Kansas legislature

Kansas Legislature

Sweeping abortion bill approved by Kansas House committee

March 7, 2013


— A bill that declares life begins at fertilization, removes tax credits for abortion procedures and decreases the ability for a woman to terminate a pregnancy was approved by a House committee on Thursday.

House Bill 2253 sailed out of the House Federal and State Affairs Committee on a voice vote with four Democrats asking to be recorded as opposed.

Much of Thursday's debate focused on a portion of the bill designed to prevent abortion providers from furnishing any course materials or information relating to human sexuality in classrooms.

But several committee members said the provision was written so broadly it would have prevented a parent who worked for an abortion provider from being able to volunteer in his or her child's class on a field trip or bring cupcakes for a classroom party.

State Rep. Emily Perry, D-Mission, provided an amendment to allow those volunteers in the classroom.

But state Rep. Allan Rothlisberg, R-Grandview Plaza, opposed it, saying, "If we're having people in our education system, I don't want them involved in any way, shape or form or manner in killing children, killing babies."

Perry's amendment, however, was adopted. She later abstained on voting for the entire bill, which now goes to the full House.

The 70-page bill touches on many aspects of abortion regulation in Kansas.

Abortion rights supporters have said the measure is so sweeping that it would trigger a complete ban on abortion if the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade decision that declared a constitutional right to abortion.

But abortion opponents have denied that is the case, calling the proposed changes in step with what most Kansans think about abortion.

The measure declares that "the life of each human being begins at fertilization" and "unborn children have interests in life, health and well-being that should be protected."

"Codifications of these principles is legally, scientifically and morally sound," said Michael Schuttlofel, executive director of the Kansas Catholic Conference.

Under the bill, a woman would not be able to get a late-term abortion based on a medical diagnosis that the woman will kill or harm herself.

Julie Burkhart, executive director and founder of Wichita-based Trust Women, said, "This bill excludes mental health considerations and is clearly unconstitutional on both the state and federal levels."

In addition, the bill denies a woman who had an abortion the ability to deduct abortion-related expenses for tax purposes and eliminates tax credits and exemptions to anyone providing an abortion.


Liberty275 1 year, 1 month ago

My position on abortion is clear. It is a woman's right to abort any fetus inside her body any time for any reason. No limitations other than for younger girls (and then only as needed for their protection). I am pro-abortion.

I am also pro-gun.

As hard as you on the left might fight laws restricting abortion, the right is going to fight laws restricting gun ownership. I suggest those of you on both sides take this opportunity to empathize with your enemy and learn to respect the rights they hold dear, even the rights you have no use for.

I suggest it. I don't expect it. I expect you to abandon your own rights so they can be taken from someone else. The lot of you will cut off your noses to spite your faces.


hipgrrrrl 1 year, 1 month ago

As read this on the morning of my eldest child's birthday, a child who was conceived in a time of great flux and difficulty in my life, I am unbelievably grateful that I did not give into the immediate impulse to run, not walk, to the local abortion clinic when I realized I was pregnant.

My child has given me untold gifts due to the simple fact that she exists- and if I had chosen to give her up for adoption, she would have shared those gifts with someone else - who would also undoubtedly be grateful for my choice to proceed with my pregnancy - a small matter of nine months of what will, God willing, be a long life.

I will be forever grateful that I thought of her and not just myself at that time.


Cait McKnelly 1 year, 1 month ago

By the way, this whole "cupcake" controversy is an enormous red flag that these people aren't nearly as interested in actually "protecting the unborn" as they are in punishing the "soiled doves" that go to these clinics and punishing the people that take care of them. Why don't you just demand they pass out scarlet "A"s?


moxibustion 1 year, 1 month ago

Every child should be a wanted child. 18% of children in Kansas live in poverty. I'm sure that number will increase at a staggering rate if this bill goes into effect.

No method of birth control is 100%, except celibacy. Which isn't realistic for the majority of the human race. It really doesn't matter HOW a woman gets pregnant. Stupidity, recklessness, rape, incest. It's all the same if it's an unwanted child.

Where the hell is the TRUST in a woman to decide for herself what is right for her? If someone doesn't want a child - for whatever reason - why should she be FORCED to? Some people just shouldn't be parents, and sometimes having an abortion IS the most responsible choice a woman can make.

The chances of an child to thrive in love, health, and emotional stability that is born to a situation in which they are unwanted faces insurmountable odds. And the state of Kansas isn't going to be there to help, either.

