping pay for them,they are the victims, i am only talking about the people that it just dont fit in there plans....or its not the right sex that they want .

Densmore 9 years, 4 months ago

From spikey_mcmarbles:

"Are the citizens of Kansas so callous that they would force a woman to carry to full term a pregnancy that is the result of rape or incest?"

No spikey, they are not that callous, despite what you might read from some of the citizens in these posts.

Let's take this to the extreme. The BTK monster rapes a poverty-stricken 16 year old before trying to kill her. The 16 year old escapes. Four weeks later it is learned that the 16 year old is pregnant, but she has no money for an abortion. Phill Kline would not allow the state to fund the abortion and prefer that the 16 year-old's life be ruined. Unconscionable.

craigers 9 years, 4 months ago

Onehotmomma, thanks, I laughed pretty hard at that comment.

kskris 9 years, 4 months ago

Kline's idea here is to get the court to say that life begins at conception. (what's sad is that he is attacking low-income, victims to do it) Kline has been on a very public cursade against abortion (as we all I'm sure are well aware) for years now. What sickens me is that it is for his own personal political gain. He just loves being mentioned by CNN.

GOP- Good Ol' Pharisees (just my opinion of Kline)

Terry Bush 9 years, 4 months ago

Just the facts:

A. The lawmakers of the state and federal level have outlawed use of public funds for abortions except in the case of rape, incest etc.

B. Kansas is still using public funds for such purpose - in violation of state and federal law.

C. Kansas lawmakers passed a law requiring the AG to file a suit to determine when life begins - This legislation passed BEFORE Kline was the AG. No matter who was elected AG, the Kansas LAWMAKERS passed that law requiring the filing of this suit.

D. Add these FACTS all together = a suit on this issue had to be filed by whomever was AG.

Now a non-fact...it is a wonder that it took Kline so long to do so!

Baille 9 years, 4 months ago

"As I noted above, white couples have found it difficult to adopt black children in this country."

There are a limited number of places where interracial adoptions have met some resistance, but it is not true in Kansas yet we continue to have children who are never adopted and grow up in institutional and/or transient care. Minorities are overrepresented among these children.

How many children have you - any of you - fostered or adopted?

Terry Bush 9 years, 4 months ago

Adoption - 0. Fostering, it never ends!

Terry Bush 9 years, 4 months ago

FYI - for those who want FACTS while forming their opinions:

The 2002 Kansas House Resolution requiring the "when does life start" suit to be filed by the AG is # 6003 and found at http://www.kslegislature.org/bills/2002/6003.pdf

The state statute (an old one) requiring the AG to file suits as directed by EITHER the House or Senate (among others) is: 75-702. Duties in actions where state a party or interested; or when the constitutionality of a law is at issue. The attorney general shall appear for the state, and prosecute and defend all actions and proceedings, civil or criminal, in the supreme court, in which the state shall be interested or a party, and shall also, when required by the governor or either branch of the legislature, appear for the state and prosecute or defend, in any other court or before any officer, in any cause or matter, civil or criminal, in which this state may be a party or interested or when the constitutionality of any law of this state is at issue and when so directed shall seek final resolution of such issue in the supreme court of the state of Kansas. History: L. 1879, ch. 166, § 71; R.S. 1923, 75-702; L. 1975, ch. 431, § 1; May 3.

So - don't like the suit all you want...but be sure to understand that the 2002 KANSAS LEGISLATORS who passed HCR 6003 are behind it and the reason for it.

Densmore 9 years, 4 months ago

From ladylaw: "Add these FACTS all together = a suit on this issue had to be filed by whomever was AG." Well, how very dog-gone convenient that Phill Kline happens to be the AG.

From the article above: "The suit also seeks to have the court determine that life starts at fertilization when 'a new, unique and genetically distinct human being is formed, distinct from its host while dependent upon her.'"

If the above is an accurate description of the suit, then your characterization of Kline as being a mere bystander is erroneous. The suit seeks more than CLARIFICATION. It seeks a SPECIFIC DETERMINATION, i.e. that life begins with fertilization. Now, if the legislature actually crafted the language and Kline merely packaged the legislature's language into the pleading, fine. But my guess is that the language was crafted in the AG's office. If so, Kline is acting outside of his capacity as the state's chief law enforcement officer and is pushing a political agenda by trying to get the court to....oh no... LEGISLATE FROM THE BENCH!

