Archive for Friday, February 25, 2011

Kansas Senate leader promises debate on abortion

House approves fetal pain bill

February 25, 2011

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— The Kansas Senate’s top leader promised Thursday that his chamber will debate abortion this year after the House easily approved a Nebraska-style fetal pain bill to block late-term procedures and add other restrictions on ending pregnancies.

Senate President Steve Morris, a Hugoton Republican, said legislation won’t be bottled up in committee, as some abortion opponents have feared. Asked whether he intends to have a debate on the issue, Morris said, “Yes.”

“We want to do it in a timely manner,” he said.

Many senators presume that at least some changes in state abortion laws will pass, given approval of restrictions in the past.

But members of both parties didn’t know how the House bills will fare in their chamber because they haven’t reviewed the measures. The fetal pain proposal is a new concept for many of them.

“I don’t know much about that,” acknowledged Sen. Pete Brungardt, a Salina Republican and abortion rights supporter.

The fetal pain bill won House approval on a 91-30 vote Thursday.

It says a fetus can’t be aborted after the 21st week of pregnancy unless a woman or girl’s life is in danger or if she faces substantial and permanent harm to “a major bodily function,” rewriting the definition of that term to exclude mental health.

The bill ties the restrictions to a legal presumption a fetus can feel pain after the 21st week of pregnancy. The science behind that presumption is still in dispute, however.

Current state law imposes the same restrictions — with an additional mental health exception — but only when a doctor determines the fetus is viable, or able to survive outside the womb.

The bill would take away a physician’s discretion to declare a fetus not viable and move ahead with a late-term abortion with no restrictions.

The House approved a second bill, 96-25, to require a doctor to obtain the consent of both parents or a guardian in writing before performing an abortion on a girl under 18. The girl could go to court to avoid the requirement.

The law now requires only that a physician notify at least one parent or guardian, and anti-abortion groups have said the law is lax enough that the requirement is easy to avoid.

The measure also includes provisions to strengthen reporting requirements for doctors who perform late-term procedures and to allow lawsuits against them over potentially illegal abortions.

Those changes and others in the bill were vetoed in the past by Govs. Kathleen Sebelius and Mark Parkinson, who supported abortion rights. But GOP Gov. Sam Brownback, who was elected in November, is a strong abortion opponent and has called on lawmakers to create “a culture of life.”

Sen. Dick Kelsey, a Goddard Republican who opposes abortion, said the Senate appears to have a solid 21-vote majority in the 40-member Senate to pass such restrictions.

In the past, anti-abortion lawmakers have had to make concessions as part of unsuccessful efforts to pick up 27 votes, the two-thirds majority in the Senate necessary to override a veto.

“When you don’t have to have a super-majority, it changes things pretty radically,” said Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, a Shawnee Republican and abortion opponent.

Comments

Kim Murphree 4 years, 5 months ago

Here we go ladies...the movement backwards from our rights as citizens...now the state will have more say over our bodies...the minute you become pregnant...is the minute you become a partial slave to the state...you will have less and less say over your own bodies...your own destinies. Watch the rights erode...women will have less and less.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 5 months ago

If women aren't forced to have babies they can't afford to raise, there won't be enough drones to feed the coming age of an all-mininum-wage-no-benefit workforce.

Come on you ladies of childbearing age, get knocked up right away so you can raise a new generation of participants in the Great Republican Race to the Bottom!!!

Kim Murphree 4 years, 5 months ago

Or babies will have less and less...less childcare..less healthcare...less loving parents...less of everything...as women's rights erode...so do the welfare of the children...check any statistics you want...the quality of life of children is directly correlated with the rights of women and the quality of life of those women. Give women equal rights...you do better by children.

Kim Murphree 4 years, 5 months ago

No..there is only ONE citizen whose rights are at risk here....the woman's...she is the citizen...she has rights.. and that is to HER body....you protect YOUR children as you see fit and leave others to make their own decisions about how they wish to run their families and control their bodies.

