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Kansas legislature

Kansas Legislature

Bill targeting sex-selection abortion heard in House committee

March 21, 2013

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— Anti-abortion advocates Thursday urged passage of bills prohibiting abortions based on the sex of the unborn child, and banning lawsuits based on a claim of "wrongful birth."

Senate Bill 142 would prevent parents of a child born with birth defects from suing their doctor under a claim that negligent treatment or advice deprived them of the chance to terminate the pregnancy.

"We consider this bill civil rights for the unborn," Kathy Ostrowski, legislative director of Kansans for Life, told the House Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee.

But abortion rights advocates said the proposal could allow a doctor to not tell a woman that her fetus has a severe defect because of the doctor's concerns over a potential abortion.

Several members of the committee said they had concerns about this too.

After a brief debate, Rep. Blaine Finch, R-Ottawa, said, "We are not completely certain as a committee the effect of the language in this bill."

But supporters of the measure said if a doctor were to intentionally lie to a patient, a lawsuit could be filed based on medical malpractice.

Despite the misgivings by several members, the committee on a voice vote recommended that the full House approve the bill.

Earlier Thursday, another committee heard conflicting testimony over a measure that would prohibit abortions based on the sex of the unborn child.

"The time to end violent discrimination based on gender is long overdue," Jeanne Gawdun, senior lobbyist for Kansans for Life, told the House Federal and State Affairs Committee.

Gawdun said abortion based on gender is almost always targeted against females and occurs in several countries, such as China and India, and among certain cultures in the United States.

She cited research by Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, who testified earlier this session that high boy-birth rates in Asian-American communities in the United States prove gender selection abortion is occurring.

Rep. Annie Tietze, D-Topeka, asked Gawdun how many sex selection abortions have occurred in Kansas.

"We don't have statistics specifically from Kansas," Gawdun said.

The ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri filed testimony against the bill, saying it would interfere with a woman's private medical decisions.

"Rather than passing laws that target particular populations and insert politics into personal, private medical decisions, the Legislature should devote time and resources to passing laws that would improve the lives of women, their families, and their communities," said Holly Weatherford, program director of the ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri.

Senate Bill 141, which was approved in the Senate 37-2, says that anyone who performs an abortion with knowledge that the woman wanted to end her pregnancy because of the sex of the unborn child would be charged with a misdemeanor upon a first conviction and felony upon a subsequent conviction.

In addition, the woman, her husband, or the parents or guardian of a woman under 18, could file a civil lawsuit against the abortion provider.

Michael Shuttloffel, executive director of the Kansas Catholic Conference, told legislators that if they oppose the bill they must think it's OK to end a life "just because she is a girl."

But several members of the committee said that while they opposed abortion because of the gender of the unborn, it would be difficult to prove an abortion was done based on sex selection.

Comments

foxli 1 year, 9 months ago

Oh, look. Another abortion bill.

Don't they have anything better to do?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 9 months ago

So, what sort of test will they apply to women seeking abortions to make sure it isn't a "gender-selection abortion?" Maybe a little torture would do the trick to determine intention? How about a little electrical shock to the genital region? That should do it.

jhawkinsf 1 year, 9 months ago

Perhaps it would be best if no attempt was made at all to enforce the law, the law passed simply as a statement that we as a people find abortions for the purposes of gender selection to be a repugnant practice.

Katara 1 year, 9 months ago

That is called a resolution, which the Legislature could have done at any point in time without wasting tax payer money.

absolutelyridiculous 1 year, 9 months ago

How nice of the ACLU to come to the rescue. I wish they'd provide testimony for my right to religious freedom.

absolutelyridiculous 1 year, 9 months ago

Worship has nothing to do with this topic. I wasn't trying to force my beliefs on anyone. I just don't care to enable your irresponsible abuse of you sexuality and the consequences of it by paying for contraception or abortion. I should have that freedom. While you are at it, why don't you make Jews eat pork.

leaningleftist 1 year, 9 months ago

Yeah great point, you do have that freedom or is someone forcing you to have an abortion? How about you people start worrying about yourselves and butt out of everyone else's life. Guess what I want my tax dollars to fund education and not this crap, I deal with it. If you don't like the law of the land shove off then

mom_of_three 1 year, 9 months ago

because a woman by herself can make a baby??? hardly....

