Archive for Thursday, January 19, 2012

Proposed ban on abortion introduced in Kansas House

January 19, 2012


— A proposed amendment to the Kansas Constitution to ban abortion has been formally introduced by 25 state House members.

The lawmakers filed their proposed "personhood" amendment Wednesday.

The measure would amend the state constitution's Bill of Rights to declare that Kansas guarantees the rights of every person, starting with fertilization of the human egg.

Critics say it's broad enough to ban common birth control methods. Even some abortion opponents are wary of the proposal, fearing its enactment would lead to a lawsuit and unfavorable court decisions.

Two-thirds of both the House and Senate must approve the measure for it to go to a statewide vote. It would appear on the ballot in the August primary, when approval by a simple majority of voters would change the constitution.


deec 6 years, 3 months ago

Its a jobs bill. They'll need to hire thousands of ladies' monthly undies inspectors. Are there any in-vitro clinics in Ks? Do those frozen embryos also get to be persons now, or do they remain popsicles? Will medicaid now be forced to provide services for all those alleged anchor baby mamas? After all, their embryos are people, so they are entitled to medical coverage.

Katara 6 years, 3 months ago

Each fetus will be granted a guardian to exercise the fetus's rights on their behalf

The legal profession must be ecstatic about this!

beatrice 6 years, 3 months ago

Did you see where there are more abortions in countries that ban them than in those that do not? It was in the paper today:

Beth Ennis 6 years, 3 months ago

That is what none of the proponents of banned abortion will listen to. Making abortions illegal is not going to stop them at all. It will just make them unsafe and one of these days it may be their daughter or granddaughter who dies from having an abortion that was unsafe. How sad. Abortions should be legal and very infrequent. As long as birth control is affordable and accessible that is what would happen, very infrequent.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

Providing, of course, that people actually use birth control, and use it correctly.

Kendall Simmons 6 years, 3 months ago

And if it works. All of which are also good arguments for making the morning-after pill easily available, rather than arguing that a zygote is a person.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago


Given our other conversation about the fact that many people don't use birth control, I'd prefer that they use the forms that prevent fertilization, rather than simply using the morning after pill.

While I don't agree that a fertilized egg has the same status as a human being after being born, it's still a bit more ambiguous to me than simply preventing fertilization.

If there were a way to make that available to those that used birth control that failed, that would be more ok with me.

But, most people don't know the morning after they've had sex that their birth control failed, do they? Unless it's glaringly obvious.

Bob Forer 6 years, 3 months ago

Are you sure those voices aren't god talking to you.

geekin_topekan 6 years, 3 months ago

So illegals will be able to receive pre-natal care and amnesty because they are carrying a US citizen?

SnakeFist 6 years, 3 months ago

At least they got the issue right. It has nothing to do with when life begins - the individual gametes and the zygote are all "alive", i.e., functioning, or else the pregnancy would not occur or proceed - and has everything to do with when the rights of personhood attach.

Armored_One 6 years, 3 months ago

The human appendix will move if cut with a knife or exposed to a heating element to remove it during an appendectomy. Does that make the appendix alive, and thus cannot be legally removed?

Bunch of damned fools...

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 3 months ago Anti-abortion zealots have upped the ante. One wonders how they would feel/what they would do if someone published there personal information on the internet and had their "war" brought to them? Why does this make me feel like George Tiller was just the opening salvo?

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 3 months ago

*their, not there

This is their "legal" disclaimer: "This site is meant for informational purposes to aid in the end of abortion through peaceful, legal means. It is in no way meant to encourage or incite violence of any kind against abortion clinics, abortionists, or their staff. We denounce acts of violence against abortion clinics and providers in the strongest terms."

Excuse me if I say bullst! If they truly felt this way they would NOT be publishing personal non-business information about anyone, especially people that they KNOW could be opened up to physical harm by their actions! This is wanton disregard of life; something of which they are accusing the "other side". Real "pro-life" course of action, there, guys. It does make me wonder if anybody knows how to get in touch with Anonymous.

verity 6 years, 3 months ago

Wow, just wow! And just exactly why do they want pictures of the doctors providing abortions? Could they make their real agenda anymore clear?

