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Archive for Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Late-term abortion limits proposed

June 26, 2007

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— A key lawmaker Monday proposed banning late-term abortions in Kansas except in instances where it is necessary to save the woman's life.

"The less exceptions that are in the law, the more luck we are going to have enforcing it," said state Rep. Arlen Siegfreid, R-Olathe.

Speaking to a crowd of approximately 150 anti-abortion advocates, Siegfreid said he would introduce legislation in the 2008 session that would ban abortions after 21 weeks of pregnancy.

Siegfreid serves as chairman of the House Federal and State Affairs Committee, so it's likely his proposal will be approved by the committee and get a full House vote.

Siegfreid said the measure likely would prevent a woman from getting a late-term abortion even if she had been the victim of rape and incest.

"Those kinds of things should come up very quickly, very early in the process," he said.

Late-term abortions are banned in Kansas unless they are done to save a woman's or girl's life or to prevent "substantial and irreversible" harm to a "major bodily function," which has been interpreted to include mental health.

In 2006, there were 11,221 abortions performed in Kansas. In 380, or 3.5 percent, of them the fetus was at 22 weeks or more of development, according to state records. A full-term pregnancy is about 40 weeks.

Rep. Lance Kinzer, R-Olathe, said states may be able to further restrict abortion in light of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that upheld a federal ban on a certain abortion procedure.

But Julie Burkhardt, executive director of ProKanDo, a pro-choice political action committee in Kansas, said lawmakers shouldn't adopt any more restrictions on abortion.

"The Legislature should not be in the business of making medical decisions," Burkhardt said. "It would be best to leave these types of decisions up to qualified physicians in consultation with their patients."

ProKanDo is heavily bankrolled by Dr. George Tiller, whose Wichita clinic has done late-term abortions.

Kinzer, Siegfreid and other anti-abortion advocates gathered Monday outside the Capitol to urge Attorney General Paul Morrison to charge Tiller with illegally performing late-term abortions. Morrison has said he would announce this month what he intends to do about an investigation of Tiller started by former Attorney General Phill Kline.

Comments

Janet Lowther 7 years, 5 months ago

I reckon a womb squatter should get tenure at least by 26 weeks. (The original standard in Roe v. Wade.) I think 21 weeks may be pushing it a tad.

Jesusfreak 7 years, 5 months ago

Why is it that when a conservative has an opinion on something they're called narrow-minded? The issue most of us seem to be forgetting about, is the fact that any abortion, whether it happens in the first trimester or at 21 weeks, is murder. The child has no say what happens to them. The child has no voice. That baby or fetus, as many of us like to put a name less personal, so as not to think about it as being a baby, has no vote. It is up to us to give that baby a voice and a vote. I use to be of the mentality of considering women's rights and not the baby's, but what right do we have to end another human beings life just because we cannot deal with the situation. Whether it be from rape, or just plain lack of being able to keep raging hormones from getting the better of us, abortion should not ever be the answer. Too many times we accept what we should not. Right is right and wrong is wrong.

Jamesaust 7 years, 5 months ago

"...the measure likely would prevent a woman from getting a late-term abortion even if she had been the victim of rape and incest."

There's not a majority in the Legislature who will agree to that. Not even close.

Reviewing "late term" abortions is important but types like Siegfreid are dooming any chance of that by adopting extremist proposals that stand no chance of passage. Why can't the Legislature focus on adopting clear and concise definitions and enforcement mechanisms for the 'health and welfare' standards already present in the law?

(Granted, there's not much fundraising potential in that approach but unlike these radical approaches ACTUAL LIVES are saved.)

Centrist 7 years, 5 months ago

I think it is fair and reasonable to say that abortion is an unpalatable idea after 21 weeks. However, it conflicts with my philosophy that forcing a woman to have a baby is also wrong.

domino 7 years, 5 months ago

I personally know that it is extremly important to teach our children about abstinance, as well as safe sex. I got pregnant at 17 - married - divorced & now remarried to a wonderful man and a total of 3 kids. Abortion, for me personally, was not an option. I do, however, absolutely believe with all my heart, that when men can get pregnant, carry a baby to term and go through the birth process, it will be at that time when they can have a say as to when and what circumstances a woman may have an abortion. Abortion should NOT be used as a form of birth control - as in the case of a woman I know who had 6 abortions in her "younger years." Talk to your kids!!!! It's not an easy thing to do, but as a parent, it is your responsibility! Don't assume they know or will learn it in school sex ed class or anywhere else! What they learn/hear may or may not be correct information. Make sure what they know is correct and it needs to come from you - the parent!!!

