Archive for Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Kansas abortion laws on fetal pain, parental consent get Gov. Sam Brownback’s signature

April 12, 2011, 10:27 a.m. Updated April 12, 2011, 4:08 p.m.


— Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has signed legislation requiring doctors to get written permission from parents before performing abortions on minors.

The signing Tuesday came four days after Brownback signed a bill tightening restrictions on abortions after the 21st week of pregnancy based on disputed claims that fetuses can feel pain.

Both new laws take effect July 1. Brownback says they reflect what he calls a growing "culture of life" across the state and nation.

Critics said the new laws will endanger women and limit their health care choices.

Abortion opponents are pushing another bill imposing specific regulations for abortion clinics. They expect it to reach Brownback's desk after legislators return April 27 from their annual spring break.

The bill would require annual, unannounced state inspections of the clinics, and the governor favors the concept.

"He supports the dignity of every human being," Jones-Sontag said.

The Republican-controlled Legislature has approved numerous changes in Kansas abortion laws in recent years, but such proposals were vetoed by Govs. Kathleen Sebelius and Mark Parkinson, abortion rights Democrats.

When Brownback took office in January, abortion opponents pushed for the changes they'd long been denied and others, including the parental consent and fetal pain proposals.

Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, which performs abortions at an Overland Park clinic, labeled the measures "extreme."

"The Kansas Legislature and Governor Brownback are putting the health and safety of Kansas women and families at risk in the name of political posturing," said Peter Brownlie, Planned Parenthood's president and chief executive officer.

Planned Parenthood lobbyist Sarah Gillooly said its lawyers are reviewing the new laws and believe parts of them — particularly provisions in the new fetal pain law — are unconstitutional. But Planned Parenthood is preparing to comply with the parental consent requirements, she said.

Supporters believe the new laws will withstand judicial scrutiny. Troy Newman, president of the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, said the changes are long overdue for not only reducing abortions but protecting patients.

"These are commonsense regulations that should have been put in place a decade ago," he said. "It's kind of a new day here in Kansas."

The new abortion consent law will replace a statute requiring a doctor to notify one parent before performing an abortion on a minor. Starting in July, a doctor will have to obtain consent from at least one parent or guardian in a written, notarized statement, both if the parents are still married. However, a minor could go to court to avoid the requirement.

The bill also would allow former patients or family members to sue doctors if they have evidence that the physician violated abortion restrictions.

Twenty-four states have parental consent laws, but only two, Mississippi and North Dakota, require consent from both parents, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Courts have blocked three additional states from enforcing their consent laws.

The new fetal pain statute is patterned after a law enacted in Nebraska last year. It says no abortions can be performed after the 21st week of pregnancy unless a woman or girl's life is in danger or unless she faces substantial and permanent harm to her physical health.

Kansas law now imposes those restrictions on abortions after the 21st week of pregnancy when the fetus is viable, or able to survive outside the womb, allowing a doctor to terminate a pregnancy after concluding a fetus isn't viable. Current law also allows an abortion of a viable fetus if the woman faces substantial and permanent harm to her mental health.

The new law justifies its tighter restrictions by declaring medical evidence shows the fetus can feel pain at that point — something supporters say has been documented by numerous studies.

But the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has said it knows of no legitimate evidence showing a fetus can experience pain. The group said certain hormones developing in the final trimester must be present for a fetus to feel pain.

Also, the only clinic in Kansas known to have performed abortions regularly after the 21st week of pregnancy was Dr. George Tiller's in Wichita. He was shot to death in May 2009.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported recently that only one abortion performed in Kansas in 2010 came after 21st week of pregnancy, compared to 121 in 2009 and 323 in 2008.


Brock Masters 7 years ago

Any surgery on a minor should require parental consent. Good bill.

yourworstnightmare 7 years ago

How does this create jobs and stimulate the economy?

madcow 7 years ago

The increased sales of coat hangers will be a boost to the economy.

jhawkinsf 7 years ago

Is that the only function of state government? Junior high civics class was a long, long time ago, but unless thing have changed in all those decades, I think I recall they had more responsibilities than job creation and economy stimulation.

