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Archive for Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Kansas Senate advances bill restricting late-term abortions

March 23, 2011, 2:48 p.m. Updated March 24, 2011, 1:02 a.m.

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How they voted

The Kansas Senate approved two bills sought by abortion opponents with a 24-15 vote Wednesday. All senators voted the same way on both measures.

Of the 32 Republicans, 23 voted yes, eight voted no and one did not vote.

Of the eight Democrats, one voted yes and seven voted no.

State Sens. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence, and Tom Holland, D-Baldwin City, both voted no.

— The Kansas Senate approved a bill Wednesday restricting late-term abortions based on the presumption that a fetus feels pain after the 21st week of pregnancy.

With the 24-15 vote, Kansas follows Nebraska as the second state in the nation to use the fetal pain threshold as grounds for restricting abortion.

“It’s a landmark vote,” said Kathy Ostrowski, lobbyist for Kansans for Life. “We are the first in the pack. Other states are moving in this direction.”

The bill allows an abortion after the 21st week of pregnancy only if the mother’s life is in danger or she faces substantial and permanent harm to “a major bodily function,” which would exclude mental health.

Nebraska’s fetal pain law was passed in 2010 and it took effect in October. The law has yet to face a court challenge, but anti-abortion supporters say it creates another compelling reason for states to restrict abortions and invite further review by the U.S. Supreme Court.

“The court is waving us in,” Ostrowski said.

House members approved the bill earlier in the session and are expected to concur with a minor technical amendment to send the bill to Republican Gov. Sam Brownback to sign.

The legislation ties the restrictions to a legal presumption that a fetus can feel pain after the 21st week. 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.

Sen. David Haley, a Kansas City Democrat, said the measures were “chauvinistic and patronizing” because men were telling women what to do with their bodies.

“I would trust women, for or against, on either side of the issue to argue the pros and cons,” Haley said.

But Republican Sen. Ralph Ostmeyer of Grinnell said his wife, daughters and other women in his western Kansas district are urging him to stand up against abortion. “Protect the unborn. That’s what it’s all about,” he said.

Peter Brownlie, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, said the legislation jeopardizes the health of a woman and that lawmakers fail to recognize that not all families are healthy or functioning normally.

“While rare, an abortion that takes place after 22 weeks into a pregnancy is most often necessary because of a severe fetal indication or serious medical condition that endangers the life or health of the mother,” Brownlie said. “This bill is an attack on women and families facing wanted pregnancies that have gone terribly wrong.”

Sen. Marci Francisco, a Lawrence Democrat, said the measure does nothing to prevent unwanted pregnancies or reduce the number of abortions in Kansas.

“I want our statutes to be compassionate, both to the unborn child and their families,” she said.

The Senate also passed a second bill adding restrictions to late-term abortions and requiring parental consent for minors to have abortions. The House also approved the bill earlier in the session.

Brownback vowed to sign anti-abortion legislation when he took office in January.

“I do think it’s a good law and I’m happy the governor is anxious to sign the bills,” Ostrowski said.

Brownback spokeswoman Sherriene Jones-Sontag said the governor was pleased with the bipartisan effort on abortion and a variety of issues.

“He’s looking forward to signing pieces of legislation consistent with the vision outlined in the road map for Kansas and endorsed by the people of Kansas in the last election,” she said.

The second bill requires 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 both supported abortion rights.

Two other abortions bills are pending, one increasing regulation of abortion clinics to require compliance with state reporting requirements and a second to remove the mandate for private insurance to cover elective abortions.

Abortions could be covered by insurance if a separate rider was purchased in advance, or in the case of extreme medical emergencies, Ostrowski said.

Comments

strongarmcrunch 3 years ago

I find it tough to believe that the GOP is interested in Pro-Life conditions with a man yet in the legislature who thought and talked about killing people.

His actions have made the GOP Pro-life issue rather inauthentic, showing that they lack in real Pro-life conviction.

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yourworstnightmare 3 years ago

How do these abortion bills create jobs and help the economy?

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Agnostick 3 years ago

Pardon me for taking a flying leap over the edge...

Assume this law is sent to Brownback; naturally, he will sign it without hardly reading it. "Abortion restrictions? Really? Give me a pen! I'm signing, you're signing, we're all signing!"

The way I see it, this essentially amounts to government intrusion on the centuries-old principle of doctor-patient confidentiality, which is just as sacrosanct as lawyer-client confidentiality.

