Kansas legislature

Kansas Legislature

Petitions delivered urging Brownback to veto anti-abortion measures

April 9, 2013


Haley Miller, a senior at Kansas University and representing the KU Commission on the Status of Women, on Tuesday delivers a stack of signed petitions to Gov. Sam Brownback's office, urging the governor to veto anti-abortion bills.

Haley Miller, a senior at Kansas University and representing the KU Commission on the Status of Women, on Tuesday delivers a stack of signed petitions to Gov. Sam Brownback's office, urging the governor to veto anti-abortion bills.

— Abortion rights supporters on Tuesday pleaded with Gov. Sam Brownback to veto proposed abortion restrictions approved by the Legislature, saying the bills will endanger women's health.

As they delivered petitions with 1,600 signatures, they warned that a declaration in one bill that human life "begins at fertilization" and that unborn children have interests that should be protected will pave the way for more obstacles to safe abortions.

"That preamble language is dangerous," said Holly Weatherford of the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas and Western Missouri.

Weatherford noted that the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue has already cited the life begins at fertilization stance as an opportunity for further restrictions.

Operation Rescue said the bill could be used for lawsuits by parents or grandparents who want to block abortions or to have law enforcement scrutinize clinics.

"For me this is just delightful, Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue, said recently. "It opens up so many avenues."

Despite the petition from abortion rights groups, Brownback, an ardent opponent of abortion, will likely sign the bills into law.

In addition to declaring when life begins, House Bill 2253 is a wide-ranging proposal that blocks tax breaks for abortion providers and tax deductions for medical expenses for an abortion. The bill also requires that physicians provide women information about breast cancer as a potential risk of abortion. The National Cancer Institute has concluded that abortion doesn’t increase the risk of cancer.

And the measure includes a ban on sex-selection abortions, even though no evidence has been presented that this happens in Kansas.

Brownback also has on his desk Senate Bill 142, which would prevent parents of a child born with birth defects from suing their doctor under a “wrongful birth” claim.

Kansans for Life described the bill as “civil rights for the unborn,” but abortion rights advocates said the proposal would allow a doctor to not tell a woman that her fetus has a severe defect because of the doctor’s concern over a potential abortion.

At a news conference, Elise Higgins, of the Kansas National Organization for Women, said the bills intrude on the doctor-patient relationship and put government in charge of decisions best left to women and their families.

"Politicians are not doctors and they should not pretend to be," Higgins said. "Abortion is a deeply personal and often complex decision. You cannot make that decision for someone else."

Sen. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence, said HB 2253 was rushed through the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee in one day. That led to mistakes in the measure, she said.

"We shouldn't have the Public Health Committee writing tax code," she said.

When Francisco and others in the Senate tried to amend the bill on the floor of the Senate to make exemptions for victims of rape and incest, supporters of the bill accused her of trying to run "gotcha" amendments. Francisco said she was trying to ensure that people in dire situations weren't being punished.

Rev. Joshua Longbottom, associate pastor at Plymouth Congregational Church in Lawrence, said he has provided pastoral care to women facing difficult decisions about their pregnancies.

"I believe these women are the best moral agents for making those decisions without government intrusion," Longbottom said. He added, "The more difficult that abortions become, the more young women's lives will be put in danger."

Haley Miller, a senior at Kansas University and representing the KU Commission on the Status of Women, criticized the "wrongful birth" proposal. "A woman has a right to know the truth about her pregnancy," she said.

And Gail James, representing the Mainstream Coalition, said, "These bills are really about politics; they are not about medicine."

James said many women are upset with Brownback's policies on abortion. "Gov. Brownback please pay attention. The women of Kansas are paying attention," she said.