Cait McKnelly 7 years ago

No matter what the function of state government, social legislation isn't part of it.

yourworstnightmare 7 years ago

Scott Roeder, you have friends in high places in the Kansas government.

sad_lawrencian 7 years ago

I suggest the abortion providers/clinics move to Missouri, stay there for eight years, and come back when Brownback is out of office. By then the laws will have been repealed, stopped in the court system or shut down by federal judges.

Terry Jacobsen 7 years ago

Actually, laws like this one are on the books in 21 states and surviving the courts and legal challenges just fine.

Elaine Elliott 7 years ago

Great more unwanted children, raised by young parents because their parents wouldn't sign off on their abortions. How does creating more families that require government assistance get us out of debt?

lamb 7 years ago

Money is not everything. Some things are just the right thing to do.

Gary Anderson 7 years ago

unwanted children is the right thing to do? By the many unwanted children have you adopted?

fan4kufootball 7 years ago

There are many wanting to adopt - look at how many go overseas to adopt childern in other countries. Why? because the red tape in US adoptions is so "unending and binding" that its easier and less costly to go overseas. Also - the bio mom in the US has the right to change her mind for way to long after the baby has been placed in the adoptive families homes causing terrible heartbreak for the adoptive family.

Terry Jacobsen 7 years ago

My wife and I have adopted three and we wanted them all

Tonie Barnett Bruns 7 years ago

What is right for you doesn't mean it is the "right thing" for everyone.

Terry Jacobsen 7 years ago

Killing an innocent child is never right for anyone. Unless your a cold blooded heartless creature. Funny, your mom let you live

akuna 7 years ago

Welcome to the Brownback Nanny State.

Kim Murphree 7 years ago

Once again, women are second class soon as you become pregnant, you are a slave to the state and your neighbors. Tell me, if all they want is to "save babies," why is it only in the womb? One would think that these same people would want tax increases to fund child care, child health care, and all kinds of programs to esnure the safety, education, and health of children---but no---all they are worried about is forcing a woman to complete pregnancy and go through labor--and have the child--whether or not that child is viable outside of the womb for 15 minutes. Sounds more like putting women back in their place than really working to "save babies."

Sigmund 7 years ago

akuna (anonymous) says… "Welcome to the Brownback Nanny State."

Nanny is a perfect description, and perfectly appropriate, given that a minor girl is legally a child. This law forces parents to be involved with the health care of their child seeking a major surgical/medical procedure. The state only becomes a "nanny" under extraordinary circumstances.

The Bill, in relevant part, states:

"Except in the case of a medical emergency or as otherwise provided in this section, no person shall perform an abortion upon an unemanicipated minor, unless the person first obtains the notarized written consent of the minor and both parents or the legal guardian of the minor. (1) If the minor's parents are divorced or otherwise unmarried and living separate and apart, then the written consent of the parent with primary custody, care and control of such minor shall be sufficient. (2) If the minor's parents are married and one parent is not available to the person performing the abortion in a reasonable time and manner, then the written consent of the parent who is available shall be sufficient. (3) If the minor's pregnancy was caused by sexual intercourse with the minor's natural father, adoptive father, stepfather or legal guardian, then the written consent of the minor's mother shall be sufficient. Notice of such circumstances shall be reported to the proper authorities as provided in K.S.A. 2010 Supp. 38-2223, and amendments thereto.

Sigmund 7 years ago

vocal (anonymous) says… "Once again, women are second class citizens."

No woman is required to get parental consent, only unemanicipated minor girls.

Sigmund 7 years ago

e_michelle_02 (anonymous) says… "Great more unwanted children, raised by young parents because their parents wouldn't sign off on their abortions. How does creating more families that require government assistance get us out of debt?"

Yes kill all the unwanted children, no matter how how old. Why not kill those who are less than nine months post fetal as well? In a real budget crunch we could kill all those under 16 or older than 60 that need federal assistance!