Just a matter of time before it ends up before the state supreme court, maybe even SCOTUS. If they were decide in favor of the law, then that would open up all medical decisions to government intrusion, interference.

Next stop: Death panels! :p

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true_patriot 3 years ago

One more example of the state intervening into a woman's right to make decisions about her own body and health. We live in an age of increasing ignorance.

I am against abortion but giving the state the power to veto or create a serious hazard to a citizen's decision to protect her health and prevent risk to her ability to be a wife/mother/breadwinner in support of her family is an egregious overreach and violation of the principles this country was founded upon.

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ivalueamerica 3 years ago

I just heard on Fox News the Fetuses vote overwhelming Republican and the GOP is issuing tiny citizenship papers because many babies look somewhat alien.

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bevy 3 years ago

Can't we get rid of him now and save us all a lot of trouble? Recall election? Get the Pres. to offer him an appointment in Washington...oh wait, that's never gonna happen.

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Roland Gunslinger 3 years ago

HomeSlice (anonymous) replies…

Get the government out of our lives, please!

January 9, 2011 at 8:38 p.m http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2011/jan/07/lawrence-can-take-advantage-smart-meters-and-help-/#c1477028 =====================================

I agree!

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pace 3 years ago

A lot of tax money spent in developing and regulation of bills to impede a civil right to a personal medical issue. A lot of tax money and government focus to impede a citizens civil right. While they ignore jobs and foreclosures.

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Agnostick 3 years ago

Couple more points... and then I gotta try and get back to sleep...

1) That part a couple posts back, when I talked about what might happen to your children: I was certainly NOT wishing anything unfortunate for you or anyone else. I was merely pointing out the uncertainty, the impermanence of our lives.

2) Do you really want to reduce the number of abortions? All abortions? Then why not attack the problem at its source... logically?

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2007/oct/18/middle_school_offer_birth_control/#c440871

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Agnostick 3 years ago

I will give you this, HomeSlice: I agree that it's a pretty low, pretty cowardly deal when the pregnant woman doesn't have the decency to at least try to tell the man that helped knock her up, that there's a bun in the oven. I will give you that. In return, can we agree that there are probably at least a few instances when the poor woman knows better than to bother him with something like that? For example, the woman who's stuck with a man who humps her on Friday and uses her for a punching bag on Saturday? Suppose, in your case, you had never been told, never been given the opportunity to weigh in on the situation, and went on about your life blissfully ignorant of your partner's predicament?

If you really feel bad, if you really feel like you need to atone for your sin, then why not put your money where your shame is? Why not call up and get a foster kid, and make a goal of formal adoption? Not the cute, bouncy, bubbly baby, but the troubled 12-year-old with a scar on their face and a chip on their shoulder, the one who was sodomized by the high school boy next door, or knocked up by their uncle? To paraphrase another poster on these forums, why not be the village(r) that lends a hand to the child that needs a better environment, after being dealt a crappy hand once they survived the abortion clinic?

I suspect it would be pretty rewarding... taking a brave step like that, making a heroic decision. Choosing "life," rather than just "birth." Taking charge of a destiny you can influence, rather than wringing your hands over a hundred or more that you cannot even grasp.

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Agnostick 3 years ago

HomeSlice (anonymous) asks...

"Anybody else have any regrets?"


Yeah, I have regrets. Most of us do... no one person has that market cornered.

It could be that I've lost all respect for guilt. I was raised in a pretty strict Roman Catholic household. Catholicism's foundation is primarily guilt, suffering, and shame. Guilt for everything you did, and will probably do. Suffering that you're supposed to crave because nobody suffered more than Jesus, and wouldn't you love to be just a little bit like him? And the motherscratcher of 'em all, shame: Shame about your body, shame about certain feelings. Unless, of course, you're a priest, bishop, cardinal, or pope. And then there's very, very little shame about anything, especially where children are concerned.

But I digress...

Okay, I'm sorry about your pain, but you're not unique. Everyone has issues. Everyone has skeletons in the closet, choices they regret, events and situations they could've avoided if only they'd taken that left turn at Albuquerque. Pro-birthers fret and worry so much about all those that "weren't" that they typically lose sight of those that "ARE."

I met my wife in a restaurant. What if I had stayed home that night? What if I had gone to dinner at 5:00 or 5:30 instead of 6:30? What if me and my friend had been shown to a different table or booth? What if I had sat on the other side of that booth? Would I have missed meeting my wife, perhaps? Follow that through, that also means I wouldn't have the daughter I have today, the house, the career, the dog snoozing on the sofa right now? Would I even be alive?

