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Archive for February, 2013

Sen. President Susan Wagle

Sen. President Susan Wagle

Pro-life legislation is broader than just abortion limitations, as the pro-life Kansas Senate demonstrated by passing two measures today: SB 199, establishing an adult stem cell clearinghouse and therapy center, and SB 142, enhancing civil litigation rights for the unborn.

By voice vote Thursday,(UPDATE: final count 33-7) the Senate approved creating a novel and globally important Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center at the University of Kansas (KU). Before the vote was taken, Senate President, Susan Wagle (R-Wichita) provided a ringing endorsement.

“I am pleased to see this legislation, endorsed completely by KU. My son, Paul, relapsed in 2006 from leukemia after two and a half years of chemotherapy. We tested family members and could not find a match for bone marrow.

“We called Gov. Sam Brownback, who was U.S. Senator at the time, because he had worked for years to promote stem cell research. The governor connected us with a New York doctor doing research trials who had established a cord blood bank. We found a match with a baby in NY and Paul got the [resulting stem cell] treatment in Texas.

When you vote for this bill, you are planting a seed…this is about cures, saving lives and new research. I ask you all to vote for it.”

The bill’s prime sponsor, Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook (R-Shawnee) asked her fellow Senators to consider that, “ everyone has some kind of disease in family that has caused tragedy, our family has Huntington’s Disease.  Kansas needs to be in the forefront to help people.”

Kansas City ethicist at Rockhurst University, Dr. John Morris, had testified in support of the center as a deterrent to the alarming phenomenon of “stem cell tourism” in which suffering Americans are lured abroad – largely via internet– for unproven stem cell applications by unqualified personnel. The proposed center will be located in the Kansas City metro area, and will:

•    treat patients,
•    process and multiply stem cells,
•    create a centrally-located global database,
•    network physicians and scientists, and
•    initiate educational outreach.

In other action Thursday, the Senate passed SB 142, “Civil Rights for the Unborn” by a vote of 34-5-1. SB 142 will ban any so-called “wrongful birth and wrongful life” lawsuits claiming that the child, in essence, is a ‘damage’.  Nine other states statutorily bar wrongful birth suits and ten statutorily bar wrongful life suits.

SB 142 also addresses civil suits brought on behalf of the wrongful death of an unborn child, so that they can be filed on behalf of a child throughout gestation, not just after viability. The unborn child in Kansas since 2007 has enjoyed such protection under criminal law, as the second victim when a pregnant woman is a victim of crime.

Both SB 199 and SB 142 now move to the House for consideration.

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Conferees Dr. DAvid PRentice and KFL's lobbyst,jeanne Gawdun

SB 199 conferees, Dr. David Prentice & KFL lobbyist, Jeanne Gawdun

Kansas Senate committees today worked, and passed out favorably, two pro-life measures.

The Senate Judiciary committee passed SB 142 [Civil Rights for the Unborn] and the Senate Public Health and Welfare committee  passed SB 199, to establish the Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center at the University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC).

Support for SB 199 came from KFL, pointing out that in 2006, despite heavy lobbying to support unproductive and unethical embryonic research, the Kansas legislature made the correct decision to support adult stem cell research by

  • enacting legislation to facilitate the recruitment of entities, and encourage strategic partnerships.
  • budgeting $150,000 to fund a KU adult stem cell research project using umbilical cord blood.

Overall the Senate Public Health and Welfare committee heard support for the novel KU Center from a stem cell patient, four doctors /researchers and a representative of KU. In addition, Rockhurst University ethicist John Morris submitted testimony (read it here) explaining the alarming phenomenon of “stem cell tourism”, in which patients travel abroad to obtain unproven treatments from unqualified personnel.

SB 199 conferee Dr. David Prentice has noted, “the Kansas City metropolitan area has become one of the strategic centers in the nation for life sciences.” Umbilical cord blood research is already being done at KU, using a discovery made at K-State (“Wharton’s Jelly”) so there’s no reason to delay establishing a global center here for stem cell treatment, research, and education. (see past posts here and here)

The Senate Judiciary committee passed SB 142, which was part of the 2012 Pro-Life Protections Act passed 88-31 last year in the House. SB 142 would

  • BAN any “wrongful birth/life” lawsuits claiming that the child, in essence, is a ‘damage’;
  • BROADEN civil suits on behalf of wrongful death of an unborn child to be filed throughout gestation, not just after viability.

TAKE ACTION : Both SB 199 and SB 142 are expected to go to the Senate for votes quite quickly to meet the Friday deadline for action on bills originating in each chamber. To contact your senator about either bill, you may use the roster here.