Elaine Elliott 7 years ago

Clearly, I did not say kill everyone. I think that if a girl doesn't want to have a baby she shouldn't have to have her parents sign a release form. The girl should have been more careful in the first place, her parents should have given her birth control or explained to her what happens when she has sex. I'm sure she didn't ask her parents permission to have sex so why does she need their permission afterwards? I'd rather have my taxes pay for an abortion, or a vasectomy, or a tubal ligation instead of 18 years (per kid) of food stamps and medicaid.

Brock Masters 7 years ago

You make the assumption that if a teenager has a child that the child and parent will get food stamps and medicaid. Sure, some might, but not all.

Besides affirming a parent's right in making medical decisions for their minor child, it also protects a child from being coerced into having an abortion by an adult, controlling boyfriend, etc.

Elaine Elliott 7 years ago

What type of parent is letting their minor child date an adult? And statistically you know that I'm right. Here are a list of reasons a teenager should not have a baby if they don't want to, despite a parents signature.

Brock Masters 7 years ago

I am not sure what point you were trying to make with your link. I did find this to be interesting.

Most teenage births (about 67 percent) are to girls ages 18 and 19 (2).

These teenagers are adults and don't need parental consent.

Also, no one is suggesting that these parents are giving their consent for their daughters to have sex/date an adult or that the parents know about it. It does happen, you know, that someone illegally has sex with a minor.

Elaine Elliott 7 years ago

You didn't read the rest about health risks to the mother and the baby? And how teenage mothers are more likely to have another baby before they turn 18? The risks of having a premature baby. So, keep an unwanted baby to keep it at risk for numerous health problems and birth defects and then make sure the girl has another one that she can't abort because of a permission slip. Let's perpetuate this cycle! Make sure her kids become parents when they are teeenagers! Yay!

Brock Masters 7 years ago

The risks were from improper prenatal care and lifestyle choices of the teenage mother. It really doesn't have to do with requiring parental consent.

Kids who make poor choices and who are scared sometimes do things without telling their parents. Would you really want your daughter going through an abortion alone without parental guidance, support and providing perhaps alternatives?

Would you say it was okay for a child to get breast implants as a minor child without parental consent. Of course not, so why would you want to exclude parents from this important decision.

jhawkinsf 7 years ago

e_michelle_02 - If you really believe a minor girl can make the choice of having sex and then she should be free to make the choice of either having the child or aborting, shouldn't also believe that there are many other decisions she could make on her own? Get that tubal ligation you mention? Can she get a piercing or a tattoo? Get a beer? Join the service? Get a job and drop out of school at say 13 years old.
We're talking about a minor child. I see no logical reason to give her the ability to make one of these choices and not the others. There is the presumption that minor children need the guidance of (mostly) parents but sometimes their guardian. Parents need information so they can correctly guide the child.

Cait McKnelly 7 years ago

If you really feel that way, considering the cuts in state aid to minors in terms of food, housing and education, the Republicans are just shifting the killing from before birth to after. And believe me, the murder of "already born" children is far more harsh, lengthy and torturous than what abortion could ever be.

jhawkinsf 7 years ago

If anyone is killing the already born they should be brought up on murder charges. Torture is also illegal. I implore you, please call the police and tell them who is doing these killings and who is torturing. Where are the bodies buried? Or is what you're saying for rhetorical purposes? A little literary license, if you will.

ksjayhawk74 7 years ago

Question to make Brownback's head short circuit...

What if the pregnant woman is an illegal immigrant and she wants to have her baby here just so that baby will be an American? You still want to make sure she has that baby, right?

Jake Esau 7 years ago

Interesting point. Many conservatives say they believe in the dignity of each life, and that the unborn baby has no choice in the abortion. Yet many of them also want to deny US citizenship to those born to illegal immigrants in the United States. An unborn child has no choice of where he/she will be born or what citizenship their mother is.

I'm not sure what to think of this whole thing, but there's a definite contradiction in the general conservative point of view on these two issues.

Cait McKnelly 7 years ago

See, the GOP believes in post birth abortion. They will force women to have babies they can't support, then won't lift a finger to help support them.