From the website: "When abortion clinics close, states experience an often dramatic drop in their abortion numbers. . . . abortion clinics cannot stay open for lack of business."

Don't care much about facts, do they? But then that has always been the MO for the anti-choicers.

"January 18, 2011 — The global abortion rate has leveled off in recent years, while the proportion of abortions that are unsafe has increased, according to a study published Thursday in The Lancet, the AP/USA Today reports."

"Lauren Streicher, assistant clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, said restrictive abortion laws do not lead to abortion being "performed less often" but do make procedures "just more unsafe," adding, "Condemning abortion is a cruel and failed strategy" (ABC News, 1/19)."

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

Also, improving our foster care and adoptive services would help as well.

Katara 6 years, 3 months ago

Nice move. Putting this on the primary election rather than the general election. This certainly is a convenient way to stack deck in your favor since voters who are not affiliated with a party are not allowed to vote in primary elections.

Hibiscuspixie 6 years, 3 months ago

I called the Secretary of State's office about who could vote in the primary. It's not just presidential candidates on the ballot so both parties can vote.

Katara 6 years, 3 months ago

Yes, that's the point. Unaffiliated voters (those who have not registered with a party) may not vote in primaries. There are a lot of people who are unaffiliated with any political party and we get no say in this unless we "pick a side".

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

I recommend that folks in KS who aren't happy with the current administration register as Republicans and vote in the R primaries.

It doesn't mean you're obligated one way or another in general elections, so what's the downside?

I suppose you don't get to vote in D primaries, but that doesn't bother me much.

One just has to get over the "ick" factor of registering in a party one disagrees with on most everything :-)

headdoctor 6 years, 3 months ago

Looks like another end run by the Republicans. Hurry up and get it on the ballot in a primary election where not everyone votes or wants to declare a party to vote. Just a simple majority of the primary voters would pass the amendment. Could they be more transparent.

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 3 months ago

There is so much "back room, dirty politics" involved in this I'm surprised a roll of cigar smoke didn't come out of the state house when they left today.

JayhawkFan1985 6 years, 3 months ago

A cultural revolution of Taliban proportions is underway in Kansas. Step 1, try to ban all abortions in violation of the US Constitution. Step 2, cut funding for education, daycare, children's health insurance. Step 3, raise taxes on the poor and cut taxes on the 1%. Step 4, harass immigrants and nonwhites. Step 5, change the state's name to Missansas in honor of our new role models, Missouri and Mississippi.

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 3 months ago

From the article: "What we clearly know is that making abortion less available does not make it performed less often," said Dr. Lauren Streicher, assistant clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "It's just more unsafe. Condemning abortion is a cruel and failed strategy."

parrothead8 6 years, 3 months ago

If men could get pregnant, this bill wouldn't get within 50 miles of the state House.

verity 6 years, 3 months ago

How can a constitutional amendment appear on the ballet in a primary when independents can't vote? Please tell me that can't happen. Talk about disenfranchisement.

verity 6 years, 3 months ago

I know, I know, I misspelled ballot.

Katara 6 years, 3 months ago

Well, it is quite a show they are putting on (just like a ballet). ;)

I am not sure how they can get that on the ballot for a primary and not a general election.