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pinochioTestimony last Wednesday to the Kansas House Federal State Affairs committee from opponents of this year’s version of the Pro-Life Protections Act, HB 2253, showed they don’t know how to read a legislative bill.

Pro-abortion conferees so misunderstood which parts of the bill include existing statute that they were asking the committee not to pass provisions [the pre-abortion 24-hour waiting period, and definitions of medical emergency and bodily health] that already exist as state law!

Of course, the other explanation is that the abortion lobby doesn’t care about accuracy as long as the spin works. Some examples follow.

ABORTION SPIN: Up again for consideration in Kansas is “70 pages of anti-abortion regulations”.

FACT: In Kansas, bill drafts must include the entire statute that is relevant– even for just a one-word change. The lengthiness of HB 2253 is due to the necessary inclusion of the revenue tax code plus the  “Woman’s Right to Know” (WRTK) handbook, issued by KDHE (the state health department).

ABORTION SPIN: This bill “forces doctors to lie” and “contains a huge amount of medically inaccurate information that doctors should never have to repeat.”

FACT: HB 2253 does not mandate abortionists “tell” women anything, period. The abortionist is free to disagree with KDHE materials, even mock them—as one KCK clinic has done on its website for years. By law since 1997, the abortion-seeking woman signs a paper for her clinic file that she has ‘accessed” these materials 24 hours prior to the abortion. HB 2253, codifying the WRTK handbook, conforms to the ‘reasonable patient standard’ in law covering potential risks needed to be revealed. If breast cancer and pre-term birth risks are nonexistent, KDHE can say so under this bill.

ABORTION SPIN: “No credible evidence exists” linking abortion with future pre-term birth.

FACT: In 2006 the Institutes of Medicine listed induced abortion as an immutable cause of premature birth in its publication on prematurity. A 2009 analysis of international studies concluded prior induced abortion, especially repeat abortions, as associated with a significantly increased risk of low birth weight and preterm births. KDHE finds this persuasive.

ABORTION SPIN: This bill says “abortion causes breast cancer”.

FACT: HB 2253 does not say that! It requires that the WRTK handbook “shall also contain objective information… including risk of premature birth in future pregnancies, [and] risk of breast cancer.”  The information currently provided is one short paragraph on each topic, based on medical and scientific evidence. To read the pertinent section from the WRTK booklet go here.

ABORTION SPIN: “Claims linking abortion and breast cancer fly in the face of scientific evidence.”

FACT: That sentence was taken from the national ‘fact sheet’ issued by Planned Parenthood and submitted by their Kansas facility as defending their opposition to WRTK info. However, two paragraphs further on that ‘fact sheet’, the section on breast cancer reads:

“reproductive factors have been associated with risk for the disease since the seventeenth century…it is known that having a full-term pregnancy early in a woman’s childbearing years is protective against breast cancer.”

Now compare Planned Parenthood’s statement with the first 3 sentences in the WRTK booklet under breast cancer risk :

Your chances of getting breast cancer are affected by your pregnancy history. If you have carried a pregnancy to term as a young woman, you may be less likely to get breast cancer in the future. However, your risk is not reduced if your pregnancy is ended by an abortion.

Gee, sounds nearly identical; even the World Health Organization acknowledged over 50 years ago that the first, full-term birth gives women the “greatest lifetime protection” against breast cancer. When a woman is pregnant, it is her unborn child who sends the chemical signal (after the 32nd week) to the mother’s breast cells to “mature” and become milk-producing. This breast cell maturation brings resistance to cancer-causing agents.

Thus, if an already-pregnant woman deserves all relevant information, the fact that delivering this child will enhance her breast cancer protection and abortion will decrease it, is relevant. And the fact that abortion raises future pre-term birth risk is also relevant. The KDHE is on solid ground, as is the Pro-Life Protections Act. (read more here)

Abortion opponents are intentionally promoting deceit.

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Sen Garret Love

Sen. Garrett Love

The Kansas Senate Tuesday debated and passed, on a voice vote,  Senate Bill 141, an act to save our littlest children from violent gender discrimination through sex-selection abortion. A recorded vote on final action will take place Wednesday.

UPDATE, Wed. Feb. 20:The Senate passed the bill 37-2-1. Senators David Haley (D-Kansas City) and Oletha Faust-Gaudeau (D-Wichita) voted no and Sen. Marci Francisco (D-Lawrence) ‘passed’.

Sen. Garrett Love, (R-Montezuma) carried SB 141 and referenced testimony he heard in the Senate Public Health and Welfare committee. “Whether it be a boy or girl, every life is precious,” Love said.

