Kansas legislature

Kansas Legislature

Anti-abortion bill expected to win final approval this week

April 3, 2013

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— The Kansas Senate approved new restrictions for abortion providers Tuesday, moving the state’s most-sweeping legislation on the issue this year close to final passage.

The vote was 29-11 on a measure blocking tax breaks for abortion providers and prohibiting them from furnishing materials or instructors for sex education classes in public schools. The measure also would prevent abortion patients from including abortion costs when deducting medical expenses on their state income taxes.

The bill spells out in greater detail what information doctors must provide to patients before performing abortions, including information about abortion and breast cancer. Scientists convened by the National Cancer Institute in 2003 concluded abortion did not raise the risk of breast cancer, but abortion opponents point to evidence that carrying a fetus to term can lessen the risk.

The measure also declares life begins “at fertilization” and that “unborn children” have interests “that should be protected.”

The House approved the legislation last month. Senators made technical changes, and House members must review the revisions before the measure can go to Gov. Sam Brownback. But supporters of the bill expect the House’s review to be a formality and the bill to win final legislative approval this week.

“I don’t have any immediate concerns about it,” said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lance Kinzer, an Olathe Republican and a leader among anti-abortion lawmakers.

Both chambers have solid anti-abortion majorities, and the Republican governor is a strong abortion opponent. Brownback has signed anti-abortion measures into law since taking office in January 2011.

Threat perceived

This year’s legislation is less restrictive than a new North Dakota law that bans abortions as early as the sixth week of pregnancy or a new Arkansas law prohibiting most abortions after the 12th week. But abortion-rights advocates still view the Kansas measure as a major threat to abortion access.

Both chambers rejected proposals to add specific exceptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest to all of the state’s abortion restrictions, and senators refused to add language supplementing existing legal protections for access to birth control.

Rep. Barbara Bollier, a Mission Hills Republican who supports abortion rights, said the bill not only injects abortion politics into tax policy but invades women’s privacy. Also, she said, it would create a hostile environment that discourages health care providers from performing even a few abortions in medical emergencies.

“We’re going into a whole different realm,” Bollier said. “It becomes a police state, where you’re afraid.”

‘Meaningful step’

Abortion opponents see such criticism as overheated but also believe the measure would continue a trend in which the state has seen abortions decline 37 percent during the past decade. Kansans for Life, the most influential anti-abortion group at the Statehouse, has urged legislators to avoid headline-grabbing initiatives likely to face court challenges in favor of incremental changes.

“I would call it a small but meaningful step forward,” Kinzer said.

The provisions dealing with tax breaks are designed to prevent the state from subsidizing abortions even indirectly. For example, an abortion provider could not claim the same exemption from the state sales tax on what it purchases that other health care providers receive.

Kinzer said he doubts providers claim many of the tax breaks that would be denied to them under the bill. He also acknowledged he doesn’t know of any recent examples of abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood being invited by public schools to participate in sex education classes.

But he said enacting restrictions in law would at least prevent such situations in the future.

Comments

Pepe 2 years, 3 months ago

With statements like this, I hope you have never accused anyone of being intolerant, particularly any Christian. You sound pretty intolerant yourself.

avarom 2 years, 3 months ago

Well, quite a few women just left the Republican Party with this Bill... .....So Ladies.....You know how we do it...........Don't get Mad..........Just Get Even!!I I know you all will look Gorgeous in Blue. One good reason....to leave the Repubican party!! (Pun Intended)

avarom 2 years, 3 months ago

The women of Kansas now need to get extra money from the state and the IRS. Since the state now says that life begins a fertilization, if a woman got pregnant late last year, she can now have a deduction on her tax form for state and federal tax. She can also get extra money from the state if she is on state assistance and can get it from the time that she got pregnant. The only way to stop these men from enacting their own sharia law is to take money from their pockets.

Janis Pool 2 years, 3 months ago

The care for an endangered mother or a mother carrying a baby whose has passed on in utero, as of this bill, are all on her back to pay for-no matter her income level. I protest.

Smarmy_Schoolmarm 2 years, 3 months ago

You're protesting in the wrong place to the wrong people poolside.

usesomesense 2 years, 3 months ago

My main point of confusion is why eliminate sex education? Seems like that leads to more unplanned pregnancies to me!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 3 months ago

Seems like it's also a violation of first amendment rights.