verity 1 year, 9 months ago

I wish I had the freedom not to pay for endless wars.

headdoctor 1 year, 9 months ago

What a crock. You have religious freedom and you are not persecuted. Most of you that use that term are clueless of the meaning. You expect your freedom but don't even think twice about taking the freedom away from someone else especially when you can hide behind the laws cooked up by the Republican zealots.

leaningleftist 1 year, 9 months ago

Or they are providing testimony for my freedom from religion, you people make me sick.

absolutelyridiculous 1 year, 9 months ago

Huh? That's funny, cause when they were at my front door, trying to get my membership, they referred to me an an extremist that must be stopped. Exact words.

leaningleftist 1 year, 9 months ago

That's probably because people like you forcing your imaginary beliefs on society do need to be stopped. I do not care about your beliefs until you trample on mine.

Michael LoBurgio 1 year, 9 months ago

Breaking news 3/21/13 UPDATE: This morning, House Republicans approved a $400 million middle class tax increase. Last week, Senate Republicans approved $500 million middle class tax hike. The Governor's latest tax plan includes a $700 million middle class tax hike. All of these proposals were introduced to pay for tax cuts Governor Brownback pushed through in 2012, which give the top earners in the state an average tax cut of about $20,000 while enabling business owners go income tax free. None of these plans will generate enough revenue to allow for restored funding of Kansas schools. Please share - your neighbors need to know what is happening in Statehouse.

verity 1 year, 9 months ago

But, . . . but . . . but . . . it's more important that we legislate against all those sex selection abortions which we have no proof of happening at all.

absolutelyridiculous 1 year, 9 months ago

leaningleftist's ignorance sheds light on the problem with today's society.

First, you are selling yourself short. You have settled for a lesser way of life by subscribing to lie that sexual freedom has no associated responsibility. When you settle, you sell yourself, the unborn and the others you use for your pleasure short.

Second, the claim that I am trying to force my "imaginary" beliefs couldn't be further from the truth. I didn't ask you to subscribe to my way of thinking. I just asked that I not have to pay for YOUR way of thinking. I will take responsibility for MY way of living, my sexual health and well being. You are certainly free to go live a hedonistic way of life. I won't try to stop you. I can't

Thirdly, the ACLU won't defend my religious freedom because it would be a conflict with the other "imaginary" rights they are defending. And honestly folks, it comes down to money. No one is going to give them money if they defend me and my kind.

So my dear leaning leftist friend, what truth are you trying to defend? And what grounds do you base your accusations on? The more you talk, the more lies the come out of your mouth. Are you not a hypocrite of the first right? If that's the case, I will gladly abdicate the throne to you and your Chinese counterparts.

Aborting a fetus because it's the "wrong" sex, is murder and a civil rights issue.

When will the tanks roll in?

UneasyRider 1 year, 9 months ago

And exactly how many cases of sex selection abortion can you document in KS or for that matter anywhere in this country?

jhawkinsf 1 year, 9 months ago

There have been many, many, many cases of patients lying to their doctors and doctors either believing those lies or acting despite the lies. To assume that it happens with a variety of issues, but not at all with this issue, seems foolish to me.

UneasyRider 1 year, 9 months ago

So another case of a solution looking for a problem to solve.

chootspa 1 year, 9 months ago

If I had a nickel for every truthy anecdote I've fact-checked with a single Google search, I could hire a minimum wage worker to go do it for me.

chootspa 1 year, 9 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

chootspa 1 year, 9 months ago

I'm sorry, that anecdote has exactly what to do with the concept that every child should be a wanted child? You may be stuck on trying to prove or disprove whether or not Californian drug seekers lie to their doctors, but I don't care. Not only is this law unenforceable, it's morally wrong. It's designed to force a woman to birth an unwanted child. I don't care if that woman doesn't want the child for a reason I think is a bad reason. They don't want to be pregnant. End of story.