Being forced to have a child that you do not want is punishment - not just for the woman, but the innocent child, and society.



avarom 1 year, 1 month ago

The ability of a woman to have control of her body is critical to civil rights. Take away her reproductive choice and you step onto a slippery slope. If the government can force a woman to continue a pregnancy, what about forcing a woman to use contraception or undergo sterilization.....all about government control. Take out a life insurance on your zygote...if you don't make it to term, for natural causes......does that allow you to collect from the life insurance for a death in the family?? And, please don't forget about the tax deduction and social security card............obtain that at fertilization, and if you have twins or triplets take out multiple policies.....


John McCoy 1 year, 1 month ago

The Kansas legislature's obsession with my daughter's uterus just boggles. Kansas is still bleeding. Is it coincidental that so many woman haters are elected by the people of this great state, or are the ideas of Kansans reflected in the men whom they elect? I hope it is the former. How mean this place has become!


Cait McKnelly 1 year, 1 month ago

Katara, did anyone else notice that also on International Women's Day, the legislature defeated a bill that would put regulations on strip clubs?
The hypocrisy. It burns.


Katara 1 year, 1 month ago

So all these comments and no one noticed that this happened on International Women's Day?


Norm Jennings 1 year, 1 month ago

I guess I only hope that every congress-person that votes for this knows that they are leading with love, and not being judgmental or hypocritical.

I'm hoping they come home and love their multiracial, teenage, adopted child born with a drug addictions, and still living with multiple challenges. I'm sure this is true in some cases, and I applaud them. If some are not, I hope they look in the mirror, and ask if there really is a shortage of couples willing to adopt white, healthy, "normal," infants? Without abortion as an option, I would expect political leaders legislating as Morality enforcers, might recognize that the ultimate judge might wonder if they are not at the front of the line for taking on the most challenging foster children and/or long-adoption-seeking kids.

This isn't even touching on diagnoses made in utero of fetuses doomed to shortened, and excurciatingly painful congenital disorders that were impossible to detect until past the first trimester. While I would hope to have the "moral compass" to do the "right thing," how as a wannabe Christian could I judge a woman and/or couple who felt that they were led that the more godly decision was a late-term abortion?

If we have godly hearts, maybe we will find the way toward more love and compassion than legislative "enforcing."


jonas_opines 1 year, 1 month ago

"Should a man be made, by court ordered wage garnishment, to pay child support for a new born baby given the mother had the choice of an abortion?"

Sure, but we'll give them a pass until the fetus is viable, if you insist. With exception in case of rape or the life of the father.

How does that sound?


scaramouchepart2 1 year, 1 month ago

It is amazing those who blame women for getting pregnant , not the man, are also the ones who force women to consider abortion. Your disdain and shame you place on the female, not the other half provider for the child. Yet in many cases it is the new dad who wants the abortion. Does he pay any penalties under this new concept. There are a few reasons to consider it, health, rape, the daddy wants the abortion or fear of shame. Thankfully, this one is waning. 100% of women I know who thought about it, the reason was fear, but then decided to have the child. They are hardworking income providing women. I know,, not all, but despite so many beliefs that, " it's a quick decision for some vain reason". Vanity is in cases of unusual women. Condemnation comes from those who support making abortion illegal, but they are the first to cause women to consider abortion. Never ending circle and the only thing accomplished is more room for you to condemn. Do I support Radom sex for teenagers, no. . I believe in Christ and his preachings of forgiveness. Many who condem claim to be Chistian, but look to the old testament to find reason not to follow Christ's teachings of love and forgiveness. For those who do not want religion in this discussion, man has a natural drive for sex and it takes two to create a child. Somewhere three things must happen to stop abortion, lose condemnation, daddy's who don't want to be, and acceptance that health issues do count. Rape children is question that needs to have reasonable considerations and discussions to find an acceptable practice. Condemnation has to go first. Acceptance that women are not the only one responsible and they are entitled fundamental rights by the Constitution. This act triggers the Constitution and therefore, the state has over step their state rights.


Pork_Ribs 1 year, 1 month ago

So my big question that the lefties are avoiding and I can't seem to get any opinions on: Should a man be made, by court ordered wage garnishment, to pay child support for a new born baby given the mother had the choice of an abortion?


kalgarin 1 year, 1 month ago

Our state is in real trouble here....really big trouble


asixbury 1 year, 1 month ago

The belief that a fetus is a human in all the rights given is a very new, modern concept. Even if it were determined beyond doubt by scientific evidence that a fetus is fully human in every way, it still does not mean that fetus has more rights than the mother. It is a slippery-slope when you take rights away from a woman simply because she can become pregnant. Whether or not abortion is morally right or wrong does not matter in the grand scope of things. An individual (already born) rights are more important than a mass of cells with the potential to someday be human.


yourworstnightmare 1 year, 1 month ago

Interesting juxtaposition with this story:

I guess that death of their way of life and livelihood is the price rural Kansas farmers must pay to stop abortion.