Terry Bush 9 years, 4 months ago

Densmore. Did you read the linked 2002 House Bill? It answers your question on this point because it contains the precise question the Legislators required the AG to ask of the Supreme Court (keep remembering - this passed before ANYONE knew who'd be in that office when the suit was filed..or do you think that was fixed or already pre-ordained???).

As for drafting the language in a petition.... That is not what an attorney is supposed to do...is that what you are saying? Since when? It's actually illegal (practicing law without a license) for anyone but an attorney to draft and file a petition in Court (unless it's for their own personal private law suit). In drafting the requiring petition he is following the law as set forth and required by the Legislature. Do you actually think that if he had a choice he, as a very obvious Anti-Abortion supporter, would choose THIS particular court to decide the issue? Don't you think he'd have preferred to plan it out and present it in a different/better manner then that/this? Assuming of course he really would like to see the question answered in a way that prevents more abortions? I'm not a betting person, but I bet this particular Court is going to either dodge this bullet somehow, or answer in the negative.

Terry Bush 9 years, 4 months ago

P.S. READ the House Bill. It clearly requires that the AG file suit asking the Court to say that life begins at conception. And more.....

Densmore 9 years, 4 months ago

ladylaw:

You are right. I am wrong. I was distracted while writing my post and set it aside. By the time that I was finished, your post had appeared. I then read the HB and since Kline was not yet in office yet, I guess he is technically off of the hook. Also, I agree with your remarks about the venue that he would choose if he had his choice. Glad that he doesn't have his choice.

P.S. Shame on the dipsticks in the legislature that supported this. Maybe I do not understand the issue, but I thought that this was about whether the state should partially pay for abortions for victims of rape and incest as well as those to terminate dangerous pregnancies. Given the U.S. Supreme Court's decision on abortion, the issue at hand is not about abortion in general. My comments are with regard to partial state funding of abortions for victims of rape and incest as well as those to terminate dangerous pregnancies. Should the suit end in a holding that fertilization creates a "person," the state has a presumably solid position for not funding abortions for victims of rape and incest. What a great accomplishment! (Not)

Terry Bush 9 years, 4 months ago

If you want to identify said dipsticks, you can contact the Kansas Legislative research dpt and ask who voted yea/nay on this particular house bill. Some of them may still be in office.

If you are objecting the policy decision of the government (federal and state) to yank public funding for abortions when the pregnancy is not the result of rape and/or incest, that was/is a legislative decision. Such laws have been tested in court(s) and the court(s) have uniformily said that the government may decide which services it will and won't fund, as long as it's uniform. I personally think it is pretty sad that rich women can get services (in this case abortions) while the poor can't...for all kinds of reasons...but that's the status currently dictated by LAW MAKERS.

The AG doesn't have the power to pass laws. Lawmakers pass laws. If people object to what the laws of this state/country say as to what is and isn't legal (or funded by government money), they need to contact their law makers. The AG does not pass laws.

Kline may not like abortions, and he has made no secret of that stance, but as AG he has little to no ability to make them legal or illegal. All he can do is follow the current laws that apply to or are enforced by the office he currently holds. So, those who object to his ant-abortion stance should be happy he's holding the AG office, and not acting as a law maker or the appointer of judges.

If people want to see public policies change, one way or the other, they can & should work to elect people to lawmaking offices (House, Senate - at the state or federal level) who will change the laws or elect people to the executive branch (Governor or President) who will appoint judges who will hold certain laws unconstitional.

Government 101 class is now over.

Terry Bush 9 years, 4 months ago

PS - current law on government funded abortions says the goverment can/will pay for abortions (For the needy) in cases of rape & incest. A decision from a court saying "life begins at conception" will not likely impact the funding laws. What it could do is bring into sharp(er) focus the claim that abortion is actually murder, and perhaps give rise to a challenge to the science in Roe v. Wade. That's why I am betting this court will NOT make a finding that life begins at conception. They'll say they aren't scientists and/or don't have enough evidence to say either way. God knows what the law makers who passed 2002 HCR 6003 were thinking......They probably thought God was on their side, when in fact in all likelyhood, pro-abortion folks who understand the law and lawsuits may just be thrilled to see the egg on the face that is likely to result.

Densmore 9 years, 4 months ago

ladylaw:

I made it clear that I was referring to instances of rape, incest and dangerous pregnancies. I was not referring to other pregnancies.