It is not right. It is shady. It is sleazy and it is down right dirty to try a trick such as this. But as the Brownback administration has shown us, they are certainly not above that type of behavior.

voevoda 6 years, 3 months ago

Why would any legislature want to protect the rights of zygotes at the expense of the rights of women? In strictly political terms: Zygotes don't vote. Women do. And how would this law, if passed, be enforced? Will Kansas women who get RU-486 out of state be prosecuted for murder? Will Kansas women who get fitted with an IUD out of state be prosecuted for voluntary manslaughter? Will out-of-state women who have IUDs be arrested as they cross into Kansas? Will women who miscarry be investigated on suspicion of murder or depraved indifference? Will the government step in to "protect" unborn children by requiring women who could become pregnant (that is, in childbearing years) to refrain from alcohol or caffeine, or strenuous exercise or dieting, or to require them to eat vegetables, take vitamins, etc.? Or, if the women refuse to obey, imprison them for reckless endangerment? Shades of Margaret Atwood, A Handmaid's Tale.

kujhawkfan 6 years, 3 months ago

FYI, independent voters can vote in the Democratic Primary in Kansas, they are just not allowed to vote in the Republican Primary.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 3 months ago

But there is a way out; register Republican like I did. You get nice notes from Lynn Jenkins and can try to pick off the nastiest of the R's when August rolls around. The D's never have any interesting primaries anyway.

Kendall Simmons 6 years, 3 months ago

That's what my husband and I did years ago :-)

Katara 6 years, 3 months ago

Actually, they can not unless invited by the Democrats. Kansas has closed primary elections.

"What You Need To Know About Primary Election In Kansas

Only voters registered with a given party can vote in the primary. Parties may have the option to invite unaffiliated voters to participate. Typically, however, independent voters are left out of the process entirely unless they choose to sacrifice their freedom of association for the opportunity to have their say in who represents them. Closed primaries may also exacerbate the radicalization that often occurs at the primary stage, when candidates must cater to the "base," yet the "fringe" of the party are typically more motivated to turn out. Republicans hold Closed primary -- Democrats hold Closed primary"

Abdu Omar 6 years, 3 months ago

The truth of the matter is that when a fetus becomes a human is when God puts the soul into it. No one knows exactly when that happens except God. So how do republicans know when the forming fetus is a baby, they are no where close to God.

oldvet 6 years, 3 months ago

Since you introduced God, let's see what He has to say about it...

"I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb." Jeremiah 1:5

Kim Murphree 6 years, 3 months ago

Yep...talking about a spirit that lives without the this case in the presence of God BEFORE the spirit enters the body (a process that we still do not fully understand..the when, the how) which means that there is NOTHING in this quote about physical life or death of any part of the egg or zygote. You can quote scripture all you want, but you should probably really get the meaning before you launch an argument.

Armored_One 6 years, 3 months ago

God loves abortion. He told me so.

What, if you can claim to know the thoughts of some mythological sky deity, so can I.

SnakeFist 6 years, 3 months ago

"Person", not "human". You're missing the whole point.

Its clearly "human" from the moment of conception - its not, for example, a cat or a cow or a bird - its DNA makes it human. But "human" does not necessarily equal "person", i.e., a thing with moral rights and duties.

Most philosophers believe reason is the defining property of personhood, not the mere presence of human DNA (or a soul, whatever that is).

thebigspoon 6 years, 3 months ago

Well, that is not strictly--or literally--true, SnakeFist. If you would take the trouble to remember your basic biology, the human zygote, after conception, resembles, to name a couple, a pig and a fish. The evolution (how you must hate that term!) of the "fetus" is quite complicated, but does not include the egg and sperm magically creating a human at the instant of conception. Not that that makes any difference to you but it might if you actually thought about facts rather than gut-checked you every response.

thebigspoon 6 years, 3 months ago

Sorry, the last sentence was meant for oldvet anad his bunch. no insult to you, Snake.

oldvet 6 years, 3 months ago

Just some developmental information...

Day 1: fertilization: all human chromosomes are present.

Day 6: embryo begins implantation in the uterus.

Day 22: heart begins to beat with the child's own blood, often a different type than the mothers'.

Week 3: By the end of third week the child's backbone spinal column and nervous system are forming. The liver, kidneys and intestines begin to take shape.

Week 4: By the end of week four the child is ten thousand times larger than the fertilized egg.

Week 5: Eyes, legs, and hands begin to develop.

Week 6: Brain waves are detectable; mouth and lips are present; fingernails are forming.

