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Archive for Friday, February 10, 2012

Proposed abortion ban blocked by abortion foe

February 10, 2012, 2:07 p.m. Updated February 10, 2012, 4:10 p.m.

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— An influential anti-abortion legislator is blocking the push for a ban on abortion in the Kansas Constitution, highlighting a split among abortion opponents over tactics and frustrating the group advocating the "personhood" proposal Friday.

Chairman Lance Kinzer said he doesn't plan to have a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the proposed constitutional amendment, which is sponsored by 25 other House members. Kinzer is the leading supporter of a bill to add new requirements for abortion providers into state law and ensure that the state doesn't provide even indirect financing of abortions through income tax credits or deductions.

Kinzer, an Olathe Republican and attorney, said he doesn't believe the proposed constitutional amendment would withstand a court challenge and could lead to a U.S. Supreme Court decision that could hamper abortion opponents' attempts to enact new restrictions. Kansans for Life, the anti-abortion group with the most influence at the Statehouse, takes the same position.

But the Personhood Kansas Committee, the Wichita-area group promoting the proposed amendment, strongly disagrees, and Chairman Bruce Garren said he's surprised that Kinzer won't at least agree to a hearing, particularly because there's interest among Kinzer's colleagues.

"We have 25 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives. You'd think that would be enough to get a hearing," Garren said. "It's really frustrating."

Both chambers would have to adopt the proposed amendment by two-thirds majorities — something that's likely in the House but uncertain in the Senate. If both did, the measure would go on the statewide ballot in the Aug. 7 primary election, where approval by a simple majority would add it to the Constitution.

Passage of a bill like the one Kinzer favors would require only simple majorities in both chambers and Brownback's signature.

Kinzer is pushing a 68-page bill to rewrite the state's "informed consent" law on abortion, requiring doctors to provide certain information before terminating a woman's pregnancy. Among other things, it would require doctors to allow their patients to hear a fetal heartbeat. The bill also would ensure there is no change to printed materials for patients, including one part that discusses alternatives to abortion and says, "What about adoption?"

Also, the bill would prohibit schools from incorporating materials for any group that provides abortion services into classes that deal with human sexuality or sexually transmitted diseases.

Kinzer said he's pursuing proposals that are likely to "maximizing the number of babies that we can save immediately" and trying to "push the boundaries" of restrictions allowed under federal court rulings.

"Neither of those goals really is advanced by the personhood amendment," Kinzer said.

Sarah Gillooly, a lobbyist for Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, which provides abortions, said many abortion opponents understand that pursuing the personhood amendment is risky.

If supporters succeeded in amending the Kansas Constitution, a court challenge is considered likely. In fact, supporters of the proposed amendment see it as a way to directly challenge Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court establishing a right to an abortion.

But Gillooly and fellow abortion rights advocates have suggested the Kansas proposal is written broadly enough to outlaw some common birth-control methods and argue that pursuing it could lead to a political backlash. In Mississippi, nearly 55 percent of the voters in the November election rejected the "personhood" ballot measure there. Colorado voters rejected similar proposals in 2008 and 2010.

"It's a little bit of a public relations disaster for the pro-life movement," Gillooly said.

The bill Kinzer favors is before the House Federal and State Committee, which had two days of hearings this week and could vote on it next week. The Federal and State Affairs Committee typically handles abortion legislation, but House Speaker Mike O'Neal, a Hutchinson Republican and abortion opponent, assigned the proposed personhood amendment to the Judiciary Committee, leaving its fate with Kinzer.

"That is one that is fraught with legal issues that Representative Kinzer knows all about," O'Neal said.

Garren said the Personhood Kansas Committee has collected more than 8,000 signatures on petitions advocating the amendment and said many Kansas want an opportunity to vote on banning abortion.

"They do see that the end goal is the end of abortion and the end of the taking of innocent human life," he said. "There are just a lot of people who think we've had plenty of opportunities to regulate it out of existence."

Comments

verity 2 years, 2 months ago

Personally, I don't care why a woman wants an abortion. It's none of my business if she has been engaging in behavior that I think is inappropriate, immoral or irresponsible. That is not my call to make. Until viability (probably somewhere around 18 weeks, but I'm not going to argue about that here) there should be no restrictions. None.