Brock Masters 7 years ago

You're really stretching hard to poke at those who are pro-life. Changing our citizenship laws has nothing to do with taking away the dignity of a child. It is taking away an incentive for a person to come here illegally.

Terry Jacobsen 7 years ago

Denying an illiegal immigrant citizenship is not denying them life. You made a huge jump here that makes no sense

Heather Perry 7 years ago

i think if a girl dont want to have a baby, maybe she shouldnt be out having sex.

ivalueamerica 7 years ago

yes, perhaps she should not let her father rape is all her fault.

Of course, you say nothing about men and their responsibility.

You have no idea how stupid your comment is.

Terry Jacobsen 7 years ago

You have no idea how ridiculous your justification for the murder of millions of unborn children because the actual statistic for babies born of incest are so small they barely register on the any level.

ivalueamerica 7 years ago

A woman should NOT be forced to breed against her will.

Cai 7 years ago

no she shouldn't. but some sort of regulation should be in place that strongly advocates birth control over abortion.

The overwhelming majority of all abortions, (95%), are done as a means of birth control. Only 1% are performed because of rape or incest; 1% because of fetal abnormalities; 3% due to the mother's health problems.

Source: Central Illinois Right To Life

I'm not saying abortion should be illegal. Those 5% had little, if any choice, and there's no reason that I get to make the choice for them.

Likewise, I don't get to make the choice for the other 95%. But surely we can agree that birth control BEFORE pregnancy would have been better?

pocket_of_sunshine 7 years ago

I wonder how many of those 95% were on another type of birth control that failed?

Cai 7 years ago

@pocket not sure; it'd be an interesting question, for sure. Though, in theory, that's what the Plan B pill is for if its like a condom that broke.

When used properly, pill/shot/IUD birth control is effective enough that if failed control was the only piece of this, we'd see overall numbers much smaller than they are. Though... I have nothing but personal intuition to back that up.

If there are numbers, I'd definitely be interested in seeing them.

Terry Jacobsen 7 years ago

This isn't about breeding. It's about killing.

Hal Larsen 7 years ago

Can't wait to get out of this backwards state. We can't have healthcare for all, but we'll tell you what you can do.

Terry Jacobsen 7 years ago

Don't let the door hit you as you leave.

ivalueamerica 7 years ago

Numbers 5: 11-31

The Bible instructs priests to feed a concoction to adulterous women to give them abortions.

lamb 7 years ago

Don't distort the Bible. That is not what those verses mean......

Cait McKnelly 7 years ago

I dunno. I just read it and it seems pretty clear to me. But then half of the Bible is fiction anyway (and we don't even know which half).

Terry Jacobsen 7 years ago

It's only fiction to those who don't believe it.

ivalueamerica 7 years ago

which part do you believe?

Have you ever slept in a bed after it was menstrated in?

Have you ever worn a poly-cotton blend?

Have you ever eaten shellfish?

Have you ever eaten food where 2 crops were grown in the same soil?

Do you agree it is ok to sell your daughter into slavery?

Do you agree that your children can be held accountable for your sins?

Terry Jacobsen 7 years ago

I believe it all when it's studied and discussed in context of history and place you can't take individual verses and sentences out and use them separate from the discussion taking place at the time. Those are sound bites and they misinform and confuse.

ivalueamerica 7 years ago

So, the ten commandments are out of context?

So, even though the same part of the bible that man shall not sleep with a man...also talks about shellfish, sleeping in a bed where a woman has menstruated and claiming wearing clothes of mixed fibers are all equal sins...some apply and some do not because of historical context?


Re read the part about false witness.

mcmandy 7 years ago

What exactly do those verses mean then? I read them and while ivalueamerica's interpretation is VERY simplified, it does appear to be correct.

Sigmund 7 years ago

e_michelle_02 (anonymous) replies… "Clearly, I did not say kill everyone."

Obviously not, just "unwanted children" or those who that "require government assistance." I think you'll find that those under 16 consume huge amounts of education and health care dollars without contributing very much to society, and those over 60 are well past their most productive years and consume a huge amount of social security and health care dollars.

Your point was well made. What is wrong with purging society of those who are not very productive and require the most social services?

