Archive for Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Kansas House conservatives file abortion legislation

January 19, 2011


— Filling a request from Gov. Sam Brownback, a coalition of Kansas House conservatives filed legislation on Wednesday to tighten state regulations on abortion.

The bill would change Kansas law to require parental consent for teenagers to get abortions and increase reporting requirements by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. It also would give the attorney general and county prosecutors access to state health reports on abortions performed in the state.

Rep. Lance Kinzer, an Olathe Republican, said that the bill also contained late-term abortion provisions vetoed over the past three years by Democratic Govs. Kathleen Sebelius and Mark Parkinson.

Brownback had asked for the measures in his State of the State address. The bill has 63 of the 125 House members signed on as sponsors. It takes 63 votes in the chamber for measures to pass.

"This is the beginning of the process of the Legislature taking steps to comply with that request," Kinzer said.

He said the legislation was aimed at preventing another doctor from coming to Kansas to begin providing late-term abortions following the May 2009 killing of Wichita's Dr. George Tiller. Kinzer also said the law would bring Kansas in line with the federal ban on a procedure opponents call partial-birth abortion.

"Certainly, I think legislative inaction, at this point in time, really opens up that opportunity," Kinzer said. "We think it's important to act proactively to make sure that the same loopholes and lack of enforcement that allowed Kansas to become a late-term abortion destination spot don't exist in our laws going forward."

Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Sarah Gillooly said since Tiller's death no abortions were being provided in Kansas after the 22nd week of pregnancy.

"I that think it's a shame that politicians are spending taxpayer time and money to regulate a procedure that doesn't even occur in our state," Gillooly said.

She said after Tiller's murder by an anti-abortion activist and efforts by former Republican Attorney General Phill Kline to prosecute abortion providers that the climate in Kansas is not conducive for abortion providers to relocate to the state.

"I think it's totally unfounded fear. What physician would want to provide that care in the state?" Gillooly said.

The legislation would increase reporting requirements for the KDHE, requiring providers to disclose a specific medical diagnosis to justify the abortion of a viable pregnancy.

State law says such pregnancies can't be terminated at 22 weeks or later unless the woman faces death or a "substantial and irreversible impairment" of a major bodily function, including her mental health, if the pregnancy continues. The bill would require a "good faith" medical determination of such a condition.

Anti-abortion legislators have long complained that the KDHE was lax in interpreting these requirements and allowed providers to give few specifics about why abortions were required.

Kinzer said he hoped that with the new measure to give greater guidance and the change of administration the lax practice would cease.

"For many years, it was this lack of proper enforcement of that particular standard that created a loophole, and quite frankly, made Kansas a leader unfortunately in the field of late-term abortion," Kinzer said.

Other provisions would require more reporting of evidence of sexual abuse of minors who are seeking abortions, as well as allowing for civil lawsuits for violation of late-term abortion restrictions.

The bill is scheduled to have a hearing next week in the House Federal and State Affairs Committee. Kinzer said the measure could likely clear the House and be over in the Senate by the end of January and on Brownback's desk in February.

Kinzer said legislators are considering seeking a law similar to one passed last year in Nebraska that outlaws abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy, based on the disputed idea that the fetus can feel pain.

A separate bill was filed last week by Rep. Steve Huebert, a Valley Center Republican, which would eliminate the mental health provision for late-term abortions. A hearing hasn't been scheduled for that bill.

Gillooly said legislators have enough to worry about with the state's projected $550 million budget deficit than to focus on more abortion regulations.

"I think if the legislators were interested in reducing the number of abortions in the state of Kansas they would stop mandating intrusion into the lives of Kansas families and start focusing on reducing the number of unintended pregnancies through affordable birth control and sex ed," Gillooly said.


Phillbert 7 years, 3 months ago

"It also would give the attorney general and county prosecutors access to state health reports on abortions performed in the state."

Because we've never had any problems with an attorney general-turned-county attorney misusing his access to those health records before...

jhawkinsf 7 years, 3 months ago

I would like to see a total ban on abortions that are done for the purposes of gender selection. While that may not be a big problem here, it is in other countries and other cultures. And we are becoming more diverse and multicultural. The practice is repugnant and we as a society ought to say as much.

thatonedude 7 years, 3 months ago

Hey GOP, how's that whole "keeping government out of our private lives thing" working out for you?

foppa 7 years, 3 months ago

No, no. You have it wrong, their policy appears to be "we want small government when its convenient to us." Does saying that you want small government but supporting laws like this, or gay marriage bans or marihuana bans seem very hypocritical? Yes. But you know, the all mighty Brownback knows what is best for us all. He is religious, after all, and we all know that religious people are incapable of doing immoral things.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 7 years, 3 months ago

Why don't these "conservatives" just break out their jack boots and swastikas and reveal who they really are?

"Those who fail to learn from the lessons of the past are doomed to repeat them"

"Smaller government???? Hahahahahahahahahah What a crock!

redwombat 7 years, 3 months ago

Wow that's a perfect example of toning down the rhetoric and hate speech present in our discourse between different ideologies.

ivalueamerica 7 years, 3 months ago

I thought the GOP did not want government getting mixed up in health care or infringing on individual rights?

And before you say it, a fetus is NOT an individual.

BigPrune 7 years, 3 months ago

Why must so many people hate little humans? The vitriolic hate filled banter from the left who supposedly embrace human rights don't believe in any human rights for preborn humans.

Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it. 52,698,097 abortions performed since Roe v. Wade. 6,000,000 Jews killed by Germany during WWII.