jhawkinsf 1 year, 9 months ago

KansasLiberal - I'm curious as to why you criticize my comment, but then provide a link further down the thread that includes a study where 65 Indian American women were interviewed, all of them having admitted to having abortions because they were bearing girls. If it's your contention that these types of abortions are rare, I agree. If you're suggesting they are non-existant, your link disagrees. If you're suggesting you are opposed to this type of legislation, you are entitled to your opinion, as I am entitled to mine. But the "facts" support my position. Just click your link.

leaningleftist 1 year, 9 months ago

First off this isn't China. 2nd I've never heard of a chilld being aborted in the US because of the sex of the child. Please provide a link that states otherwise because I cannot find one. To answer your question the "truth" I'm trying to defend is no matter your individual beliefs we are a collective and because one group has a problem with an issue then it is a intrusion onto yours as you claim. Because you believe aborting a fetus is wrong, then that's your prerogative. I don't agree but understand your point. My issue is just because you don't agree with it doesn't mean your rights are being trampled on.

absolutelyridiculous 1 year, 9 months ago

Ah class. A perfect example of relativism. Classic. I could have predicted this response.

absolutelyridiculous 1 year, 9 months ago

How are we NOT like China? China has the highest abortion rate in the world. I can do this all day leaningleftist...you amuse me.

leaningleftist 1 year, 9 months ago

Well we don't make as many finger cuffs as china.

mom_of_three 1 year, 9 months ago

actually, women have had abortions based on gender in this country...its just not a well known practice because we don't limit births like china.

leaningleftist 1 year, 9 months ago

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/post/congress-debates-ban-on-sex-selective-abortions-as-researchers-explore-how-often-they-happen/2012/05/30/gJQAwhpN2U_blog.html You are correct, they are more rare in US and seems a majority are in immigrant communities. I am pro choice but am on the fence as far as this one. It just seems like a repub ploy to limit choices, so I am just wary of the motives of our legislature and think they could make better use of their time

leaningleftist 1 year, 9 months ago

And the above was a reply to mom of three.

chootspa 1 year, 9 months ago

I'd rather a child not be born than be resented or mistreated for their entire life.

leaningleftist 1 year, 9 months ago

Oh and I will always suggest people like you wear a condom

absolutelyridiculous 1 year, 9 months ago

But that would be against my religion. Sorry. No thanks.

leaningleftist 1 year, 9 months ago

And hence my point all along, thank you. No one is forcing you to wear one, so don't force your beliefs on us

absolutelyridiculous 1 year, 9 months ago

I did listen. I felt the exact same way you do. Just on opposite sides of the table.

mom_of_three 1 year, 9 months ago

but I think there are more important things the legislature should be talking about than limiting a woman's right to an abortion and the right to her own body.
I dont like abortions, dont plan to have one, but I have no right to tell someone else what to do with their body.

Joe Hyde 1 year, 9 months ago

Well, I suppose the "No Abortion Under Any Circumstances" crowd will next push for new legislation outlawing amniocentisis and sonograms. Doing that would "defeat abortion choice" by blinding all pregnant women in the future to knowing at any time whether the fetus inside their body is male or female.

Of course, such a ban on those two medical procedures would also blind pregnant women and potential fathers from discovering very early on, by means of amniocentisis, whether the fetus was developing in good health, or instead had already fallen victim to a variety of horrible genetic defects and pre-birth conditions. Not that such considerations count for much to the fanatics.

Why can't people who hate abortions simply...not have one if they get pregnant. Do their own reproduction the way they see fit, and stay out of everyone else's business?

Cait McKnelly 1 year, 9 months ago

But they don't WANT you to know whether the fetus is healthy or not, don't you know? Because if you find out the fetus has health problems you just might want to, OH GOD, ABORT!!!!

parrothead8 1 year, 9 months ago

"The time to end violent discrimination based on gender is long overdue," Jeanne Gawdun, senior lobbyist for Kansans for Life, told the House Federal and State Affairs Committee.

So it's discrimination to abort a female fetus, but it's not discrimination to legislate adult women's bodies?

juma 1 year, 9 months ago

Abortion due to gender, female, was such a problem in United Kingdom due to the large Asian Middle East population that the government passed a law that the sex of the child could NOT be revealed to the parents after an ultrasound! What a pain in the ..... For all the normal, not messed up English parents. Another example of trying to be PC instead of dealing with the real culprits!