“The concept of aborting a baby just because it is a little girl or a little boy is very concerning. Sex-selection abortions are wrong.”

Perennial abortion supporters offered two amendments to “protect abortion providers.” Sen. David Haley (D-Kansas City) wanted to eliminate oral evidence and Sen. Laura Kelly (D-Topeka) wanted to create a special crime of lying about someone’s reason for abortion. Both amendments failed, Haley’s by a vote of 7-33 and Kelly’s by 12-28.

Sen. Ralph Ostmeyer (R-Grinnell) commended Sen. Love for bringing the bill forward and said that it is our duty to speak up for the unborn. Sen. Julia Lynn (R-Olathe) also spoke in support of the bill saying gender-based abortion is “an anathema.”

After final action, SB 141 heads to a receptive House, which overwhelmingly passed the sex selection ban as part of a larger bill, the 2012 Pro-Life Protections Act.

The Senate Public Health and Welfare committee had heard testimony last week from Population Research Institute president, Steven Mosher, that sex selection abortion “is discrimination that kills. Men and women here are fundamentally equal and simply being the ‘wrong’ gender is not grounds for being eliminated.”

Mosher commented that anti-female bias was stronger in certain communities globally, but noted the 2008 National Academy of Science report analyzing “son preference,” which found “evidence of sex selection, most likely at the prenatal stage” and likely to be “more widely practiced in the near future.”  He said, other evidence besides that report suggests that, ” this ultimate form of misogyny is happening in the United States, and that it is ethically an excellent idea to say that we are not going to tolerate sex-selective abortion in our country, that we are going to defend the intrinsic dignity of unborn girls.“.

A series of undercover video “stings” by LiveAction at abortion clinics across the nation last year tested whether women who repeatedly expressed that they wanted an abortion only if the unborn child was a girl,would be able to obtain abortions. The videos appear to show they’d be able to do so with the clinic facilitating ultrasound to be sure a boy was not destroyed.

A 2006 Zogby International Poll, surveying over thirty thousand citizens, showed 86% public support for banning sex-selection abortion.

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moving (2)SB 141, banning sex-selection abortions, was passed favorably out of the Senate Public Health & Welfare committee on Thursday. Only Sen. David Haley (D-Kansas City) voted in opposition and wanted his vote recorded.  Testimony came from: Concerned Women for America, Kansas Catholic Conference, physician Patrick Herrick, KFL, and international population expert, Steven Mosher, who also was the special guest at the annual KFL Valentine’s Week banquets in Wichita and Shawnee. Action in the full Senate has not yet been scheduled.

On Wednesday, Kansans for Life testified in support of HB 2182, a measure reforming certain protocols for citizen-petitioned grand juries. The Founding Fathers recognized such juries as an important “Government Watchdog” tool and Kansas is one of only six states which still allow such juries. Kansas Pro-lifers and anti-pornography advocates have repeatedly tried to use this tool– only to see the issues manipulated by certain district attorney offices and die without indictments or prosecution. The reforms proposed include allowing the petitioner to address the jury BEFORE any district attorney gets involved, and to suggest names of appropriate special prosecutors. HB 2182 will be discussed and voted upon Monday or Tuesday in the House Judiciary committee.

SB 142, Civil Rights for the Unborn, will get a hearing in the Senate Judiciary committee Monday, Feb. 18.  The measure is based on language taken from the 2012 version of the Pro-life Protections Act, which passed the Kansas House 88-31.  SB 142 will:

  • ALLOW civil suits on behalf of wrongful death of an unborn child throughout gestation, not just after “viability” (Kansas already allows criminal prosecution for injury or death to the unborn during crimes committed against the mother); and
  • BAN any “wrongful birth” type lawsuits claiming damages for a disabled child that “would have been aborted” but for some action or information of another (these lawsuits in other states have typically claimed insufficient prenatal tests were performed, or that they were  incorrectly performed).

The House Federal State Affairs committee will hear testimony Wednesday, Feb. 20, about HB 2253, this year’s Pro-Life Protections Act. It differs from the 2012 version (that was not allowed action in the Senate) in a few ways: two provisions have been removed and made into stand-alone bills (SB 141 and SB 142) and the language of last years “Life Begins at Conception Act” has been added. The bill:

The exciting proposal discussed here to create an adult stem cell center at the University of Kansas Medical Center now has a bill number, SB 199. The bill hearing in the Senate Public Health and Welfare is set for next Friday, Feb.22.

No House action is yet scheduled on Judicial Selection reform, HCR 5002, or similar companion measures already passed by the Senate, SCR 1601 and SB 8.