With regard to your over-simplified pontification on how government functions, no kiddin'? Of course the AG does not have the authority to "pass laws." The AG does, however, have the authority to present arguments that are meant to persuade a court as to the meaning/intent of a statute. In this way, courts (by virtue of the arguments presented therein) can determine the meaning of a statute. If the meaning differs from what was previously regarded as the law, the court, in a sense, creates new law, such new law having been precipitated by attorneys, including on occasion, the AG.

Government 102 is now over.

joshs_mom 9 years, 4 months ago

If this topic has already been addressed, please forgive me. I have been checking posts off and on all day so I may have missed some. I do not believe in abortion-but I understand that is some cases it may be needed to save the mother's life (as in an ectopic pregnancy.) I am curious though. If Medicaid policy states that federal funding may be used for abortion in cases of rape, incest, or if the mother's life is in danger, who will be responsible for determining if/when these conditions are met. What would prevent someone from making a false claim of rape or incest ? Would there be instances of women going "doctor-shopping" in order to try to find a doctor whose ethical standards might be low enough that he would provide false documentation that her pregnancy endagers her life. I don't think that any kind of public funds or tax dollars should be used for abortions. I agree with those who say let's prevent abortions by allowing easier access to birth control. By teaching young people to be responsible towards sexual activity will allow them to take that sense of responsibilty into other areas of life.

calvin 9 years, 4 months ago

My hope is the everyone who reads these posts does not think all conservatives are like John1945. I would consider myself to be conservative, but all I see from John1945 are insults and calling anyone less liberal than himself a Nazi. We will never be able to have a constructive, useful dialogue on issues such as abortion when nothing is said except for insults.

I feel that AG Kline is doing what the state lawmakers required him to do. I also believe that he is doing what a majority of Kansans want since a majority of Kansans elected him.

Terry Bush 9 years, 4 months ago

woa...den...thanks for the lesson. I wasn't trying to step on toes (yours or anyone elses). Your understanding of how the 3 branches work may be just fine, but I have read enough of these posts to believe that is not the case for all who posted. Just trying to get to the issue - who is "at fault" or behind filing this particular case. And yes it is true that from time to time an argument concerning interpretation of the law or facts will sway a court to make a decision. And if/when the law makers do not like the outcome of that decision, they can (and sometime do) go back to the drawing board and try to draft a new law to address the outcome (or loophole as they may view it).

"My comments are with regard to partial state funding of abortions for victims of rape and incest as well as those to terminate dangerous pregnancies. ." = state and federal law makers passed these laws, not the AG.

As for the question about what the law allows/requires with regard to medical necessity, there is always the possibility that one doctor might disagree with another as to that issue. However, in most cases, you will be hard pressed to find a doctor who will publicly try to 2nd guess such decisions. And, currently, Kansas law requires such an affirmative decision by a physician. However, there has been some concern raised that this decision is in fact not being reached or made...rather, that any request is granted based upon the presumption that a woman wouldn't ask for an abortion unless the pregnancy actually in fact threatened their health and well being.

For the record, in case you couldn't tell, I am pro-life. I have been for the last 40 years of my life. However, I do not presume to judge the souls of other people, or to judge those who disagree with my stance. Rather, I take to heart the directive to love others. I would also like to add that it would probably be a more honest debate if we could agree on what is being aborted - a mass of tissue or a human being. I would have a lot more respect for people who are pro-abortion if they could admit that, human or not, they believe a mother has the right to make life and death decisions with regard to what is inside her. Otherwise, it reminds me a bit of the slavery times when pro-slavery forces argued that the Negro was not human.

webmocker 9 years, 4 months ago

"I feel that AG Kline is doing what the state lawmakers required him to do. I also believe that he is doing what a majority of Kansans want since a majority of Kansans elected him." --Calvin

Kansas Population (2003 estimate from Census Bureau) 2,723,507

Number of Votes for Kline in 2002 election: 412,686

calvin 9 years, 4 months ago

Ok, let me rephrase it. A majority of Kansans who voted.

Baille 9 years, 4 months ago

" I would also like to add that it would probably be a more honest debate if we could agree on what is being aborted - a mass of tissue or a human being. I would have a lot more respect for people who are pro-abortion if they could admit that, human or not, they believe a mother has the right to make life and death decisions with regard to what is inside her."