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 2 years, 2 months ago

What bothers me the very most is that some people use religious dogma to shape their thoughts. Religion in all forms is fantasy, it is concocted by those who do not understand, who cannot understand the circumstances of their lives and of our presence in the current age, and they need some sort of warm and fuzzy doctrine to protect them from their ignorance. The muslim faith has their sharia laws that are designed to keep the "faithful" in line, "Christians" use their "interpretation" of the"bible" to bash trash and oppose all those who do not fall in line with their "religious" fervor. It pains me a great deal to see a political party attempt to hijack the religious fervor of these unfortunate souls and use it to their devious agenda. They do not care about "personhood", they want control and to inflict punishment on those women unfortuante enough to discover an unwanted pregnancy.

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Jayhawk1958 2 years, 2 months ago

What bothers me is that the Anti-Abortion people are really pushing the envelop with talk about now not allowing abortions even in the case of rapes and illnesses of the mother. I don't like the procedure, but what right do I have as a man to tell a woman what she can or can't do?

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NY152 2 years, 2 months ago

A woman should have the right to do what is best for herself. Government and men should stay out of it.

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ThePilgrim 2 years, 2 months ago

The Personhood amendment would indeed outlaw many forms of birth control.

And it would also make it difficult for a mother to have treatment for a tubal pregnancy. I was once told by a doctor in Wichita that they currently (already) have to be "creative" with diagnoses of tubal pregnancy because the Catholic monopolized Via Christi health system hospitals make it difficult to treat a woman with tubal pregnancy.

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Cait McKnelly 2 years, 2 months ago

I have to shake my head and laugh. These people could care less about "abortion". What they care about is controlling women, their "purity" and their sex lives. Isn't that just a bit more than puerile?

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its_just_math 2 years, 2 months ago

Throw all the extremist left-wing zealots in a large steel cage. Toss in half a dozen cheap one-man dome tents, jugs of Mogen-David, and a bag full of one-hitters.

Last one out gets to file for unemployment, food stamps, section 8 housing and ObamaCare.

;-)

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Agnostick 2 years, 2 months ago

Throw all the extremist theocrats in a large steel cage. Toss in half a dozen baseball bats, couple large cans of Crisco, and a butterfly knife.

Last one out gets to file the lawsuit.

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its_just_math 2 years, 2 months ago

Obama and Sebelius knew beyond a shadow of a doubt they were made for each other, tranformationizationllyistically that is, regarding abortion and it's transformalizationisationing of American Womyn.

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JayhawkFan1985 2 years, 2 months ago

I thought the right wing nuts believed fervently that the government was over regulating them. I also thought they were opposed to wasteful government spending. The US supreme court settled this issue decades ago. These people are like the Taliban. They're just not smart enough to realize that. What's next, a total ban on birth control? Oh wait Rick Santorum is calling for that in his bid to be president. Maybe they will rescind the right to vote for women and "nonbelievers". Don't laugh. We are almost there...

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its_just_math 2 years, 2 months ago

"Madame Sebelius Goes to Washington" ..........at a theatre near you!

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Hong_Kong_Phooey 2 years, 2 months ago

Kinzer is right. Move on to something you can actually change, legislators.

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Cait McKnelly 2 years, 2 months ago

In actuality, the majority of abortions are done for birth control failure. Seeking an abortion is a responsible act in and of itself to deal with the consequences of that failure. But to BAA and math, it's not really about abortion. It's about "purity" and the fact that women are engaging in (gasp) sexual activity. They don't object to it on "moral" grounds but on grounds of "irresponsibility" . BAA says, "The zealots who defend unrestricted abortion are really promoting promiscuous, irresponsible behavior.", without defining what is "irresponsible" about it, other than the fact that they, "OMG, had SEX!" This puts their heads up the hoohah's of women just as much as those of the religious right and I find it just as judgmental and repugnant as, in it's way, it's a form of rape; i.e. taking away from a woman control of her life and her body, including her sex life. Rape is not about sex, it's about control and this is just as much about control as rape.

