Advertisement

Archive for Tuesday, February 20, 2007

House approves ‘Alexa’s Law’ on fetal homicides

February 20, 2007

Advertisement

— House members gave overwhelming approval Monday to a bill for protecting mothers-to-be and their fetuses, despite objections from some that the bill could have unintended consequences.

The bill, dubbed "Alexa's Law" and approved 94-28, would make it possible to charge someone with murder, manslaughter, vehicular homicide or battery for killing or harming a fetus. It says the definition of "person" for those specific crimes includes an "unborn child" at "any stage of gestation from fertilization to birth."

The measure was inspired by the murder last year of a pregnant 14-year-old Wichita girl and was named for her fetus.

Supporters, including Kansans for Life, the state's largest anti-abortion group, note that the murdered teenager was only three weeks away from giving birth and that she and her family already had picked a name.

"It's about justice, not abortion," said Mary Kay Culp, Kansans for Life's executive director. "It gives prosecutors more choices and families more rights."

Abortion rights advocates have worried that the bill is a first step toward banning abortions in Kansas. In explaining their "no," votes, they suggested the measure could force law enforcement agencies to do more autopsies or have other consequences.

Among area lawmakers, Republican Anthony Brown, of Eudora, and Democrat Ann Mah, of Topeka, voted for the bill. Republican Tom Sloan, of Lawrence, and Democrats Barbara Ballard and Paul Davis, of Lawrence, and Tom Holland, of Baldwin City, voted against the bill.

No language vote

The House put off Monday's announced debate on a bill making English the state's official language.

Rep. Don Myers, R-Derby, chairman of the House Committee on Military, Veterans and Homeland Security, said documents explaining the changes made by his committee weren't ready for legislators.

The bill would make English the official language in Kansas, though it has flexibility to allow local, county and state agencies to print or make available documents in other languages.

It also would encourage that English courses be made available to immigrants not proficient in English. It does not provide the funds for such classes.

Myers has described the bill as another tool for work force development, not as an anti-immigrant measure.

Other groups, including the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, based in Los Angeles, see the bill as one of many popping up across the country as states deal with illegal immigration.

'Noncitizen' tax idea

A Coffey County legislator who says political correctness is destroying the country wants to impose a 3 percent payroll tax on noncitizens to help pay for bilingual education and other expenses in Kansas schools.

"I want people to pay their fair share," said Rep Bill Otto, R-LeRoy, who added that his bill would help track illegal immigrants in the state.

In 2005-2006, the state paid about $30 million for bilingual education, according to the Kansas State Department of Education.

The bill would impose a 3 percent tax on all noncitizens from July 1 of this year through July 30, 2013, Otto said. Employers would be responsible for identifying noncitizens and collecting the tax, with a penalty of up to $10,000 per occurrence, plus the outstanding tax, for those who fail to comply.

Though the bill hasn't been scheduled for a hearing, opponents already are lining up to blast the legislation as flawed and poorly conceived.

Comments

SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years ago

A huge thank you to the Kansas House for overwhelmingly passing Alexa's Law.

justthefacts 8 years ago

On this morning's news there was a piece about a baby (fetus to those who insist) being born at 5 months, weighing less then 10 oz, that has made it to 4 pounds and now looks likely to survive and thrive. The tyke was almost transparent at birth. Makes one wonder about things....

Kam_Fong_as_Chin_Ho 8 years ago

I have a niece that was born two months premature. She only weighed 1.6 lbs at birth. Of course, since she was premature she couldn't be considered a "baby". She was merely a blob of cells...as all fetuses are. Anyway, my blob of cells niece went on to graduate at the head of her high school class and is doing very well for herself these days.

jonas 8 years ago

That was a good read, Machiavelli.

ive_got_my_ascot_n_my_dickie 8 years ago

Another good read is "The Enemy At Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11" by Dinesh D'Souza. Amazing book that tells it like it is.

jonas 8 years ago

"From Publishers Weekly Conservative pundit D'Souza (Illiberal Education) roots the blame for the 9/11 attacks in the left wing's "aggressive global campaign to undermine the traditional patriarchal family" in this mostly lucid but unconvincing argument. Pointing to Hillary Clinton, Britney Spears and Noam Chomsky, he decries those who have teamed up with Hollywood and the U.N. to foist an irreligious, sexually licentious, antifamily liberal culture-epitomized by Eve Ensler's play The Vagina Monologues and gay marriage initiatives-on a Muslim world that rightly reviles it. By deliberately attacking Islamic values, the left tacitly allies itself with al- Qaeda in its effort to defeat Bush's war on terror and thus discredit conservatism at home, he asserts."

Is this pretty much the point of his writing? Or, is there more to it?

Commenting has been disabled for this item.