Suppose you had chosen "birth?" You'd be married to a different woman. Career might have gone completely off the rails. The two, three, four or more children you're enjoying today may have never been born, since you and your wife weren't around to make them. Will they get married and fill your house with grandchildren? Or will they die in an auto accident, plane crash, flu epidemic? How far can you protect them?

[continued below]

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BigPrune 3 years ago

"Abortion really is a war against the child, and I hate the killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that the mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? … This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.” - Mother Teresa

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HomeSlice 3 years ago

Agnostik sent this taunt to my private email:

Dearest Cowardly One,

You've received several answers to your question. Do you dare come back?"

I'm sorry your head looks like a potato. I really am.

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sleepy33 3 years ago

Try looking at it this way: if a woman really is going to make the decision to have an abortion based on what you decide is a 'frivolous' reason, is that really the kind of person that you think should be raising a child anyway? Haven't we all seen those 'mothers' dragging their screaming children through the grocery store, snapping at the child to be quiet, perhaps even swatting the child with dire threats to 'behave' ? Haven't we all cringed, wondering if we should intervene? Is that really the life you want for those children who were never truly wanted to begin with?

The problem with your 'it takes a village' speech is that humans have free will; you cannot force a mother to give up her child for adoption unless/until her mistreatment of the child reaches drastic levels. It's all well and good to say, well that woman should just give her child up for adoption rather than having an abortion. But the reality is that, for whatever reason, she'll end up keeping the kid and they'll both be miserable. Maybe she keeps it because she thinks it's 'cute' and 'fun' (until that wears off). Maybe she keeps it because she needs the WIC vouchers. Maybe she keeps it because she felt pressure from people like you not to have an abortion, and then decides it's just too gut-wrenchingly hard to give the baby up when it's born, and suddenly it's 3 years down the road, she's desperately poor, uneducated, with no future and a child to care for. That's a situation no child should feel responsible for.

Maybe it's just because of my occupation; over the years, I've witnessed the truly horrendous things that parents are capable of doing to their children, and I know that sometimes life can be much crueler than death.

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HomeSlice 3 years ago

Here's a shocker - full disclosure on this board. I was 'pro-choice', or at least ambivilant about this issue. I participated in a decision to abort a child. That left me feeling very uneasy, and many of the things I leaned on lost their meaning. But I dealt with it and moved on. Suffice it to say, it was 'inconvenient' timing, would have been difficult family-wise, and a financial burden. But none of those issues were insurmountable, and probably overblown by my imagination. It would have worked - I would have had to delay some of my plans, so be it. Moved on regardless, and life unfolded, with the normal ups and downs, but happiness and satisfaction grew over time.

Things got even better, career ramped up, got married, and put down roots. Helped people out, made friends, got involved. Then came kids. Had no desire to be a parent, not part of the lexicon. Listened to my spouse and agreed.

First child - okay, this is new. Interaction: not what I expected, looked forward to something beyond the pure dependence, more of a connection. That happened over time as expected, and my connection and attachment grew. Second child, more awareness of the beginning weeks and months - so much happening here! Had no idea. More kids, more awareness.

The memories crept back in. And the shame and regret. What had I allowed to happen? What child was lost because I was SELFISH and put myself above the one who had NO choice? My children astound and amaze me everyday, and each is profoundly different than the other.

What would my life be like if I had chosen life for my aborted baby? I am disgusted with the choices that were made, and am less of a person, in ways I will never know completely.

The comments here almost all focus on the mother, the rights of the mother; get out of her life; mind your own business. What about that child, who fights to be here, like all living things? Where is the compassion and charity from the rest of us to rescue those children in need? The welfare state has it supporters, and wants to level the playing field for the less fortunate. Why does this not extend to the unborn. Double standard? Yes. Are there multiple double standards on both sides? Sure. But are there any that are more fundemental than protecting the least of us? Few if any.

And before you stab me with your steely knives, I am not talking about situations where the mother's life is in danger. I am talking about the majoriity of frivoulous abortions that we all know make up the bulk of this procedure. How about a little outrage for the rule, rather than the exception? How about the 'village' stepping in and lending a hand to those children that need a better environment when they do survive the abortion clinic?

There you have it. Anybody else have any regrets?