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Gov. Brownbaack welcomes Steve Mosher to Kansas

Gov. Brownback greets Mosher

The Kansas Senate Health Committee held a hearing Monday on Senate Bill 141, an act to save our littlest children from violent gender discrimination through sex-selection abortion. A 2006 Zogby International Poll, surveying over thirty thousand, showed 86% public support for enacting such a ban.

The lead off testimony came from Steven Mosher, President of the Population Research Institute and an internationally recognized authority on demographics and sex-selection abortion.

“What we are concerned with here is more than job or pay discrimination,” said Mosher, “this is discrimination that kills.”

Sex selection is generally banned in Europe, he noted, but the bans on such abortions in India and China have not been as effective as they could be in the U. S. When asked about how the actual numbers here can be ascertained, Mosher responded that the law is a great teacher and even if reports are anecdotal, just one death is too much.

Kansans for Life’s testimony cited a history of journal articles and studies that show sex selection abortion was a concern within 2 years of Roe v. Wade.  We testified that the issue of “choosing” gender is aggravated by the growth in ‘noninvasive’ prenatal testing (using sampling of the mother’s blood or urine) that are directly marketed to parents.

Also noted to the committee was the 2008 National Academy of Science report analyzing “son preference” that found “evidence of sex selection, most likely at the prenatal stage” and likely to be “more widely practiced in the near future.”  An undercover video “sting” showing alleged sex-selection abortion being abetted at an abortion clinic was shown to the committee. (see Undercover videos)

No conferees spoke against the bill, although N.O.W. lobbyists were in the audience.The abortion lobby says “they are focused on other measures,” but the truth is they really are stuck messaging this issue.  Abortion labeled as gender discrimination undermines their argument that the so-called “reproductive rights” movement exists to prevent discrimination against women.

The language of SB 141 was part of the Pro-Life Protections Act of 2012 which passed the House 88-31, but died in the Senate.  This year, as a stand alone bill, it has 21 Senate co-sponsors.

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Sen. mary Pilcher-Cook

Sen.  Pilcher-Cook

An exciting proposal establishing an adult stem cell center at the University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC), was presented to a joint meeting of the Kansas Senate and House Health committees on Thursday and Friday.

Lawmakers heard from medical experts using adult stem cell (ASC) treatments, as well as patients and other experts in the field about the urgent need to establish a new center at KUMC that would conduct clinical research trials and co-ordinate education about this rapidly growing medical specialty.

Dr. David Prentice, Adjunct Professor of Molecular Genetics and an international expert on the stem cell topic, has testified several times to Kansas lawmakers on this developing field. He urged the creation of a hub for ASC treatments, information and medical networking. Prentice quoted recent science and medical journals that:

  • 1 in 200 Americans will undergo an ASC transplant in their lifetime;
  • over 60,000 ASC transplants occur globally each year;
  • there are over 2,600 ongoing, or completed, FDA-approved ASC trials.

Dr. Dana Winegarner, a Kansas City neurologist, although not on staff at KUMC, testified that no professional turf battles stand in the way. The problem is that busy practitioners cannot keep up with the rapidity of the stem cell developments; he said he has an app on his smart phone that notifies of breaking relevant medical data and that it registers over 60 hits a day. “During the time I leave for work and return at night, medicine has changed!”

Dr. Buddhadeb Dawn, Director of KUMC’s Cardiovascular Diseases Division and Research Institute, demonstrated how applications of stem cells regenerate damaged hearts and reviewed outcomes of national studies. Dawn said the list of diseases that can be cured with stem cells is ever-increasing  and thus there is a crying need for a center that can process and manufacture clinical grade stem cells as well as initiate clinical trials.

Patient Richard Waters, a participant in an adult stem cell program trial at KUMC testified that the stem cell heart treatment he received last year was not available in the United States when he had his earlier heart attacks. Testimony from Waters and videos of two other patients who’d undergone successful, remarkable medical treatment from non-embryonic stem cells fascinated the attendees in the packed room at the state Capitol.

Dr. Omar Aljitawi, part of KUMC’s Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, said that KUMC is involved in 2 major umbilical cord blood transplant trials, a treatment first done successfully in 1988. Kansas is home to the development of the  “Wharton’s Jelly” part of the umbilical cord, which offers much promise as a base material for multiplying cells for patient application. Aljitawi bemoaned the fact that so many sources of ASC were being discarded, and need to be developed and made available for a waiting populace.

Senate Health committee chair, Mary Pilcher-Cook (R-Shawnee) said a bill is being drafted to create a cutting edge ASC center at the KUMC campus in Kansas City, for which no model exists nationally–or globally.

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