Elaine Elliott 7 years ago

Yes, they should be able to abort unwanted children. I'm glad you see my point.

booyalab 7 years ago

Pro-choicers don't care about logic. They care about imposing their hyper-feminist agenda everywhere imaginable. If it was politically expedient for them to claim that denying a woman the right to abort her 5 year old child was in violation of women's rights, they would support that too. Fortunately American society is not to that point yet.

jafs 7 years ago

There are problems with the logic on the other side as well.

It doesn't make a lot of sense to be "pro-life" if all that means is that you want all children to be born, but then aren't interested in helping them and/or their parents once they are.

Social services and education are two of the things Brownback is currently cutting funding for, to use just one example.

pocket_of_sunshine 7 years ago

How is a "pro-choicer" imposing anything by asking for the right for a person to choose. It seems to me that it is the opposite. When you take away my ability to choose, you are forcing your beliefs onto me.

Sigmund 7 years ago

e_michelle_02 (anonymous) replies… "Yes, they should be able to abort unwanted children. I'm glad you see my point."

Fortunately the killing of children is still illegal in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia.

Terry Jacobsen 7 years ago

I would say, sadly it is true. Pathetic and hypocritical for a person who was not denied the right to live, to claim to have the right to deny a child their opportunity to exist. Hitler thought the same way.

Elaine Elliott 7 years ago

Don't be so literal. I'm assuming you have never seen the results of unwanted children. Kids who have been born to families that don't want them but have them because it's too difficult to get an abortion or for religious reasons. Then they live a life full of abuse and neglect and resentment. I've met a boy whose feet were boiled off by his father because he wouldn't stop crying. Kids who smell like pee everyday. Who can't read because their families don't spend time with them or just put them in front of the tv so they don't have to "deal" with them. So, if an abortion would have kept them from this life then I am all for abortion. It's way more humane than the life they are living.

jjt 7 years ago

I post this on a regular basis hoping for a sensible response. Still waiting for one of the folk who feel that it is right to force a woman to give birth to a dead fetus or a fetus that is so deformed that it has no way of living. Please justify this view.

funkdog1 7 years ago

Yes, thank you. I wonder that as well. Making the laws such that women can't have abortions after 21 weeks except in the case of being dangerous to the mother means that every year, thousands of women are potentially going to be forced to carry to term malformed pregnancies in which the baby will die as soon as he or she is disconnected from the umbilical chord. This is a absolutely unconscionable thing to force women and their families to go through.

Sigmund 7 years ago

jjt (anonymous) says… "I post this on a regular basis hoping for a sensible response. Still waiting for one of the folk who feel that it is right to force a woman to give birth to a dead fetus or a fetus that is so deformed that it has no way of living."

I'll answer part, one cannot "give birth" to a "dead fetus" as childbirth implies a living baby. A miscarriage is the spontaneous loss of a fetus before the 20th week of pregnancy, and pregnancy losses after the 20th week are called preterm deliveries, neither are called births and no woman is ever forced to miscarry or to carry a dead fetus.

As to the second part of your question, woman do not give birth to a "fetus" as after birth they are "babies" or "children." So now you can simply ask the question, "Who feels that it is right to force a woman to give birth to a baby that is so deformed that it has no way of living?"

funkdog1 7 years ago

Okay, thanks. Let's ask it that way:

"Who feels that it is right to force a woman to give birth to a baby that is so deformed that it has no way of living?"

Apparently Sam has no problem with it.

bunnyhawk 7 years ago

What happens to a minor who has been impregnated by her father or another family member? A minor who lives in a family that protects the creep who impregnated her? This is not an uncommon event. If a girl is supposed to be 'mature' enough to avoid getting pregnant (and let's not forget how many young women experienced forced or coerced sexual relations that most often don't include time for family planning), but if this girl is mature enough to avoid getting pregnant all on her own.........then why is she not mature enough to make her own decision, with the advice of her doctor, about whether to terminate her pregnancy? There is the HUGE, RIDICULOUS assumption in this bill that ALL parents will ALWAYS act in the best interest of their children. If Sam and the rest of you 'social conservatives' were paying any attention at all (even to your own families) you would know that this is definitely not the case. Doctors and females of reproductive age are perfectly capable of making sound decisions in the privacy of that protected doctor/patient relationship without the assistance of the Kansas Legislature.