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yourworstnightmare 3 years ago

How does this create jobs and help the economy? Oh, that's right. The GOP were lying when they said their priorities were jobs and the economy.

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DeaconBlue 3 years ago

Why in the world would Brownback want more people to govern? These future people he is protecting will require more of everything. Unless he wants them as future tax payers, then I guess he may have a point. Otherwise, this does not compute.

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Cait McKnelly 3 years ago

Just an interesting fact (and one I have no current links for as I didn't keep them. But If I can Google the research and numbers, you can too). I looked up the percentage chance in the US that a fetus will be found unviable. Then I looked up the percentage of pregnancies in the US that end in late term abortion. Imagine my shock (a little sarcasm there) to find that those numbers correlated. In fact, those numbers even took into account those women who chose to not abort, even though they knew they were carrying an unviable fetus, as the actual number of late term abortions performed was less than the number of unviable fetuses. That wasn't even taking into account those pregnancies terminated to save the mother's life. (Understand that a "late term abortion" does not correlate with viability. A fetus born at 21 weeks has almost no chance of survival. Medical standards place that at 24 weeks. However an abortion at 21 weeks is still termed "late term".)

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rhd99 3 years ago

Everyone here on this board: I am so sorry that I voted for Brownback. I feel bad about that. I know he has duped all of us. He has no medical expertise/certifications to make such a stupid claim on abortions. If I have been a jerk as of late, I apologize. Now, I hope we all can unite together and do something so that this jerk of a governor we have is a one-termer!

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Olympics 3 years ago

Miscarriage, God's free abortion service.

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notleft_notright 3 years ago

Home Slice, You owe me an answer. How can you post something so insensitive, demand answers, and then ignore everyone you've offended. You need to walk in anothers shoes for a while before you start spouting off with absolutes. Do you have the courage to respond to my question? Why would you take away my choice?

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Jimo 3 years ago

I thought we were broke? Why are the taxpayers being asked to foot the bill to be another law school casebook case of unconstitutional laws? It's so confusing trying to keep straight which flip-flop the GOP is pushing each day.

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Hong_Kong_Phooey 3 years ago

I wonder, how many of the anti-abortion folks are pro-death penalty? I'm sure that some will try to distinguish the two because of crimes and guilt or innocence, but that doesn't take away from the fact that both are depriving someone of their life.

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yourworstnightmare 3 years ago

How will this create jobs and help the economy?

Oh, I forgot. The GOP lied about that being their priority.

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oletimer 3 years ago

Someone pinch me. I must be having a nightmare! A group of learned elected officials have approved a bill voiding a woman's rights, on the "presumption" that a fetus can feel pain? REALLY? Isn't it wonderful that time after time, the noisy MINORITY can force feed their thoughts and beliefs to the MAJORITY? What ever happened to majority rule? The noisy MINORITY knows that most of us don't have the time or resources to attempt to guide our country in the right direction. So now days the small MINORITY can have their way with us. It is time for the majority of us to take our country back! We need to get out and vote folks into office that will listen to thousands, instead of a few. The days of the few ruling this country needs to come to an end quickly, before it is too late!

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Agnostick 3 years ago

"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."

Fail.

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Agnostick 3 years ago

HomeSlice... several of us answered your question. Having children of our own does not exempt us from logical thought. Get over your bad self already.

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Kirk Larson 3 years ago

God is the greatest abortionist of all. For those who believe life begins at conception, most of the time the embryo does not implant and simply passes out of the body. Of those that implant, about a fourth spontaneously miscarry; probably more since women often don't know they are pregnant when a tiny embryo dislodges and they may mistake it for a heavy period. Choice, it's the American way.