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tange 2 years, 2 months ago

No, dear, I wasn't wrong. You managed to construct a post not containing a derogatory remark about Obama, so I was able to read through it, albeit with eyes unfocused. I simply provided the statistic you had omitted (but later would supply).

For those with a moral perspective on abortion, it doesn't matter what the percentages are: 0.6%, 6.0%, or 60%; wrong is wrong.

The solution to the problem, however, is not legal. Indeed, the sorts of resource withdrawal and concentration which you routinely tout in these forums actually diminish avenues and opportunities by which this tide might be stemmed.

You REALLY care about abortion? Put your money where you bray.

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FalseHopeNoChange 2 years, 2 months ago

Kat said Insurance companies providing women with pills to abort babies instead of Catholic hospitals will save the insurance companies money.

I guess it's cheaper than paying for the birth and stuff needed to complete a pregnancy.

Is this part of Obamacare's death panels I've heard so much about?

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Ray Parker 2 years, 2 months ago

Two loggers pleaded guilty to disturbing bald eagle nests while doing their job cutting trees near Hardin, MO, which MIGHT EVENTUALLY have caused DISCOMFORT to eagles, such as moving to another unused nest, and were SENTENCED to probation and fines and community service. And we can't protect living human babies from mangling, dismembering, poisoning, and beheading in abortion mills for profit??? Abolition now.

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its_just_math 2 years, 2 months ago

Love it how the pro-abortion zealot will pull the "rape" or "incest" card out of the bag of tricks when discussing abortion. What do they account for? One percent of all abortions---give or take a tenth of a percent or two.

But you guys keep telling yourself.........whatever it is you tell yourselves.

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tange 2 years, 2 months ago

When I'm roaring downhill, out of control, make mine a bandwagon.

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KU52 2 years, 2 months ago

They tell me that the Republicans want a less intrusive government. They preach about the need to respect human activities and decry government "interference." What then could be more intrusive than transferring selective religious dogma into state law and criminalizing a woman's choice? She has to make that choice, which willl probably be influenced by her health, her spiritual advisor's guidance (if she has one), her religious beliefs, her family situation, her doctor's advice and other quite personal factors. Her decision is no business of the State of Kansas. She needs to be at peace with her God; not with Crusader Brownback.

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Cait McKnelly 2 years, 2 months ago

Dissension in the ranks! Best possible thing that could happen. Although I find it ironic that these people are actually arguing about the best possible way to run the uteri of the women in this state. Hmmm.... Maybe we can distract them into arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 2 months ago

Better to leave it alone.

Brownback has loaded up the agenda beyond belief. The abortion thing never goes away and wastes a lot of time and money....

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kansanjayhawk 2 years, 2 months ago

How some people can believe that the dismemberment of an unborn child is somehow sophisticated or "modern" is beyond me. Silly rural Kansans? I guess you need to look at a roster of the Kansas legislature and you will find that many urban legislators all also opposed to abortion! The rejection of the Christian worldview is leading our nation back to the dark ages as we have stopped caring for each other and loving each other. Abortion is an act of violence against that unborn, the family, and against women. It is a direct attack upon the work of God in creating the unborn child in the womb. The "extremists" are those who oppose any restriction upon abortion and defend the killing fields continuing in these filthy clinics where parents rights are often ignored!

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1029 2 years, 2 months ago

Oh, to force women who can't afford a baby and don't want a baby to have a baby, or to not force women who can't afford a baby and don't want a baby to have a baby. What a difficult question! Maybe these religious simpletons should focus on real problems that KS faces, rather than try to create more problems for society.

People drunk on religion can be so selfish are narrow-minded. Just mind your own business and stop trying to force your primitive religion on others. No good comes from more impoverished, unwanted children running wild on the streets of decaying neighborhoods. Silly rural Kansans don't understand the rest of the country.

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Steve Swaggerty 2 years, 2 months ago

Well we know at least one Representative has a little sense!!

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kansanjayhawk 2 years, 2 months ago

No matter what the chairman's personal opinion on this legislation is--and I agree with him that it might be an overreach--there is no excuse for not holding a hearing to consider the merits of the Personhood law. Let us discuss the humanity of the unborn child and let us educate our fellow citizens about the crime of abortion ( the killing of an unborn child).

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