Confrontation 7 years, 5 months ago

Oh, domino, haven't you heard? If conservatives talk to their children about sex, then their children could possibly end up having sex. The last thing we want is conservative offspring to be having sex.

preebo 7 years, 5 months ago

I too support restrictions on late-term abortions, even as far as to ban them as a practice. In a world of "pro-choice" there has to be a line drawn somewhere. I think any reasonable person acknowledges that. Maybe I'm wrong...

Kam_Fong_as_Chin_Ho 7 years, 5 months ago

I do, however, absolutely believe with all my heart, that when men can get pregnant, carry a baby to term and go through the birth process, it will be at that time when they can have a say as to when and what circumstances a woman may have an abortion.

Wrong. When women can get pregnant without sperm, then men can be left out of the equation.

Grundoon Luna 7 years, 5 months ago

Well, Kam Fong, if men took the same responsibility for children as women do I might agree with you. But that is the exception and not the rule.

When parthenogenesis starts occurring in humans, men will be toast and the opinion of man will be, well, machs nicht.

coneflower 7 years, 5 months ago

I'm as pro choice as anyone, but seriously, why would someone wait 21 weeks to have this done? You do have some responsibility for what's going on with your body. You do need to figure out whether you are pregnant in some timely manner, and if you're going to terminate it, do it earlier than 21 weeks.

If the issue is that there are birth defects not discovered until then, sorry - it is heartbreaking - but there is no way life guarantees you will get through life without any suffering. You might have to deal with it. I've heard of mothers who had to give birth to a full-term, dead fetus. Heartbreaking. A horribly raw deal. Until it becomes legal to euthanize the fetus in a way that guarantees it would not suffer, I think the mother at 21 weeks is stuck - and the father must be made to be there every step of the way with emotional, physical and financial support. The state should support them, too, in every possible way.

Maybe this is the wrong debate. This should not be about abortion. The debate should be about euthanasia - and whether it is moral and should be legal to euthanize a severely deformed baby who would not survive. I say, yes. That partial birth abortion crap seems all about avoiding euthanization of a severely deformed born baby, and choosing instead to terminate the fetus in a gruesome way that causes it to suffer.

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 5 months ago

Toil toil fuss fuss toil toil...

Late-term abortions are already illegal unless deemed medically necessary.

How many late-term abortions in the case of rape or incest actually occur? This is simply a wedge and part of a strategy to drive for restrictions on all abortions.

Next, these wackos will be pushing to ban late term abortions in the case of alien abduction and insemination.

aquakej 7 years, 5 months ago

"I'm as pro choice as anyone, but seriously, why would someone wait 21 weeks to have this done?" Coneflower, I totally agree. I don't have moral issue with early-term abortions, but why on earth would you wait until 21 weeks to do it?? I thought the point of abortion was to get rid of the pregnancy before anyone found out about it. If you're already starting to show, it's a little late. And yes, if you are going to abort a third trimester fetus, why wouldn't you use euthanasia? No reason to puncture its' skull. That's definately going too far over the edge.

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 5 months ago

"Now there is the crux of the matter - any legislated enforcement mechanism, if it's anything like the corrupted ones now, will just be more wasted ink on paper."

You so funny, 75x55. Admit it, you would consider any "enforcement mechanism" corrupt if it ever allowed any abortions at all.

You are an extremist who wishes to do away with abortion completely.

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 5 months ago

"(S)He's right: It's all about enforcement, and that pertains to any law. What's the point of having speed limits on the highways if you're not going to have cops with radar guns checking on people? What's the point of having health codes in restaurants if you don't have somebody making surprise inspections on the kitchen from time to time?"

This law is different. It is at the discretion of a medical professional as to whether the procedure is warranted, just as sometimes, if directed by a police officer, a motorist can drive on the wrong side of the road or break other traffic laws.

Indeed, there should be oversight (and there is). There was oversight of the late-term cases in Kansas. Some thought that psychiatric reasons given by Tiller were not sufficient. Others saw it differently and trusted the judgement of medical professionals, which the law intended.

The system is not corrupted and is in fact working as the law intended. Some think all abortions should be outlawed and will attack and drive a wedge wherever they can.

ECM 7 years, 5 months ago

"So, if we give the anti-choice folks this restriction (making them illegal after 21 weeks), what will they give pro-choice folks in return? Quid pro quo is how we do business in our system."

How sad this would be your consideration when a child is in the middle of this equation.

ECM 7 years, 5 months ago

yourworstnightmare (Anonymous) says:

"Now there is the crux of the matter - any legislated enforcement mechanism, if it's anything like the corrupted ones now, will just be more wasted ink on paper."

You so funny, 75x55. Admit it, you would consider any "enforcement mechanism" corrupt if it ever allowed any abortions at all.

You are an extremist who wishes to do away with abortion completely.

Ahh yes another "open minded liberal" your my way or the highway mentality is telling of your truly narrowminded thought process ... or the lack there of.

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