Mike1949 2 years, 3 months ago

This bill walks on just about every conceivable right of not only Kansans, but US citizens. I don't intend to be disrespectful, but this bill puts Kansas as one of the worst states to live in or be from. It's like going back to post civil war!

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 3 months ago

By all means, be disrespectful. Respect is earned and this legislature simply doesn't deserve it.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 3 months ago

"“I don’t have any immediate concerns about it,” said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lance Kinzer, an Olathe Republican and a leader among anti-abortion lawmakers."

Lance is much more interested in projecting his Talibanish morality into medical decisions that should be left to women and their doctors than in respecting their constitutional rights.

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 3 months ago

Here's some things to look for under this law.
1. All forms of contraception that do not actively block conception, such as IUDs, will be immediately outlawed. There is potential for hormonal contraception to be outlawed as well because, on the rare occasions that it fails, it can be detrimental to the zygote.
2. Any woman that knowingly or unknowingly exposes a zygote/embryo/fetus to an endangering situation will be liable for criminal charges. This will include (but not be limited to):
a. Being in a speeding car (as the driver or not).
b. Being in a car accident.(as the at fault driver or not).
c. Exposing the developing zygote to chemical substances; alcohol, illegal and legal drugs (including over the counter drugs), certain paints, cleaning products and other household products, etc..
d. Having any kind of accident; slips, falls, etc.
e. Attempting suicide.
f. Being in a physically abusive relationship.
3. Pregnant women can (and will be) incarcerated for the safety of the fetus until delivery at the discretion of the state (and possibly beyond for potential fetal endangerment).
4. All abortion will be outlawed, no exceptions, even to save the mother's life.

You think this can't happen here? Think again. Buried in this new law is the following language:
"(1) The life of each human being begins at fertilization;
(2) unborn children have interests in life, health and well-being that should be protected...
On and after July 1, 2013, the laws of this state shall be interpreted and construed to acknowledge on behalf of the unborn child at every stage of development, all the rights, privileges and immunities available to other persons, citizens and residents of this state,..."

All I have to say is that if I were a woman of child bearing age I would be taking immediate steps to leave the state.

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 3 months ago

I've thought of more stuff.
Exposing the fetus to animal waste (dog, cat or bird poop) or any other potential source of infection, such as going out in public in flu season.
Forcing women to undergo unwanted (and potentially life threatening) cesarean sections.
Can anybody think of anything else? (This is a very macabre and unfunny game.)

Nevernever 2 years, 3 months ago

Smoking, or being near second hand smoke.

Ugh, not even a game I want to play. Too scary. It's like you become able to be pregnant and suddenly lose all rights and body autonomy because you potentially could harm a fetus if you have intercourse.

mom_of_three 2 years, 3 months ago

I hope that someone sues and it gets thrown out before it even hurts anyone.

fiddleback 2 years, 3 months ago

item c reminds me of the film Citizen Ruth...

I've tended to think of this "life begins at fertilization" travesty as comparable to a new sodomy law--heinously unjust and constitutionally illiterate to say the least, but also with hopelessly rare and dubious opportunities for actual enforcement. I would think that the second that any agency attempts to prevent OBGYN's from installing IUD's, or tries to charge a woman with fetal endangerment, this law is toast. In fact, I'd expect a court's injunction before any lasting enforcement took place.

This makes their supposedly "under-the-radar" approach all the more ridiculous: "Kansans for Life...has urged legislators to avoid headline-grabbing initiatives likely to face court challenges in favor of incremental changes."

As you've illustrated, no law that defines zygotes as having equal human rights is the least bit incremental or free of practical consequences. These dimwits think they're just setting a tone and seemingly have no clue how much they've already overreached. I just hope a court challenge to this law will begin before its ink is dry, regardless of their unlikely intention of ever enforcing it...