That would make it much easier, but that ain't to be. There is little argument against the idea that at some point the mass of tissue becomes an actualized human being while still residing within the womb. The question remains is when does that mass become differentiated enough so that society's interest in protecting life trumps a woman's right over her own body.

There is a test for this in Casey v. Planned Parenthood that takes into account the current and emerging consensus of medical science. These interests must be weighed and an undue burden can not be placed on the woman. Kline (Yeah, I know, but I will not be convinced that he did not collaborate with the Reactionary Republicans on this. It is why he was nominated. It is his mission. He has done it before. He has the legal acumen of a minow.) seeks to short circuit this by declaring blastula a fully realized human life whose continued existence trumps a woman's right or need to rid herself of the tissue before it develops into a person.

They, and he, seek an activist court. Ah, the delicious smell of irony.

joshs_mom 9 years, 4 months ago

Webmocker: how many of the 2,723,507 were registered voters? I think that would be a more accurate figure to base your point on. I think Phil Kline is doing a decent job-and is not afraid to stand up for what he thinks is right. He, at least, is not becoming one of those wishy-washy middle of the roaders. And for those who think he is out for more publicity, well, why shouldn't he be? The publicity this issue is receiving is causing all of us to debate this topic--and maybe it is time to give Roe V. Wade another look. How many people really do support this? I have seen several people state in their posts that they personally would not have an abortion or tell someone else they should have one, but they support the right to choose. I really think that there are more people who consider themselves pro-life than the pro-choice camp wants us to believe.

Baille 9 years, 4 months ago

Augh! Roe v. Wade is not the dominant case anymore.

And pro-choice is not incompatible with being against abortion generally. One who stands for pro-choice rejects the right of the state to intervene in a women health care without a significant reason. Protecting blastula is not an adequate reason. Making women die from ectopic pregnancies is not an adequate reason. It does not mean we all advocate for more abortions.

"And for those who think he is out for more publicity, well, why shouldn't he be?"

Because that is not his job. This is not the Phill Kline Show. It is the state of KS and, God help us all, he is our AG. He should not be stagediving into a sea of Radical Republicans or conspiring (Conspiring, I tell you! He is a conspirator! :) ) to further his theocratic agenda.

What he should be doing is inquiring into the possibility of auditing a few law school classes.

Terry Bush 9 years, 4 months ago

"He has the legal acumen of a minow" So you went to law school with him? Didn't it just bug the heck out of you that he got A's without even studying? Oh, and what a nice new way to spell minnow.

"When does that mass become differentiated enough...?" Well...it is, was, and will be a human being...if you let it continue to do what it was doing...grow. Just as with any other "thing" that begins to grow - it grows into a bigger what ever it is in the first place. If you stop it from growing, it becomes dead. Just as with any other living thing. It truly is more intellectually honest to agree that it is a human (albeit in embronic stages) and then truthfully debate the real issue. Who gets to say (mom, society, courts, law makers) when/if it gets to live or not. We do it for other things/people...why not for babies at this stage of their life? I do not believe even the Catholic church would argue that a pregnancy must be (morally) continued if the health (mental or physical) or life of the mother is threatened.

And finally, publicity. What politician (who wants to stay in office) does not mind getting some? And if the newspapers and other media don't want to cover a story, they don't have to. If a politician doesn't get press, he can't do much about it, now can he? If people do not want to read a story or watch it on TV, turn it off. You can bet that the media LOVES PK - not his agenda, the fact that he gives them lots to attack him for. Sells lots of papers and even more ads to their media empires. But do you/we blame the press for picking up a story. No, we blame the person whom the story is written about. Admit it...you don't like him. That's your right. And just because you do not like Phill Kline or his platform, you look for things to pick on. That's your right. But at least try to be accurate with the facts. And know the difference between facts and opinions. Is that so much to ask?

Jamesaust 9 years, 4 months ago

I rarely comment on comments but I'll make an exception given the quality of some of the submissions above.

I'm not at all so sure that the House Resolution or its reference to KSA 75-702 creates a duty for the AG to file a lawsuit. It fails (it seems to me) what the feds would call the "case or controversy" requirement, that is, there is no actual lawsuit between adverse parties here. The action of the AG (and the House) stretch 75-702 beyond its actual meaning. Yes, the AG may be directed "to prosecute or defend"... "when the constitutionality of any law" is "at issue." At issue refers to an actual lawsuit by someone who has standing to sue someone else not a matter of a difference of opinion between various state officials. In other words, 75-702 is not a mechanism for the legislature to ask the Kansas Supreme Court for an advisory ruling (and indeed would be a very inefficient way to do so). It allows for the AG to intervene in an actual lawsuit when the ruling(s) of a lower court raise a constitutional issue that the state has an interest in ensuring is properly decided.