But if we are to have this ill-informed, female controlling legislation, I really believe that it's time to hold MEN accountable for what their do with their sperm AND their sperm delivery system. Let's HELP those men who choose to rape others accountable by telling THEIR doctor that we all believe that their sperm creating system should be removed, whether the man in question agrees with the Kansas Legislature or not. And while we're at it, let's agree that all those deadbeat dads who don't help raise their children or pay child support (and while we're at it---the ones who beat their children and their mothers) should be required to meet with their doctors and make arrangements to have their sperm delivery system surgically altered so that they can no longer reproduce!!!!! There are ABSOLUTELY NO CIRCUMSTANCES under which men have to consult with the Kansas Legislature or their parents to access legal medical services. NONE AT ALL!!!!!

This legislation is an attack on the freedom of every woman in the State of Kansas----even the many women who would never choose to have an abortion. That decision should ALWAYS be the CHOICE of a woman or girl with the advice of her doctor. Let's look at the Kansas many women voted for this?????????????

madameX 7 years ago

The bill also addreses parental consent, I think that's what bunnyhawk is referring to.

But since you brought it up (and if this is TMI I don't care) having been a minor girl once myself I can see how one might end up past 21 weeks pregnant without having necessarily made the choice to get there. When I was young (15 or so) I'd sometimes go several months without a period for no reason. I wasn't sexually active, but if I had been, a missed period would have been nothing out of the ordinary for me. And your body is going through enough changes all on its own at that age that other symptoms of early pregnancy might go unnoticed as well. I even know a girl who thought she was pregnant, took home pregnancy test for three months straight that came up negative and finally had one confirm her pregnancy at about three months. It can happen that a preganancy goes undetected. And young girl, once she determines she is pregnant, might not be mature enough to accept that reality , calmly weigh the pros and cons of each of her options and then approach her parents with that choice. She might do that, but she might also freak out and pretend it's not happening. That's what I probably would have done, and I'm not proud of that fact but I'm sure I'm not the only one. And I'm assuming that even here the pregnancy is the result of consentual sex. That's not even taking into account the trauma of dealing with rape or incest on top of an unwanted pregnancy.

Sigmund 7 years ago

funkdog1 (anonymous) replies… "Okay, thanks. Let's ask it that way: "Who feels that it is right to force a woman to give birth to a baby that is so deformed that it has no way of living?" Apparently Sam has no problem with it.

I don't know what Sam believes, however Kansas law does NOT force the birth of a baby "so deformed that it has no way of living."

"Viable" means that stage of fetal development when it is the physician's judgment according to accepted obstetrical or neonatal standards of care and practice applied by physicians in the same or similar circumstances that there is a reasonable probability that the life of the child can be continued indefinitely outside the mother's womb with natural or artificial life-supportive measures.

Sec. 3. K.S.A. 65-6703 is hereby amended to read as follows: 65-6703. (a) No person shall perform or induce an abortion when the unborn child is viable unless such person is a physician and has a documented referral from another physician not legally or financially affiliated with the physician performing or inducing the abortion and both physicians determine provide a written determination, based upon a medical judgment arrived at using and exercising that degree of care, skill and proficiency commonly exercised by the ordinary skillful, careful and prudent physician in the same or similar circumstances and that would be made by a reasonably prudent physician, knowledgeable in the field, and knowledgeable about the case and the treatment possibilities with respect to the conditions involved, that: (1) The abortion is necessary to preserve the life of the pregnant woman; or (2) a continuation of the pregnancy will cause a substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman.

So since Kansas does not require a woman carry a fetus that is so deformed it can not possibly live outside the uterus, you can hereafter more precisely rephrase your question: "Since Kansas does not require it, who are those that feel it is right to force a woman to give birth to a baby that is so deformed that it has no way of living?

Hope this helps.