Week 7: Eyelids, and toes form, nose distinct. The baby is kicking and swimming.

Week 8: Every organ is in place, bones begin to replace cartilage, and fingerprints begin to form. By the 8th week the baby can begin to hear.

The secular lifestyle wants to avoid this inconvenient truth.

SnakeFist 6 years, 3 months ago

All of which is relevant to whether the developing organism is a human, but completely irrelevant to whether it is a person. Why is that distinction so difficult to understand?

Armored_One 6 years, 3 months ago

Since you want to go the science route, what happens if the umbilical cord is cut?

Not for a bad pun, but you picked up a double-edged knife, mon ami.

I, personally, don't advocate abortion. I, personally, do NOT have any right to have anything but that opinion.

I do NOT have the right to force my opinion to be someone else's choice.

You gripe and whine and complain that the government is just so big and intrusive, but yet you want laws passed that puts the government INSIDE someone else's body.

Can you be a bigger hypocrit?

thebigspoon 6 years, 3 months ago

Well, that is not strictly--or literally--true, SnakeFist. If you would take the trouble to remember your basic biology, the human zygote, after conception, resembles, to name a couple, a pig and a fish. The evolution (how you must hate that term!) of the "fetus" is quite complicated, but does not include the egg and sperm magically creating a human at the instant of conception. Your ploint is well-taken, though, and it would be good if the "life at any cost" folks would open their minds a bit.

SnakeFist 6 years, 3 months ago

No. The fact that many animals superficially resemble each other very early in their development is irrelevant. If you take a cell from a human embryo and give it to a biologist, he will tell you that the cell came from a human. Furthermore, you neither become nor stop being human at any point in your lifecycle. A human is human from the moment of conception to the moment of death. However, he is not necessarily a person with rights. "Human" is a biological term, "person" is a philosophical term.

If a human zygote, resulting from the joining of a human egg and a human sperm is not human, then what is it? And when does it become human - magically at the moment of birth?

thebigspoon 6 years, 3 months ago

I think we're arguing from different ends of the rope. I agree with you. The ability to define when an embryo becomes a human is impossible. It falls, therefore, to the law to define what is an acceptable abortion. This can only be done by creating an arbitrary timeline or set of circumstances. I'm glad I am not in charge and I wixh everyone who is sthe best of luck in making this decision. The only thing I wish is that those who make the law defining when abortion can and can not occur will use common sense and not try pushing their own moral code onto women who might disagree with their codes.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

The point at which a fetus is viable outside the womb seems like a reasonable point at which to make a distinction to me.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 3 months ago

Mormons? Forget Mormons!

What about this?

Let's talk about the radical RINO dominated Christian Fundamentalists presidential candidates and politicians in office = Kansas most certainly?

These are the biggest liars on the planet over and above all other political candidates!!!

They dislike women, USA employment plus they want to control sex. Who are these loony crackpots?

Cai 6 years, 3 months ago

welcome to the people elected Kansas State Government.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 3 months ago

Both sides shouting at each other and no one listening. Start the conversation with something like this: yes women have the right to an abortion, but that right is not absolute. First trimester abortions are nobody's business but a woman and her doctor. Abortions for the purposes of gender selection are contrary to public morality and are outlawed. All births have some inherent risk. If the mother's life is in danger or if there is significant risk, abortions are permitted. Pregnancy cannot be terminated because of mental health concerns. Abortions in the ninth month are banned unless the mother's life is in danger. Same for eighth and seventh month. The sixth month depends on viability and may change with future medical advances. Before that, it's no one's business but the woman's. Start by talking about things we might agree on and then discuss the difficult things we disagree with. But if the conversation always begins at the polar opposites, we'll never agree on anything. Then we're just shouting at each other.

verity 6 years, 3 months ago

Jhawkinsf, you are just becoming altogether too reasonable. "Both sides shouting at each other and no one listening." Happens on pretty much every issue and I will admit to being guilty. This issue in particular brings out the passion on both sides. Although I will never be in the position of being pregnant, as a woman I am very protective of the rights of other women.