Kim Murphree 4 years, 5 months ago

There is no legalese in this any more than there is in the Constitution of the United States....when we abolished slavery and recognized that every individual should not be beholden to anyone with their minds or bodies...you cannot diminish the rights of full grown women in favor of what your religious practices tell you--Nothing petty about women having the right to determine what happens to their own bodies...only someone who is a mysogynist...someone who doesn't believe that women should have control over their lives would argue that the moment a woman becomes pregnant, she is somewhat less of a citizen, with fewer rights...what of the unborn? I think we leave that to the mother who must consider all the ramifications of what her life and her conscience tells her.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 5 months ago

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MyName 4 years, 5 months ago

Awesome, let's waste even more time and money passing laws that will send us directly to court and have a good chance of being struck down. All to add extra bureaucratic steps that will only affect an extremely small number of women. Can someone explain to these clowns that just because a law makes you feel "morally superior" doesn't mean that it's good public policy or even worth wasting time on.

Fix the Budget, then play with your social conservative tinker toy laws.

gogoplata 4 years, 5 months ago

This all depends upon when an individual life is created.

If life begins at conception those individuals have rights that should be protected. It is the responsibility of the state to protect the individuals right to life. The minute a woman becomes pregnant then she is carrying an individual with rights. She does not have the right to take away the life of the unborn child.

If life does not begin at conception then we have to determine when life begins. It seems clear to me that life begins at conception.

I can't stand government over-involvement in peoples lifes. I hate seatbelt laws, non-smoking laws, speed limits, licensing, etc, but I do believe that one of the proper functions of government is to protect individuals against violence and abortion sure looks like violence to me.

pizzapete 4 years, 5 months ago

Forcing a woman to have a baby isn't violent?

gogoplata 4 years, 5 months ago

It is violent. But it is less violent than an abortion would be to the child. I know these are very difficult things to deal with. Think of the unborn child of a rape victim. The woman is the victim of a violent crime and as a result she now carries the child of her attacker. Is it then OK to commit a crime against the innocent child? If life begins at conception then I would say no, you cannot murder the unborn. But then you have to deal with the ongoing effect of the violent crime commited against the woman. She has to carry the baby and either take care of it the rest of her life or give it up for adoption.

Crysalis 4 years, 5 months ago

Hey TomShewmon let me fix that for you:

Unfortunately, gogoplata, the right absolutely cherishes the ability to impose their will onto everyone----abortion is no different. This may BE the root cause of the severe allergic reaction the majority has had to Right Wing X-tans/Bush/Randall Terry/Gary Bower and their ilk.

Wow, so having the State and Fed goverment in the Doctors office with you and your wife inposing their will into your most personall decision is better? Some Freedom there.....

I thought getting the goverment out of our lives was your T-bagging dream, what up dude?

gogoplata 4 years, 5 months ago

There are those on the right and the left who cherish the ability to impose their will onto others. There is a lot of hypocrisy on both sides.

I think we all can agree that the government should protect individuals from violence. So the if the unborn is an individual it deserves protection under the law, if it is not then the individual rights of the mother must be respected.

I can understand both arguments. Who is right and who is wrong depends on when life begins.

gogoplata 4 years, 5 months ago

There are babies that have been born that cannot crawl, stand, walk, talk, and vote. Is it OK to cut them apart?

gogoplata 4 years, 5 months ago

I didn't know there was anything to win.

Abortion is a shockingly violent and graphic crime against a fellow human being if life begins at conception.

I don't know what you want to call it, logic or whatever, but it really is pretty simple.

If life begins at conception abortion is murder. If life does not begin at conception, a woman has the right to choose.

gogoplata 4 years, 5 months ago

Good point. Big government republicans are lying when they say that they don't want government intruding into your life.

Those on the big governmet left just want to use government force to tax the hell out of the strip club owner, grocery store owner, casino owner, and the gay couple trying to earn a living.

Neither side wants to live and let live. They both want to tell us how to live.

pizzapete 4 years, 5 months ago

Welcome to Kansas, please set your clocks back 50 years!

gogoplata 4 years, 5 months ago

Some people believe in protecting others from violence. Is that just a backwards country hick thing?

pizzapete 4 years, 5 months ago

No, I just think it is more violent forcing women to have children they do not want to have or not allowing them an option. I'm not pro-abortion, but I do think it was worse (more violent) when women and babies were dying in back alleys because they were unable to get legal or safe abortions.

gogoplata 4 years, 5 months ago

Is it more violent than cutting a person apart?

gogoplata 4 years, 5 months ago

Your line of thinking only makes sense if it is not a living person the dr. is cutting apart when he preforms the abortion.

somedude20 4 years, 5 months ago

all of these dude talking about women and their bodies, ha! I am a male and please stand by for my class on childbirth. Of course, I have no experience on the subject since I have not and will never give birth, but let me tell you how it goes. I wonder what all of these dudes would say if the govt was threatening to make them sterile to help keep the population in control. You can bet your bottom dollar that would never happen

Brock Masters 4 years, 5 months ago

So if the government was proposing to sterilize women, you'd want men to keep quiet?