The absurdity of trying to make 75-702 into a means whereby one part of the state goverment sues another part of the state government via the AG is right there in the other words of the text -- what if tomorrow the Governor by executive order required the AG to defend her position by filing a lawsuit asking for an advisory opinion? Is the AG suppose to represent both viewpoints?

So, the House cannot require the AG to create a lawsuit that does not already exist (a technical point). The AG chose to file for what amounts to a restraining order prohibiting executive branch officials from acting contrary to his novel interpretation of what constitution requires. This explains why the lawsuit was filed in district court when 75-702 allows the AG when questioning constitutionality to do so ONLY with the supreme court (that is, its not an actual case that is ripe for the supremes to review a lower court decision since there isn't one). It also explains the comments of the Republican former AG who termed the Resolution 'meaningless.' Thus, Kline chose to create this futile controversy himself.

The really intriguing situation would be if the House and the Governor switched points-of-view and the Governor required the AG to sue the House claiming that the murder statutes were unconsitutional since they did not define "person" to include the unborn. (of course, 75-702 wouldn't allow this either.)

Baille 9 years, 4 months ago

Getting catty, huh, ladylaw?

""He has the legal acumen of a minow" So you went to law school with him? Didn't it just bug the heck out of you that he got A's without even studying? Oh, and what a nice new way to spell minnow."

And I did not go to law school with him, but I have had more than one opportunity in a public forum to question him. He never gave a straight answer on the first try, and rarely gave a logical answer when pressed. And, no, the fact he did well in law school does not bother me at all. So did I - top ten. And I went on to practice, though admittedly I am still rather new to the private sector.

Your comment on my typing ability is hardly constructive, but so be it. I never claimed to be a great typist. Fortunately, dictation machines are cheap. I will see if I can do better with this one, though.

I do not think it is more intellectually honest to say that a developing fetus is a fully actualized life on par with its host. While it will most likely become a human life if alone it does not necessarily follow that "it is" or "was" a human life at any particular time. That we deem it to be alive sheds little light in the issue. All our individual cells live. That does not make them wholly human beings in and of themselves. Admittedly a blastula is different. This mass of cells will become human if allowed to continue, but that does not make the mass a human being during the whole of its development. We can argue this all night, but this quickly becomes an argument of semantics with no clear answers. Next we will be arguing about the existence of the soul, or the practically of of first imaging the existence of monads.

If you truly think that there is some scientific validity behind the notion that a human being is created at fertilization what do you propose we do with Roe and Casey?

And finally publicity. Publicity may be a part of politics, but it is the only part of his job at which Phill is any good. Probably because he spends so much time at it.

I freely admit I do not personally like Phill Kline. He is a far-right, theocratic politician, not a lawyer. The manner he handled he inquiry into the under-age abortions was specifically calcluated to garner media attention, as was his clearly erroneous legal counsel during the special session this summer. I have never made a secret of my distaste for his politics or his manner. There is little to admit.

MyName 9 years, 4 months ago

It's not like we're taking a poll or anything, but for the record, I think Phill Kline is exactly the kind of rat that gives attorneys a bad name. I will enjoy voting him out of office in 14 months.

A few people on this thread have likened the abortion controversy to the moral controversy over slavery (always with the caveat that their side is "obviously" the morally just side). I think there may be some truth to this opinion. There are some issues over which the country shouldn't be divided. Just as you can't have a human be a piece of property on one side of an imaginary line, and a person with rights on the other side, you also can't have a country where a woman can hop on a plane an exercise her "right to choose" on one side of an imaginary line, while a woman on the other side of the line is left considering whether or not to commit a felony. If Roe (and other following decisions) were overturned, this would be the state of things in this country.

Whether you find abortion morally repugnant or not, Roe v. Wade did decide one of the important issues that could have divided the country, and without having to fight a war over it. Or as Lincoln put it "A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure permanently half-slave and half-free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved - I do not expect the house to fall - but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other."