I do disagree with you on a few minor points. While I agree that abortions should not be used for gender selection, I don't see how that could be enforced and could become another tool for witch hunting (and the pro-choice people are already very suspicious that these laws are intended just for that purpose). There does seem to be a short window between when you can tell the sex and when viability occurs. I would also disagree about not terminating pregnancy because of mental health concerns---and how often does that actually happen? I do think it is something that needs to be discussed.

I ask you to make something clear---you say "First trimester abortions are nobody's business but a woman and her doctor," but then "The sixth month depends on viability and may change with future medical advances. Before that, it's no one's business but the woman's."

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 3 months ago

You leave out late term abortions for gross congenital deformities. These are fetuses that will not attain viability and never will. It was the "mental health" exclusion that permitted those abortions. And, under the new law passed last year, no doctor is permitted, under any circumstances, to declare a fetus "non-viable". So, what are your thoughts regarding this little impasse?

jhawkinsf 6 years, 3 months ago

The way I see it is that as long as the zealots on both sides dominate the conversation, there will never be a solution. Let me give you an example. About a year ago, I read on the internet an article about a woman in Australia who had an abortion because it was not the gender she wanted. When I mentioned it in this forum, I was promptly told that is was probably a hoax. Well, about six weeks ago, the N.Y. Times Magazine Section ran an article about women who conceived multiple fetuses and wanted to reduce to just one. Some woman just asked the doctor to randomly select one. But not every woman chose that path. Gender selection did happen. Is it common? No. Would it be very difficult to enforce a ban like that? Yes. But can't we as a society say that having an abortion for the purpose of gender selection is contrary to the values that we as a society hold without radicals on one side saying we are violating a woman's "right"? Or how about the problem that giving birth involves some risk. We can reduce the risk, but it will never be zero risk. Does that mean that terminating any pregnancy can be justified because of that risk? Might that happen? Well, my experience in California was that if you want a doctor to sign off on something, there is a willing doctor. Look at the medical marijuana issue. It's a joke. Legitimate medical concerns have been overwhelmed by scam doctors signing off in an assembly line mentality. My concern that the very real risk of childbirth, while small, can be used to legitimize every single abortion request. All you need to do is find a willing doctor, and as I said about medical marijuana, willing doctors will be out there. Now Cait, to your question. I absolutely agree with you. The circumstances you mention are undeniably so difficult, I really can't imagine. And the decisions a woman makes in that circumstance is none of anybody's business. But do I also believe that it will be limited to that? No. There will be some women out there and some willing doctor who will perform abortions because the pregnancy is "bumming" her out. They may change the lingo, but the result will be the same. When we can all speak honestly and respectfully to each other, with a willingness to compromise while also setting reasonable standards, then maybe common ground can be found. The shouting from the extremes will fall on deaf ears.

Mary Alexander 6 years, 3 months ago

I agree with you jhawkinsf concerning talking but this personhood thing is just wrong!!

Kirk Larson 6 years, 3 months ago

Freedom of Choice. It's the American Way!

verity 6 years, 3 months ago

I find it incomprehensible and absolutely outrageous that a constitutional amendment could be put on the ballot in an election in which many voters aren't allowed to vote. There is absolutely N O defense for such a blatant wrong.

This would most likely skew the vote even more than putting the new voting requirements in place before we've had time to deal with with the changes.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

That's a very good point.

Why is this even allowed? Any constitutional amendments should be voted on by all eligible voters, I would think.

However, it's just another reason to register as a Republican, so we can vote on this.

verity 6 years, 3 months ago

Which I am going to hold my nose and do.

It's time to Take Back Our State !

jayhawxrok 6 years, 3 months ago

Anyone surprised Brownback the zealot and his monions did this? The evangeicals, America's Taliban just can't come to terms with the fact abortion is a legal medical procedure and whether they like it or not, America is not now, has never been and will never be a theocracy.

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