If a man sees a child being abused, they should keep quiet because it isn't their child?

A white man shouldn't rise in defense of a minority because they aren't a minority?

You may disagree with those that are anti-abortion, but keep in mind that they believe they are protecting a child's life. Now, they may be wrong in that belief, but to say they should remain silent when they believe a child is being harmed is as silly as saying they should remain silent in the above situations.

somedude20 4 years, 5 months ago

you are talking about crimes and it is your civic duty to report those crimes , as a human and citizen, abortion is not a crime (yet). The sterillize women bit is kind of like the Govt. trying to tell women what to do with their bodies (abortion) and I would hope that people would stand up and say no Govt, you can not take my choice away. Also, the analogies that you try to make fall short of the point and are really quite weak

gogoplata 4 years, 5 months ago

Not really. If you are looking at an unborn baby as a living human being with rights like the anti abortion crowd does you are simply looking out for the right to life of the unborn baby. Even most pro abortion people would praise a person who saved a baby from a knife wielding killer. Only when the baby is not yet born and the knife wielding killer is an abortion provider does it make the babies life not so important as the mothers right to choose death for it.

Brock Masters 4 years, 5 months ago

There was a time when slavery was legal, but white people who did not own slaves spoke out against it and died to end slavery.

My point is simply this: A man, despite not being able to bear children, has a right and perhaps an obligation to speak out against abortion if they believe that the fetus is a child and is being murdered.

You may disagree with their point of view, but you should not try to deny their right to express their views on the issue simply because they cannot bear children.

Saying my analogies are weak does not make them so. Explain the difference between them and this issue and why they are not pertinent.

Explain why it was right for a white man who owned no slaves to speak out against legal slavery, but not against abortion?

overthemoon 4 years, 5 months ago

I don't believe that many, if any, late term abortions are performed because the woman just decided after 6 months of pregnancy, that she didn't really want a baby afterall. I know several women who had to undergo this tragic and devastating procedure because the foetus had serious problems that would cause harm to the mother or result in a disastrous birth.

overthemoon 4 years, 5 months ago

While the 'legislators' chip away at our rights, we can only ask 'WHERE ARE THE D**N JOBS'????

gogoplata 4 years, 5 months ago

I agree that education is a good idea for trying to prevent unwanted pregnancy. I also agree that abortion would continue if it was outlawed. People still murder even though it is against the law, people still steal, drive over the speed limit and don't buckle up. I am just saying in this one instance republicans who want to use government to take away a womans right to choose are using government for its intended purpose if life begins at conception because they are using it to protect the unborn childs right to life.

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 5 months ago

" ....if life begins at conception...." Ah there's the rub. There is simply no way to objectively and definitively tell. You can believe all you like. You can set morals for it all you like according to your personal philosophy. But there truly is no way to tell. And as long as that little factor exists, any moral belief you have about it should not be imposed on those who may believe otherwise. Don't want an abortion because of your morals? Fine. Don't have one. But that does not give you or anyone else the right to tell others that they can't either.

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 5 months ago

In that case, please tell me why sperm are not defined as "life" or human in your head. They have all of the genetic information needed to define "life" as you define it. And it's most certainly animated! I don't think I'm the one missing (or denying) something here. You also didn't answer my qualifiers; there is no way to objectively and definitively tell when life begins. You can believe what you like. But that does NOT give you the right to tell others what to believe and I will categorically deny you that right to my very last breath. I am a free, born person and I flatly refuse to be your ideological "slave".

gogoplata 4 years, 5 months ago

That is the rub. You have those who say one thing and those who say another. What is true? You say that there is no way to tell. So basically you are saying you don't know. I'll admit that objectively and definitively, I don't know either. So we are both left with belief. So you must believe that life does not begin at conception or you condone murder. I must believe that it does begin at conception or I condone the governments violation of a womans right to choose what to do with her own body without the justification of preserving the right to life of the unborn.