Pork_Ribs 1 year, 1 month ago

So...for all of you pro-abortion "humans": You believe a woman has the right to an abortion for any reason...right?

You'll surely agree then that the male in the equation has the right to walk away as well for any reason without consequence? I'm not talking about the deadbeats that abandon their partner and children. You're ready to vacate all new born child support litigation right?


Milton Bland 1 year, 1 month ago

I get really tired of all the liberal "pro murder' people claiming this is a religious issue. I say B.S. to that. I an anything but religious. I have not been close to a church for 45 years. But abortion is murder, period. If it takes a beating heart, it is murder! You can not sugar-coat the bloody, grotesque, sickening operation that yanks a child out from its mother before it's birth date.. If abortion is ok, then it should also be ok for a woman to decide she does not want to raise a two day old baby, that is is inconvenient, and expensive, so she takes a butcher knife and slices the kid's head off. I agree we need to do something about unwanted children, but aborting them is simply WRONG!


Joe Hyde 1 year, 1 month ago

Don't take your eyes off the money trail associated with House Bill 2253.

This bill is extremely provocative in that it attempts to utterly control the reproductive future of women and the fatherhood future of men. But the provocation is nothing more than a frightened effort to distract public attention from the 2012 tax law.

Who introduced this bill? Republican conservatives. Which representatives in the legislature approved it, and will continue pressing for its passage? Republican conservatives. And who, more than anyone else, has been hand-picking and supporting Republican conservatives with huge, and legally secret, campaign contributions? It's the Koch brothers, and assorted wealthy Kansans who are suddenly free of paying personal state income tax on their annual earnings, thanks to the 2012 Kansas tax law passed by -- you guessed it -- Koch-supported conservative Republicans.

This "abortion bill" is just another cynical, weak-minded effort by Republican conservatives to shield and extend the state tax-exempt status of their business owner daddies.

This bill isn't about "abortion". It's about money; about protecting a massive tax exemption for the rich.


woodscolt 1 year, 1 month ago

Republicans showing us how to get big government even bigger. Big government is ok as long as it is theirs. Can hardly wait for the public lynching of all these tyrants .


Liberty275 1 year, 1 month ago

This might be a good time to remind a few people that stopping abortion is like preventing people from owning AR15s with big magazines or preventing fred felps from telling us who his god hates.

The bear. Sometimes you get it. Sometime it is you that is got. When your right to abortion is gone, you should keep in mind that you haven't lost anything that you haven't tried to take from someone else.


Richard Heckler 1 year, 1 month ago

More BIG Government from the less government liars.


gccs14r 1 year, 1 month ago

Just call us Afkansasstan already and get it over with.


Crazy_Larry 1 year, 1 month ago

Texas scrambles to re-fund family planning after a $73m in savings turns into a projected $273m loss after a huge spike in unplanned births for low-income families.


Paul R Getto 1 year, 1 month ago

Ladies: Start collecting all your used feminine products (red bag them for safety) and mail them either to your legislator or Attorney General Schmidt. Ask them to examine the "evidence" to see if you need to get an attorney to get ready for your impending involuntary manslaughter charge.


Water 1 year, 1 month ago

What's an 11 year old girl to do when her brother gets her pregnant? What's a 12 year old girl to do when Grandpa gets her pregnant? What's a 13 year old girl to do when her stepdad gets her pregnant? What's a 14 year old girl do when her 34 year old Pastor gets her pregnant? Girls, not just women, get pregnant too.


Souki 1 year, 1 month ago

A large portion (half or more) of fertilized eggs never implant in a woman's uterus and thus result in no pregnancy. Presumably the state legislature will take some action to change this. For every child born in Kansas, at least one other "child" has "died" because of this basic biological fact, one that should alarm anyone who would give a fertilized egg the same ethical and legal status as a human being.