Cait McKnelly 7 years ago

reasonable probability that the life of the child can be continued indefinitely outside the mother's womb with natural or artificial life-supportive measures.

This right here is the sticking point, Sigmund. Let me emphasize the words artificial life-supportive measures for you. Under these circumstances babies like these, , can be kept alive. This is NOT viability, yet under this law such a fetus could not be aborted. I'm also curious about something. There were provisions in the legislation advanced and passed by the Senate that I don't see here. Where did you get this? May I have your sources?

funkdog1 7 years ago

Thanks, that does help. However, that's not how the laws are written in most other states, and was precisely why hundreds of women were coming here from other states to visit Dr. Tiller. Because legally, they could absolutely not get the procedure done in their home states. There are only about 4 states left that word their abortion laws this way. It's an incredibly torturous place that this country is increasingly forcing women into.

Xwards 7 years ago

What about the pain a baby boy feels when he's circumcised? Why don't they do something about that???

jhawkinsf 7 years ago

A couple of posters have written about forcing a minor to give birth to a baby conceived by the father. Bunnyhawk says it's more common than we might think. I wonder if that's true. The birth of a child under those circumstances leaves a permanent record of the crime through DNA. Would a father really risk having such a permanent reminder of the crime? A more likely scenario to me would be a 15-16 year old girl is given more freedom by her parents. She can go unsupervised to the mall or a friend's house. During this unsupervised time, she hooks up with a boy and gets pregnant. She panics. Not wanting to lose her new freedoms and perhaps coached by friends, she goes to a clinic and declares she is afraid of her parents' reaction. Suddenly she is afraid of getting beat, or maybe she tells them she was raped by a trusted loved one (father, step-father). With assistance from the clinic staff, she goes through the legal process, bypassing parental consent, and has the abortion.
Because the parents never knew what happened, they cannot give their daughter the appropriate guidance in terms of birth control and disease prevention. Additionally, they do not restrict her freedom, because as far as they know, their daughter is being responsible.
The word presumption comes up a lot in our legal system. The presumption of innocence is one of the foundations. There is also a presumption that the parent is the person who will make the best decisions for a child. Taking that presumption away, and for just this issue, puts logic on it's head. If we were to presume that the parent is not the best person, logically, wouldn't it be best to simply remove the child from the home. But that is not what we presume nor should it be. If the parent is the responsible person for all other matters, they should be the person responsible for this decision as well. I'm certain there will be some rare exceptions. But situations similar to what I described above seem to be much more logical and much more common. If it were my teen doing something like this, I need the information so I can guide my child towards making better decisions.

Cait McKnelly 7 years ago

Why do you sound like Eric Turner?

madameX 7 years ago

""Because the parents never knew what happened, they cannot give their daughter the appropriate guidance in terms of birth control and disease prevention.""

Maybe they should be doing that as a matter of course in the first place and not assuming that just because the girl has never come to them saying she needs an abortion that she must not need it. Or maybe she should have been learing about that stuff in school.

Also, I have a hard time believing that anyone other than a sociopath would lie about her father raping her (or anyone raping her, for that matter) just so that she could avoid having her parent(s) sign off on her getting an abortion. And as for the "Would a father risk having DNA evidence of his crime?" if he raped his daughter, well, somehow I don't think that a father who actually considers, you know, sex with his daughter to be in any way appropriate is thinking ten steps ahead to "what if she gets pregnant, would I let her have an abortion?"

jhawkinsf 7 years ago

I was responding to suggestions that girls getting raped by their fathers was more common than we might think. I think a more plausible explanation is a teen finds herself pregnant and panics. The poor judgement that led to the unwanted pregnancy leads to more untruths. I've heard it before, though I cannot cite a specific source, that teens sometimes use bad judgement.I've also heard that they sometimes lie to their parents. Sure, it would be great if parents and schools gave teens all the resources they needed to make good decisions throughout their lives. As it was .... when? Hell, I'm still waiting for that "birds and bees" talk from my parents. Suffice it to say that's not likely to happen.
It would be nice if every girl had a father at home to tell them that all boys are lying, they won't love you in the morning and that all they really want is, well, you know. Of course, it would be nice if every girl had a father at home instead of so many single parent homes. In the mean time, let's remember we're dealing with minors who are engaging in adult behavior at times and like children at others. They're behaving like teenagers.