Katara 1 year, 9 months ago

Your information is incorrect about the UK government & revealing the gender to parents after an ultrasound.

Glenn Reed 1 year, 9 months ago

"The time to end violent discrimination based on gender is long overdue," Jeanne Gawdun, senior lobbyist for Kansans for Life, told the House Federal and State Affairs Committee.

Violent discrimination based on gender? Really? We're gonna end that?!?!? YAY!!! So the next time she gets arrested from my house the judge will throw the book at her? YAY!!!

What's this? Not that? Not about that... this is about abortion. Wow, that's embarrassing....

So... ending gender-selective abortion is what we're talking about. Allegedly, it's been going on too long. Well, that's easy enough to research. We do that census thing every so often. If gender-selective abortion is a statistically relevant issue, we'd find more of one gender being born than the other.

Aaaannnddddd nope, not happening. The ratio of male to female is pretty darn close to 1. Gender-selection is a stupid thing to focus on for the pro-life people. Just like most of the crap they focus on.

Source: http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-03.pdf

Cait McKnelly 1 year, 9 months ago

The fact that a Kansas for Lifer had anything to say about this is rich. The irony and the hypocrisy is just flat out, hilariously rich.
Just how do they intend to enforce this law? Put it as another tick box in the forty pages of forms they make women go through now? Really, I'm curious how they intend to do it. What are they going to do if she says yes? Shackle her to a bed in prison until she gives birth? What if they find out AFTER she's aborted? Are they going to string up the woman by her toes in prison?
KANSAS LIES AND WOMEN DIE!

voevoda 1 year, 9 months ago

'"The time to end violent discrimination based on gender is long overdue," Jeanne Gawdun, senior lobbyist for Kansans for Life, told the House Federal and State Affairs Committee.'

Yes, it certainly is time that the State Legislature ends its violent discrimination against women, that is, in penchant to enact legislation that curtains women's rights over their own bodies--something that men are not encountering.

Anthony Mall 1 year, 9 months ago

Why is this still a political issue??? As a fiscal conservative I am amazed how far Brownback has held Kansas back... Abortion, gay rights, gay marriage, adoption.... I mean my GOD... I personally choose to believe... Does that make me right??? NO!!! It makes me Christian, that being said i am sick and tired of "my party" pushing this crap... I believe abortion is a personal and family matter that should never be public... If two men or women choose to get married... they should have the same right to be just as miserable as the rest of us!!! If gay couples want to adopt a child, they should have that right!!! Last time I checked GOD loves, GOD doesn't discriminate, judge, or control... I hate Bush Jr., I hate Obama, and I damn sure hate what the country I served and love has become... This country used to be GREAT!!! we as individuals, messed it up...

Katara 1 year, 9 months ago

FTA: "Senate Bill 141, which was approved in the Senate 37-2, says that anyone who performs an abortion with knowledge that the woman wanted to end her pregnancy because of the sex of the unborn child would be charged with a misdemeanor upon a first conviction and felony upon a subsequent conviction.

In addition, the woman, her husband, or the parents or guardian of a woman under 18, could file a civil lawsuit against the abortion provider."

Wait, what?

The woman who goes to an abortion provider because she wants to end her pregnancy because of the sex of the unborn child can also file a lawsuit again the abortion provider?

Also, these legislators clearly don't know much about pregnancy. You can't tell the sex of a fetus by sonogram until approximately 20 weeks along which is only 2 weeks before viability and would make that abortion illegal unless there was a medical reason for one such as the health or life of the mother.

And even then ultrasound is not known to be that accurate. I know several people who were told the baby was one sex and surprise! at birth. This led some to really scramble to return a lot of gender based items.

You can find out earlier but that is only if you are being screened for a high risk pregnancy through amniocentesis or CVS and those procedures have risk of miscarriage.

Katara 1 year, 9 months ago

And there are laws against gender selection abortion in India. They are not even remotely enforceable just like it will be here.

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