Another important thing to note: Slavery was abolished in England and Europe before it was abolished in the US. Abortion was also legalized in England and Europe before it was legalized in the US.

Lepanto1571 9 years, 4 months ago

Wendt,

Good to see that you believe the fetus human as otherwise you'd being comparing apples and oranges. Good for you.

Looks as if Arminius blew your highly speculative figures out of the water with actual data, and thus any conclusion you were attempting to make with regard to them. So I'll move on...

What are you talking about as far as losing a hand to save an arm? Please be specific!

As far as: "No one, pro-choice or pro-life, wants to have to abort a child so it's a dead lock cinch that you will feel righteous in opposing it. The problem comes when you don't want to deal with the social issues that created the situation in the first place." You are absolutely correct in the righteousness. Please explain those deep social issues that jusify women killing their children. I'm all ears! Glad to see your argument doesn't rely on tired pop-culture addages like "It's all society's fault."

As far as Planned Parenthood, the only fault they possess is no big deal really, just the inconvenient little fact that they actually conducting the killing. Plenty of fault there, we won't hold them responsible for anything else.

As far as: "We can prevent misunderstanding as to why pregnancies have to be terminated through education but we have a lot of people out there with significant deficiencies in the sciences and medicine."

I'm not aware of any "misunderstandings" regarding pregnancy terminations. In the vast majority of cases, the mother simply decides to for a variety of reasons which negligibly have anything to do with rape/incest/life/health. Good thing they don't apply that same logic with any others that may be inconvenient in their lives.

Please explain why deficiencies in science and medicine are keeping many from developing "misunderstandings." That's just weird.

As far as rape goes, this is a comment I normally hear from the women's studies department, and it falls flat as an axiom from which to proceed as the number of rape-induced abortions is negligible compared to the abortions executed out for "personal" reasons.

Perhaps I just "misunderstand." So feel free to set me straight. I look forward to it.

brofy 9 years, 3 months ago

Life begins at conception: fact (I believe this to be so) How do I support this belief/fact? : 2 ways: 1) Many scriptures support this, but people don't want to hear about scripture, so; 2) Left unmolested, an unborn baby will continue to grow and develop. In about nine months, the parent(s) will be treated to foul smelling diapers and late night feedings, congratulations Mom and Dad. An ectopic (tubular) pregnancy is potentially deadly to the mother, and thus to junior as well. This can only be resolved by modern medicine or major miracle. Many times it is wiser to let modern medicine handle it. Does the treatment of an ectopic pregnancy constitute a D&C or a D&X (partial-birth abortion)? No, but a D&C usually follows removal of the tubular to rid the body of the amniotic sac, etc. & may be billed as an abortion. This is a technicality, as the doomed child would not have survived. That having been said, Medicare should not be withheld in such a case. This should be viewed as a medically necessary procedure, done only to preserve life. The problem many right to lifers will have with this is that the label "medically necessary ... to preserve life" has been grossly misapplied. Conversely, D&X is a procedure that it is not done to save life, but to take it. Intellectual honesty tells us that a procedure that takes 3 days is not an emergent one. Don't take my word, look it up. There is a constitutional right to an abortion: False. No such right exists. Roe v. Wade created a right to abortion under the rubric of the right to privacy, but such made-up rights are trumped by the right to life. For instance, if a police officer came and kicked in your front door for no reason, his actions would be viewed as bovine manure. If, however, he heard gunshots from inside, or a blood curdling scream from inside, he better see what's up. In this case the officer's sworn duty to protect the lives of the citizens supersedes the right of a murderer/rapist/abusive spouse to kill/rape/abuse in the privacy of his or her own home. The right to life takes precedence. What does all of this mean? If life begins at conception, there should be laws which protect that life. Claiming that we cannot legislate morality is ludicrous. We have laws which prohibit prostitution, various forms of gambling, pedophilia, murder, thievery (except by congress) and so on. Adoption is a viable alternative to abortion. There are many people, of all race, religion, and political affiliation that desire to have a child but cannot. They pay thousands of dollars and go through years of roadblocks to finally be allowed to adopt. Many just want a child, regardless of race. I know; I'm one of those people. Children need our love and protection, inside and outside the womb. P.S. Haven't we had enough of the "Nazi" accusation? Such vitriol merely demeans your ideas and makes you and those supporting your cause look like buffoons. This applies to my friends on both the right and left.

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