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 3 months ago

I hate to tell you, fiddleback, but almost every single one of the things I've mentioned above has already happened. There's too many to give full details but I'm going to give a list of names and circumstances and states. Google them for yourself, if you're interested.
Bei Bei Shui, charged in Indiana with homicide and attempted feticide due to miscarrying after a failed suicide attempt.
Christine Taylor, arrested for attempted feticide in Burlington, IA after falling down a flight of stairs and admitting to an ER nurse that she had contemplated abortion early in her pregnancy.
Angela Carder, Washington D.C., died from a court ordered C-Section that she resisted and failed to save the fetus.
Maria Guerra, Memphis, TN, charged with a DUI and endangering a fetus, despite the fact that she was below the legal limit.
Yuriko Kawaguchi, Cleveland, Ohio, jailed on a misdemeanor charge with a six month sentence, that usually drew only probation, to force her to stay incarcerated past the point that she could have had an early term legal abortion.
Sally DeJesus, Flat Rock, NC, charged with "chemical endangerment" after doing cocaine (for the first time in 11 months) the day before her baby was born. The baby was healthy and suffered no ill effects.
I will give you this link to a very good article on the "criminalisation of pregnancy" in the US.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jan/15/criminalisation-pregnancy-women-study

fiddleback 2 years, 3 months ago

Thanks for the link, Cait. It was very informative, and this story in particular from a mere 3 months ago floored me:

"In Oklahoma, this month, Jamie Lynn Russell, 33, died in agony from a ruptured ectopic pregnancy in jail. Police, who were called to a hospital where Russell sought help for severe abdominal pain, charged her with drug possession after finding two prescription pills that did not belong to her."

http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2013/01/14/dehumanizing-pregnant-women-leads-to-real-loss-life/

http://oklahoma-criminal-defense.com/blog/2013/02/family-suspects-malpractice-after-ectopic-pregnancy-death/

With this happening in a neighboring state, I'm frankly shocked that I didn't read about it, and that there wasn't a much louder call to arms from reproductive rights advocates...

That said, do you have any examples of states prohibiting IUD's? That one is still very hard to imagine...

kuguardgrl13 2 years, 3 months ago

So basically what you're saying is that as a 21 year old female in this state, the government is going to take a very active (and invasive) role in what goes on in my bedroom. Unfortunately I'm here for the next year to finish my degree before I can escape.

kernal 2 years, 3 months ago

"All I have to say is that if I were a woman of child bearing age I would be taking immediate steps to leave the state." Ditto, cait!

Personally, abortion would not be my personal choice. My choice, no one else's and no one breathing down my back to do one or the other. Choice is one of the elements of (or should be) living in a free country. This Kansas legislature is an abomination and cares little for reality, truth or the people who it is supposed to represent. The conservative right only represent their own special interests and the corporations that own them and it will take decades to fix what they are breaking, just as it will for Florida, Wisconsin and Texas.

jjt 2 years, 3 months ago

I have asked before and will try again to see if any one can deal with the "life begins an fertilization" part. Not saying it does or does not, but if the law says it does what is the actual deal going to be with women who use IUDs or have used IUDs. One can joke about check points at the state borders and fly overs but will the law mean that a lady who has used an IUD is liable in law for something. I just wish someone who supports this bill would answer the question. I would like them to address the issue of a dead fetus or one with out a head rare I know but it happens and why a mother should be forced to carry til term for others religious reasons.

2 years, 3 months ago

I'm not a lawyer so I can't answer your first question. As for the last question, being pro-life isn't just about someone's religious beliefs. Many of our laws are based the morality we choose, as a society, to live in. You can't kill people, steal, fraud, vandalize. Also, most of society doesn't allow euthanasia, polygamy; we favor the life of children over that of adults if the situation forces a choice; and so on. Saying that we can kill a fetus just because it can't survive on its own redraws a line for our society's morality. If we can kill an unborn child because it can't support itself, what does that say for our senior citizens in nursing homes? I want to protect life (the fetus with a full set of unique human DNA) whether it happens to be in a woman's womb (through her own set of choices) or at a nursing home sleeping with an oxygen machine. Abortion (excluding the .1% rape/incest) is about maintaining the sexual culture our society has created. It's only purpose is to bail out a potential mother from facing the consequences of having sex.

jayhaitch 2 years, 3 months ago

Thank heaven they're about finished with this. Now they can devote full attention to the witch-burning statute.

fiddleback 2 years, 3 months ago

I agree with Sir Bedivere that they need a larger scale to see if she weighs the same as that duck...