JayhawksandHerd 7 years, 3 months ago

Good question. Why is it that so many who oppose abortion also oppose access to adequate health care for individuals following birth? Seems awfully hypocritical to me.

mdrndgtl 7 years, 3 months ago

52,698,097? High-Score! Achievement Unlocked: Baby Basher.

mr_right_wing 7 years, 3 months ago

So when exactly is it 'murder'? The moment the child's head emerges? When this 'growth' expelled from a woman's body starts to breath on it's own? Can't killing an out-of-the-womb collection of cells be considered a late-late term abortion?? If you smother your 1 year old, couldn't your defense be that it was a late-late-late term abortion?

Just something to consider...this will not change anyones mind.

You can call me 'pro-life' or 'anti-abortion' if you like; I'm fine with both. Do you mind me calling you 'anti-life' or 'pro-abortion' though?

sleepy33 7 years, 3 months ago

But what about the late-late-late-late-late-late term abortion you support, and the rest of us refer to as 'the death penalty' ?

I still contend that if men could get pregnant, we would have discovered a 100% effective, cheap and side-effect-free method of birth control 50 years ago.

xclusive85 7 years, 3 months ago

There is a 100% effective, FREE, side-effect-free method of birth control!!!!

It is called abstinence!!

sleepy33 7 years, 3 months ago

Yeah, but see I like to have normal, healthy, intimate and committed relationships- and those involve having sex. Now I understand why folks like you use so many exclamation points, though. Abstinence makes you uptight!!!!one!!

Also, sometimes abstinent women get raped !!!!1!!!

Cait McKnelly 7 years, 3 months ago

Don't forget the latelatelatelate term abortion they support that the rest of us call "refusal to allow access to healthcare unless you pay for it". Interesting that they even apply that to a two day old post born fetus. They won't allow women to abort a fetus with no brain but by god they'll make women pay out of their own pockets to keep it on life support.

raw 7 years, 3 months ago

It's murder when you take a gun to a church and pull the trigger on a doctor coming down the steps. It's murder when you knowing support a law that will kill women of child bearing age because doctors are too afraid to treat them. No, you are not pro life.

sleepy33 7 years, 3 months ago

"We think it's important to act proactively to make sure that the same loopholes and lack of enforcement that allowed Kansas to become a late-term abortion destination spot don't exist in our laws going forward."

Hey now, there's a recession on; can we really afford to be that picky about what brings the tourist dollars rolling in? Budget shortfall ain't gonna fix itself!

Glenn Reed 7 years, 3 months ago

I'm concerned about a provision requiring a parent's consent. Suppose a girl wants an abortion. Her parents kicked her out because she's pregnant. Maybe worse than that, she's fleeing her parents because they want to kill her because she's pregnant. In either case, acquiring parental consent could be problematic, at best.

I'm partial to the idea of more reporting of sexual abuse, though it's just sad that it's being attached to a piece of anti-abortion legislation. This should be a separate issue, and should come up any time a minor gets pregnant. Do we not care about abuse victims unless a pregnancy is about to be ended?

Eliminating the mental health provision will have cause a sharp increase of DIY and back alley abortions. Someone with an adverse mental condition is more likely to become desperate, and do something stupid. If a young, pregnant woman commits suicide, does that count as an abortion?

This whole thing feels like they're trying to control what goes on beneath a woman's skin, without really caring about said skin. Before this legislation passes, and it likely will, women had certain rights. After it passes, some of those rights will disappear.

For some laws, what you get in exchange for your lost rights is pretty clear. I can't murder you, you can't murder me. Clear benefit to murder-related laws, wouldn't y'say?

What this type of legislative action does is define a woman's body as something she is cannot do with as she see's fit. What are women getting in exchange for losing the right to rule their own body as they see fit?

JohnBrown 7 years, 3 months ago

So...what DID happen to wanting smaller government?

This is an action more appropriate to the Kansas Taliban than to teapartiers. Let's get law enforcement into everyone's life; let's make government bigger. This is NAZIism.

And don't tell me you "care about the baby's life", because these same Kansas Taliban are preparing to file lawsuits blocking O'bamacare.

What I see are people trying to FORCE their religion on others...just like the Kansas Taliban.

The Kansas Taliban's Motto: "Do as I say or I'll kill you".

What a bunch of hypocrites. 'Smaller government' indeed.

kansanbygrace 7 years, 3 months ago

Medical science today has unequivocally proven that the growing being inside the mother's womb is its own person with its own genetic structure, blood type, etc. In 1998 a prominent Republican National Committeeman responded to my query of "why do the Republican legislators not introduce a law reflecting that reality, and consistent with their position, define a person's protection under the law as beginning at conception. The committeeman responded that they will never initiate such an action nor move to really protect the unborn because it is their most productive campaign issue. Gives hypocrisy an entirely new dimension.

pace 7 years, 3 months ago

The laws, I am watching. One to prohibit private insurance companies to include abortion costs, (even if medically necessary), to people. They want employers that use a company which offers that through private insurance to be excluded from the Medical tax credit program.
Another law in prohibits a doctor from asking certain questions or answer certain questions. The Kansas batteries of laws, not to truly regulate but intended to circumvent a woman's access to abortion. A lot of new laws, regulating intimate, personal, medical, emotional components of people's life, forcing new templates in the bed rooms, in the doctors office. The rush to create social engineering law, fighting lifestyles, trying to legislate sexual orientation, to support non public education while stripping funds from public education. Most of the regulating social and personal laws costs not just choices but money. It is the first order of business. I have heard nothing about jobs, training people for jobs, slowing foreclosures. Except for the tax cuts to the wealthiest. This is not enough of a plan. I don't want to hear how same sex marriage hurts traditional marriage. What hurts traditional marriage more is not have a pay check. That hurts, Losing your home,that hurts. Make jobs not social engineering bureaucracy. Like in the old fast food commercial. Where's the beef?

Commenting has been disabled for this item.