Cait McKnelly 1 year, 1 month ago

Words from the judge that overturned Idaho's "fetal pain" law:
“The State's clear disregard of this controlling Supreme Court precedent and its apparent determination to define viability in a manner specifically and repeatedly condemned by the Supreme Court evinces an intent to place an insurmountable obstacle in the path of women seeking non-therapeutic abortions of a nonviable fetus at and after twenty weeks’ gestation,” wrote U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill.
The judge went on to state that it was quite clear that the Idaho legislature had written law in defiance of Roe, giving greater rights to a non-viable fetus than to women themselves.
According to "The Jurist", this decision will only effect Idaho. However, of the 10 other states that have "pain capable" laws that outlaw abortion at 20 weeks (including KS), roughly half have had their laws challenged in Federal court and this decision WILL effect how other Federal judges decide. It will also give those challenging those laws reason to request injunctions barring those laws from being enforced until a decision is handed down.
I REALLY think the Kansas legislature needs to wake up and smell the coffee. Their continuing, brutal onslaught on abortion rights needs to stop. The state has already spent three quarters of a million dollars defending a law that would have done nothing but simply cut Planned Parenthood out of receiving Medicaid funds. When these laws are challenged (and you can bet the house that they will be) that number will soar into the millions. This, in a state that is already looking at a billion dollar deficit in ten years.
Bottom line, the overweening hubris of Brownback and his single party legislature is hitting the end of the line. They are stepping into territory that, no matter how much they may not like it, they can't change because of the supremacy clause. I think what people need to consider is whether or not they want the state to bankrupt itself defending indefensible laws that are doing nothing but tilting at windmills.


gatekeeper 1 year, 1 month ago

The issue of when life begins is a religious issue for most. What happened to my freedom of religion?


Larry Sturm 1 year, 1 month ago

Fund the schools not out of state lawyers.


Wally 1 year, 1 month ago

You catch that one gentlemen? fred says that going forward, no sex for you with any woman who doesn't want to get pregnant today :<


question4u 1 year, 1 month ago

"Under the bill, a woman would not be able to get a late-term abortion based on a medical diagnosis that the woman will kill or harm herself."

In other words, the Kansas House has decided that it's better for a severely deformed fetus to die through the mother's suicide than from an abortion that saves the mother's life.

The Kansas Legislature: abortion by a doctor, thumbs down; simultaneous suicide and self-induced abortion, thumbs up!


donttreadonme 1 year, 1 month ago

The party of "small government" is producing a blizzard of bills aimed at government interference in the lives of citizens.

And the usual sheeple are happy to bend over and acquiesce. I guess conservative logic really is an oxymoron.


Paul R Getto 1 year, 1 month ago

More work for lawyers. I hope they start HOV lanes. Pregnant women can ride in them "alone." Wonder if any OB-GYN's will log in on this one? Ah, KochKansas. Welcome to Muscular Sam's new Middle Ages. Next year they will try to outlaw masturbation. Can't waste sperm either. I believe a bill like this was introduced in Oklahoma last year. These bills are floating around in nearly all the states. Wonder why ALEC is passing them out? They generally want to just get rid of taxes, environmental regulations, unions, immigrants and poor people. Does anyone know why they care about this, or does ALEC have a Tea Party wing as well?


rockchalk1977 1 year, 1 month ago

"eliminates tax credits and exemptions to anyone providing an abortion." Why should Kansas taxpayers subsidize the termination of a human life. If this bill saves even one unborn baby, it's well worth it. Even Norma Leah McCorvey (Jane Roe) has changed her mind about abortion and wants to see Roe vs. Wade overturned.


mom_of_three 1 year, 1 month ago

I would like to know how they justify overriding a woman's right to her own body. They are so concerned with "protecting life," but don't care anything about the life of the woman who is carrying the fetus. Cause I guess once you are born, you are on your own if you are a woman.


Roland Gunslinger 1 year, 1 month ago

"the life of each human being begins at fertilization"

Sweet. You can now start declaring that life on your taxes for a tax deduction, right?


myavaka 1 year, 1 month ago

I don’t have a problem with this legislation if they implement the full range of consequences it brings to the women of Kansas. If life begins at fertilization, then we must ban certain forms of hormonal birth control. In-vitro fertilization must be made illegal, since there is a chance it won’t be successful. What would they do with the extra fertilized eggs? To destroy those would be murder, to exempt in-vitro fertilization from this law is hypocrisy. The state will need to create a new department to investigate miscarriages. Each miscarriage would have to be investigated to make sure it wasn’t caused by a woman with the intent of ending her pregnancy. How long does a woman stay in jail for causing a miscarriage? At what point will the mother need to apply for a Social Security number for the fetus? How much do you think an airline, theater, sport stadium or other venue should charge the fetus for a ticket?


Stephanie Anderson 1 year, 1 month ago

This would also have an impact on fertility treatments in Kansas. Might have to go to surrounding states. My guess is that those doctor's aren't going to mess with zygotes and embryos that might not sustain, and get charged with murder.