Agnostick 1 year ago

I suggest it be called the SPA movement

Sustained Post-birth Abortion


Cait McKnelly 1 year ago

In other news, child poverty in Kansas has reached a whopping 21%. Nearly half of all Kansas children receive either free or reduced lunches at school. For every 100 children that are eligible for Head Start early education, there are less than 7 slots available.
This gives the face to the saying that, to Republicans, "if you're "preborn", you're fine. If you're preschool, you're &^%$ed".
Screaming about "the babiieeesss" isn't just hypocritical, it's heartless and cruel when those children are left in poverty.

“I do not believe that just because you’re opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don’t? Because you don’t want any tax money to go there. That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.” — Sister Joan Chittister, Catholic Nun

This is the culture of "Post birth abortion" that Sam Brownback espouses. These are the crack addicted and fetal alcohol syndrome kids that die before the age of five and are incinerated and/or buried in unmarked graves by the welfare system. These are the kids of mentally ill mothers that beat them and bruise them and neglect and starve them, even when they have food stamps. These are the kids that go for years being sexually abused, run away from home at the age of thirteen to try and escape the hell and end up being sex trafficed, going from one hell to another. Then they have kids of their own and perpetuate the cycle all over again. These are the kids that end up in foster care, a special hell of it's own. They are unadoptable. They're too old, not the right color, have overwhelming disabilities like autism where they scream at 14 hours a stretch. TANF has a 48 month lifetime cap. Just what the heck do you think happens to those kids when that 48 months is up?
Your new laws will force more babies to be born, alright. Straight into the arms of hell. And your governor talk about a "culture of life".
Yeah. Right.


Cait McKnelly 1 year ago

It still blows me away that, just by being elected to a governmental position, career politicians like Sammie and people that own car dealerships, furniture stores and insurance agencies suddenly also get a medical degree and think they can invade the exam rooms and bedrooms of the citizens they "represent". I find something just a little sick and voyeuristic about it, don't you?


1 year ago

Has anyone noticed that the majority of the anti-choice arguments are religious, and fear and emotion based (rtwngr included) with little else to support the argument. In that respect, they appear to believe in Freedom of Religion as long as it's theirs. They can't understand that Freedom of Religion also means Freedom from Religion. I don't think I need to explain anything here.

I would hazard a guess that the anti-choice concept of reproduction follows that of Nicolas Hartsoeker who discovered preformed humans in semen that when placed in the woman's womb grew into a human being. This places their understanding at the level of that from the late 1600's. (See picture).

Preformation, drawn by N. Hartsoecker 1695


daviskan 1 year ago

I hope the "non Far Rightous" are saving all of this so they can present candidates that would present reasonable legislation that is for the people for and not that which is prepared by semi hate groups.


autie 1 year ago

Sam does not care about people. He is a domestic terrorist of the worst that is hidden in plain site. He would much rather give away thousands of your tax dollars in defending the State when this all goes to court. At the other end he has cut education and reduced access to resources for mothers in poverty. Backwards policy making.


Marci Francisco 1 year ago

For the record, my amendments addressed exemptions for rape and the life of the mother.

Senator Marci Francisco


Mike1949 1 year ago

I am reminded of the Salem trials, government trying to influence societies acknowledgment of basic behavior. It is called TIERNEY!


Ray Parker 1 year ago

Sherry West, a member of abortionist quack Kermit Gosnell’s Philadelphia House-of-Horrors abortion mill killing staff, testified at the mass murder trial that she heard a newborn screaming during a botched late-term abortion. She said the infant, 18 to 24 inches in length, sounded like an alien. We know what happened to the baby, the neck would have been cut open, like the other live-birth abortions. West, having suffered a nervous breakdown and a hepatitis C infection and being on a Prozac prescription, was paid under the table by Gosnell, for obvious reasons. These are some of the reasons we need to enforce more inspections, restrictions, and safety regulations in abortion mills, until we can get them out of Kansas.

March for Life

March for Life by parkay


Ray Parker 1 year ago

These incremental pro-life bills are necessary to be enacted on our pathway to abolition of elective abortions in Kansas. Any vetoes, and we get ourselves a more pro-life governor.

Thumbs up

Thumbs up by parkay


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