madameX 7 years ago

So are you saying that if a girl gets pregnant and claims that she was raped by a family member it's more likely that she's lying to cover up the fact that she was having sex? Or are you saying that of all the girls who get pregnant, the majority got that was as a result of consensual (or as consensual as it can be at a young age) sex rather than rape? If it's the latter, you're probably right, but if it's the former I still say that only a sociopath would choose that particular lie to tell. Of course some teens use bad judgement, but that's beyond bad judgement.

jhawkinsf 7 years ago

I think the number of girls raped by their fathers who then show up for an abortion is extremely small. I think the numbers who show up saying they are afraid is much, much higher. What I think is that they are afraid of (being grounded, loss of freedom, loss of cell phone, etc.), while those who do the intakes hear a young woman claiming to be afraid of her parent. It's that disconnect that interferes with a normal, loving, caring parent from giving the guidance that the child needs.

Cait McKnelly 7 years ago

I think what breaks my own heart, as a woman, is that the women who have had to make those heartbreaking choices are criticized, spit on, called names and vilified by so called "prolifers" (they aren't "prolife", they are "antiabortion"). There doesn't seem to be an ounce of compassion in them for anything or anyone, not even, truth be told, for the so called "babies" they supposedly champion.

jafs 7 years ago


The "pro life" position often doesn't seem to be based on compassion, but rather a certain kind of righteousness.

mr_right_wing 7 years ago

Please don't kill your innocent, defenseless baby (pre or post birth)

Incidentally, even if you're "pro-choice" I'm glad your mommy didn't make the 'choice' to send you down the drain.

Sigmund 7 years ago

cait48 (anonymous) replies… "This right here is the sticking point, Sigmund. Let me emphasize the words artificial life-supportive measures for you. Under these circumstances babies like these, , can be kept alive."

Actually, if you read the article you linked you will find the following

Treatment - There is no current therapy. Talk to your doctor about care decisions. Outlook (Prognosis) - This condition usually causes death within a few days.

Cases for which there is "no treatment" that usually result in "death within a few days" would not considered "viable" under Kansas laws. Further, this occurs very infrequently and many simply miscarriage. Even further, doctors usually can easily detect this condition during routine prenatal testing and ultrasound can confirm the condition long before any restrictions on late term abortions would even apply. Finally, even in late in a pregnancy if anencephaly or other defect for which there is "no treatment" which "usually results in death within a few days" would NOT be considered viable by any medical professionals I know.

So unless you have a specific case in mind that I am unaware of, Kansas does not require a woman carry a fetus that is so deformed, even by anencephaly, it can not possibly live outside the uterus. I am so glad you care so much about women and their babies, I hope this helped to ease your concern.

maghor 7 years ago

interesting that proponents of this "culture of life" shot multiple times and eventually killed a man who was the only surviving relative for his nephew. George Tiller's family was killed in a plane crash and he took custody of his sister's one-year-old child and raised him in Wichita, where he took up his father's family abortion practice after witnessing a young woman's death from an illegal abortion. It's interesting that pro-lifers don't seem to regard life that already exists very highly; just "prospective" life. I guess that is what the "pro-" part of their stance must be about...

Grammaton 7 years ago

Looks like NASA needs a moon colonization plan. (If it doesn't have on already.)

Jersey_Girl 7 years ago

Let's disallow sex ed in public schools, make abortion illegal, cut social spending so the women who are now giving birth to unwanted children don't have the money to feed, cloth or house these children and make prayer in school legal so we can all pray that this works! Oh, and what are teenagers who have been kicked out of the family home for getting pregnant but can't get an abortion w/o their loving right-wingnut Mom and Dad's permission supposed to do? Can we get a law passed that if parents refuse permission for a child to get an abortion, said parents are responsible for unborn child until their child either graduates college or has the resources to support herself and her child?

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