Karl_Hungus 1 year, 1 month ago

What makes it worse is the cutting of funding that educates and and gives out birth control devices which will lead to more people seeking an, real smart


scaramouchepart2 1 year, 1 month ago

The gov is not forcing a stop to abortion, and for the most part I do not support them. My niece considered it, but she could not and we were here to help her. Rape is another matter. But a women's rights are fundamental, not just men's . Dummying down Kansas and basically the only ones who can afford to educate their kids, went the way of the dark ages, hitler. Get the hint. Not all the smartest scientists, philosopher, doctor .... Come from wealthy families.

There is movie about the only way one can live is to buy time. Is Kansas planning on trying that. Far fecthed?! with this state government..... I am not so sure.


scaramouchepart2 1 year, 1 month ago

Literally the stoning ages. I guess the gov only wants a very small number of Kansans. He talks business and job growth and then cuts those quality of life issues a company has to have to employ top employees. The product a company puts out is only as good as it workers. You cannot get great workers to move to Kansas if you threaten them!


oldbaldguy 1 year, 1 month ago

I do not like abortion. However our representatives are wasting time and eventually our money as in attorney fees when this bill gets challenged and over turned. Why aren't these folks paying attention to jobs, the Ogallah aquifer, foster placement status, the depopulation of western Kansas and so on? I already know the answer.


KSManimal 1 year, 1 month ago

"the life of each human being begins at fertilization"

Hmm..... And there are 39 days left until income taxes must be filed. I do believe I'm going to claim roughly 39 more dependents on my KS income tax this year. Let's see how far this "life begins at fertilization" goes......


Cait McKnelly 1 year, 1 month ago

Late last night, a Federal judge published a decision striking down Idaho's 20 week abortion ban based on the junk science of "fetal pain". At the same time, he struck down an Idaho law that mandated that all first trimester abortions occur in a clinic or hospital with a physician present, effectively outlawing abortion by RU-486/Cytotec. In the opinion portion of his ruling, he was quite harsh with the Idaho legislature, stating that he found, “compelling evidence of the legislature’s ‘improper purpose’ in enacting it,” " In stating his ruling, he invoked the "undue burden" test developed under Roe in PP VS. Casey.
This may very well go to SCOTUS and be the first real challenge to Roe. That remains to be seen. In the meantime, it would be wise to speculate on what this means for the future of Kansas' anti-abortion laws.


Richard Payton 1 year, 1 month ago

Seems to black and white for me. Allowing course materials in the classroom that teach human sexuality should be allowed not prevented. This action alarms me and I'm not a woman. I would like to think our leaders would have some compassion to woman.


Hooligan_016 1 year, 1 month ago

The measure declares that "the life of each human being begins at fertilization" and "unborn children have interests in life, health and well-being that should be protected."

But those goddamn kids are on their own once they're out of the womb.


consumer1 1 year, 1 month ago

bring cupcakes for a classroom party.

You can't do this anymore either thanks to the liberals. Too much sugar for the kiddies.


frankfussman 1 year, 1 month ago

WHY would a woman put a leech inside her body, in the most private of female places? Why would she put cayenne pepper there? Why might a woman swallow lye? Gunpowder? Why would a woman hit herself about the abdomen with a meat pulverizer? A brickbat? Throw herself down the stairs? Why would she syringe herself, internally, with turpentine? Gin? Drink laundry bluing? Why would she consume medicine made of pulverized Spanish fly?

Because she wanted to end a pregnancy. Historically, women have chosen all those methods to induce abortion.

The first known descriptions appeared around 1500 B.C. in the Ebers Papyrus, an ancient Egyptian medical text that mentioned an abortion engineered by a plant-fiber tampon coated with honey and crushed dates.

For most of history, abortion has been a dangerous procedure a woman attempted to perform on herself. In private. Without painkillers.

If the Supreme Court were ever to overturn Roe v. Wade, or if anti-abortion forces continue to successfully chisel away at a woman’s access to safe abortion, many women will still choose abortion — by their own hands. Leeches, lye and Spanish fly are still among the many tools available to the self-abortionist. So are knitting needles, with predictable, disastrous consequences. There is no law that will end the practice of abortion, only laws that can protect a woman’s right to choose it, or not, and to keep it the safe and private procedure still available to us in 2013, 40 years after the Supreme Court made it legal.

By Kate Manning, page A21, The New York Times, January 22, 2013.


hujiko 1 year, 1 month ago

"But state Rep. Allan Rothlisberg, R-Grandview Plaza, opposed it, saying, "If we're having people in the education system, I don't want them involved in any way, shape or manner in killing babies.""

So now they are concerned about education.


phairen 1 year, 1 month ago

In Kansas we are so adept at walking backwards. It's a good thing we have many great things in Kansas to be proud of, becuase archaic thinking and oppression is not doing it for most of us.


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