If my belief does not give me the right to tell others how to life then your belief does not give a mother the right to tell her unborn child that it must die. A woman can stand up for her own right to be left alone by the government and I certainly respect your right to stand up for her but the problem is that the unborn child cannot stand up for his rights and so those of us who believe that life begins at conception must act on our belief to stand up for the weak against the strong. So I agree that the government should not tell women what to do with their own bodies but when it is anothers life who is at stake the role of government is to make laws against the violent act of abortion.

gogoplata 4 years, 5 months ago

The only thing that is confusing to me is knowing for sure when life really begins. I agree with you that preventing unwanted pregnancy is a great idea and that black market abortions will be the consequence of making abortion illegal and that black market abortions would be dangerous to the mother.

Those things just don't change the fact that if life begins at conception then abortion itself is murder.

When do you believe life begins? I would guess you believe sometime after conception but I don't want to assume.

gogoplata 4 years, 5 months ago

I agree with you but I also think abortion laws make sense even if both sides don't know exactly when life begins.

gogoplata 4 years, 5 months ago

It is strange that we have laws that punish normal people for killing unborn babies but other laws that say it is OK if you are an abortion doctor.

pizzapete 4 years, 5 months ago

Makes sense to me! Are you going to eat that?

gogoplata 4 years, 5 months ago

I've dealt with my wife having a miscarriage, and I've seen all of my children that made it through the pregnancy moving around in the womb with the help of an ultrasound before they were born. I've seen the relief on my wifes face when she listened to the heartbeat of our last child for the first time after we thought she had a 2nd miscarriage. Your view doesn't work for me. It just does not make sense.

FYI your scrambled eggs are most likely unfertilized eggs.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 5 months ago

Abortion has been debated for the past 50 consecutive years. Where have the legislators been? Why are they pushing more and more BIG GOVERNMENT?

This family is pro-family/pro choice. I've yet to meet anyone that promotes abortion therefore this exercise in Topeka one more time is a huge waste of time. Kansas needs jobs has the government forgotten?

I believe the conclusion is straight talk education to our children and birth control of which BOTH are offered by way of Planned Parenthood if need be.

Rape should not be tolerated nor should a pregnancy associated with rape be forced on the woman aka victim.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 5 months ago

David Stockman - "GOP guiding nation towards financial ruin"

"In 1982, 1983, and 1984, Reagan signed a series of tax hikes (PDF) that, according to Stockman, recovered 40 percent of the original 1981 tax cut. Meanwhile, unemployment fell from nearly 11 percent in 1982 to 7.4 percent by Election Day 1984, and inflation slowed."

Years later, Stockman says, George W. Bush and his crew repeated "in much greater magnitude the errors we made in the early '80s. A massive increase in defense spending, a massive reduction in the revenue base [via long-term tax cuts], and not even an effort at spending cuts. Then the economy finally collapsed as a result of the credit crisis."

So what's an old-school Republican to do? Stockman, who worked as an investment banker after leaving the Reagan administration (and was indicted in 2007 for securities fraud in a case federal prosecutors later dropped), is willing to live by the basic laws of math.

He opposed extending the Bush tax cuts for middle- and high-income Americans, and now he has a simple three-part prescription: First, cut military spending by $100 to $150 billion a year. Stockman considers both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars foolish.

His second point is classic deficit-hawkery: Apply a means test to Medicare and Social Security.

His third: "Massively raise taxes." His favorite device: a Tobin tax, named after Nobel Prize-winning economist James Tobin, which would be levied on financial transactions.

"There's no productive value for Main Street or the real US economy." Such a tax could generate $100 billion annually (PDF). Stockman also fancies a version of Europe's value-added tax on consumption. "High taxes aren't good," he says. "But at the end of the day, you have to pay your bills as a government."

Stockman has not suddenly turned into a Democrat: He didn't support Obama's stimulus (because he didn't think it addressed the fundamental problems of the economy), and he remains a small-government conservative who would slash all sorts of federal programs if he could. But he has no patience with today's Republicans. On MSNBC's Countdown, he called the GOP "the free-lunch party of tax cuts."

Stockman counters that Republicans' taxes bad/tax cuts good mantra is disingenuous. "I don't think those kinds of propositions are appropriate, and you could call them a lie if you really wanted to use rhetoric," he says. "They can't say government is too big if they're saying hands off defense. It's not responsible to say government is the problem when you've embraced 95 percent of the dollars.

"It's very dismaying," he adds, "to see that 30-year descent into the kind of nihilism, know-nothingism that is represented by the Republican Party today." It's not the Gipper's GOP anymore.

http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/reagan-anniversary-david-stockman David Corn is Mother Jones' Washington bureau chief.

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