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Cait McKnelly 3 years ago

As the article is about late term, third trimester abortions, I'm going to address that. Obviously, there are people on this board that haven't the foggiest idea that many conditions that make a fetus unviable aren't; and in fact can't, be diagnosed until the last trimester. The women who undergo third trimester abortions do so for a reason, and believe me, not being able to go to a hockey game or a dance isn't among them, as much as there are posters on this board who would like to believe so. Women who get that far into pregnancy without aborting want their babies. They are aborting, not because they don't want their babies, but because they can't have their babies. Something is so horribly wrong that no matter what, their baby is going to die and they have already grieved and mourned those lost children. Some will deny it and continue to carry the fetus in the vain hope that a miracle will occur. But the miracle doesn't happen. Some women, who make the decision based on the way they love their child and not wanting the baby to suffer, will choose to abort. Frequently, all they do is undergo chemical induction and the baby is still born. Either way, whether at six months or nine months, it's a baby whose fate was chosen by nature, not by the mother, long before it was born. The fact that the state feels perfectly fine with interfering in this is a travesty. They claim they want to limit abortions after the 21st week because "the fetus feels pain". Given the logic of the state, many women who abort after the 21st week do so to actually keep their baby from undergoing pain and suffering. In this instance, the state is the one who is demanding a cruel and horrible fate for an innocent. This is the face of baby torture. It's also the torture of women because the state is forcing them to carry a baby with a death sentence; a baby whose physical structure is such that no one knows what pain and suffering they may be enduring. Try being a pregnant woman and knowing that this is happening to your child on a daily basis. All of this puts the face to the lie the state is perpetrating with this legislation. This legislation has nothing to do with "sparing babies pain". It has to do with limiting abortion, even at the cost of actually causing suffering in those they claim they are trying to protect.

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jayhawklawrence 3 years ago

This is the most difficult of all the political issues.

This is also the most politicized issue.

This issue is the reason that Kansas is controlled by extremist Republican politicians.

They have exploited this issue and it has given them great political power and influence.

Both sides, the conservatives and the liberals have done a poor job of dealing with the source of the problem.

It makes you cynical about the politics of this country.

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BigPrune 3 years ago

I know someone who got genetic testing for both of her children while she was pregnant and the results were not good. She decided to have the children. BOTH of the children are perfectly normal. I wonder how many perfectly normal children are aborted because of faulty genetic testing?

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independent_rebel 3 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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Tom Shewmon 3 years ago

Pro-abortion zealots always say, "I don't want to tell others what to do with their bodies". Whose body? The mother's, or the child's that about to be born? Guess the kid doesn't have a say. (Nor does the daddy). Special rights for selfish women. Good lib reasoning.

May God Bless.

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scott3460 3 years ago

More of that "jobs focus" we were promised from the republicans.

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jhawkinsf 3 years ago

The bill in question and the article here was about abortion restrictions during late term pregnancies. It seems to me that certain restrictions that may be unreasonable during the early stages of pregnancy may be reasonable later on. The discussions about abortion are dominated by the extreme pro-life and extreme pro-choice sides. I'd be more interested in a reasoned discussion by those in the middle. To those on the extreme, I already know your position.

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HomeSlice 3 years ago

Still no answer to my question - for those that support choice - do any of you have children?

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HomeSlice 3 years ago

You make some huge assumptions about perfect pregnancies - shame on you. You have no idea how they went and what lasting effects remain today. Any yet I love my children without reservation. Sad. And even knowing of the issues, abortion was not an option. Thank God we did not take the easy way out.

"Not enough adoptive families/parents to raise all the children born into situations where they can't be cared for"? Please. Why do so many couples have to go overseas to have any shot at a child, and then wait months and years? Why are several couples I know still on a waiting list here in the U.S.?

Inconvenience is no excuse to take a life. The time to be responsible is before you get pregnant - and after.

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roverk190 3 years ago

"Abortion is advocated only by persons who have themselves been born." - Ronald Reagan

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HomeSlice 3 years ago

Curious to know how many of you "pro choice" folks out there have children? Looking at mine, I can't imagine making a choice to abort one or any of them - my life and so many others around me have been enriched beyond measure by their presence.

Abortion at any term - vile and unthinkable.

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Tom Shewmon 3 years ago

A. Is George Tiller rolling in his grave? B. Will The Matriarch of Infanticidal Death, Kathleen Sebelius, comment on this? C. Will this post be removed?

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Kevin Randell 3 years ago

Ok, let me get this right. What we are arguing about is a woman's right to choose? Do you think that she can make up her mind within the first 30-45 days if she wants to have the child or not? If it takes you 4-5 months to decide then ya....you should have someone make the decision for you.

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deathpenaltyliberal 3 years ago

Just more nanny state big government from the GOP. What happened to all the "small government, personal responsibilty..." talk during the campaigns? Were they lying to us all along?

Looks that way.

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somedude20 3 years ago

so I guess it was just lip service when the repubs said they want to stay out of our lives. They make more drugs illegal, tell strippers and business owners how to run their bussiness and also say what can and can't be done to your body. Bravo, you, um jagoffs are tops!!!!

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