Greg Cooper 2 years, 3 months ago

Unbelievable. Unreallystupidlywomanhatinglybelievable.

Thomas Bryce 2 years, 3 months ago

The sooner they Pass it, the sooner the courts will strike it down. Another "Jobs Bill" For the Legal Eagles. "Stupid is as Stupid Does". Thanks again, Kansas Legislature. The Hole is getting deeper by the day. Be careful you don't bury yourselves in your own Stupidity.

Larry Sturm 2 years, 3 months ago

What ever the govenor wants his sheep will follow.

Greg Cooper 2 years, 3 months ago

Just a thought: can you tell me, IKU57, just how has Obama intruded into the personal, private, sexual lives of the citizens of the United States?

You don't have to like, or even agree with Obama, and you can rag on him all you like, since it's a free country, but there is no way on earth that even you can justify this bill, except by being the sheep for Brownback that you continually exhibit in your posts.

Pepe 2 years, 3 months ago

I would say that Obama's killing of US citizens (Samir Khan, among others), without any sort of trial or due process, via drone attack is a pretty good example of him intruding into the lives of citizens of the US.

Greg Cooper 2 years, 3 months ago

OK, then, pepe, you equate the war on terrorism, in which this man was engaged, to the war on women in which Brownback's administration is engaqged. Great analogy. Why don't you tell this to your daughter, and those of all the citizens of Kansas.

Pepe 2 years, 3 months ago

Whoa, lighten up Francis. I made no analogies whatsoever and gave no opinion re: the proposed legislation in question. You asked the question of how has Obama intruded into the personal lives of American citizens and I answered that question. I would say that killing a citizen via drone of the US without due process is a pretty significant intrusion on that person's life.

Thomas Bryce 2 years, 3 months ago

What Type of "Due Process" are women receiving with this type of Legislation? None. They are being condemned as whores and murderers for seeking birth control and healthcare. THAT is a pretty serious intrusion on peoples lives also. Don't you See That?

Greg Cooper 2 years, 3 months ago

Neither my name or my login is Francis. You might learn some basic rules of conversation.

Now, you made an analogy of exactly what I said when you compared Obama's (perfectly legal, war-based) action to that of the Kansas legislature's war on women's rights to their own bodies. And, too, due process is quite a lofty ambition when one is dealing with terrorists and terroristic actions against the United States.

jjt 2 years, 3 months ago

Nearly 7 hours on and no one has seriously answered my question. Who should I ask?

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 3 months ago

No one has the answers, jjt. I certainly don't. You might try asking your state representative, state senator or the governor.

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 3 months ago

A true "small government conservative" would be just as appalled at this twisted travesty of a law as liberal women's right supporters are, WT. I know my dad would be. I'm glad he's no longer alive to see what his beloved Republican party has become. This piece of horse feces has religious right, neo-con stamped all over it.

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 3 months ago

Interesting for you to say that because today's Dem, in many ways, is what the GOP was in the '60's. They're Republican Lite. I doubt very seriously your FIL would put up with the pro corporate, union busting BS of today's GOP.
As for any attitude he may have had about abortion, contraception or any other reproductive healthcare, most men of my father's era, whatever party they belonged to, simply had no opinion. They considered it strictly a woman's issue and didn't get involved. Too bad it didn't stay that way.
I AM curious about your "infanticide" comment. The only infanticides I have seen in the news have been women warped and twisted by their religion, not allowed access to real sex education or reproductive health care. Kinda like this woman.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/19/lindsey-lowe-convicted-kill-newborn-twins_n_2910520.html
Links, WristTwister. They're a wonderful thing.

gastrawn 2 years, 3 months ago

cut and pasted from the bill "Nothing in this section shall be construed as creating a cause of action against a woman for indirectly harming her unborn child by failing to properly care for herself or by failing to follow any particular program of prenatal care."

Stephanie Anderson 2 years, 3 months ago

scary. truly scary. If a woman goes to the ER because she's having a miscarriage, the police will be called to investigate whether or not there was intent by the woman in order to determine murder charges or not, and of a course a tox screen. unreal.

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