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Archive for the ‘Kansas legislators’ Category

Rep. Steve Brunk, lead sponsor of Alexa's Law

Rep. Steve Brunk (R-Wichita) lead sponsor, Alexa’s Law

It has been well documented for decades that pregnant women have been attacked and murdered in order to kill their unborn children. The development of abortion-inducing drugs, however, has produced an increasing crime wave of abortion by trickery.

There was nationwide news coverage of the trial and conviction this month of Floridian John Andrew Welden for committing abortion by secretly swapping his pregnant girlfriend’s medication with abortifacient pills that killed their unborn child.

Now comes the indictment of a Kansas man for allegedly sneaking crushed abortion pills into his girlfriend’s pancakes, killing their unborn child.

On Tuesday, the office of Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt issued this criminal complaint against Scott Robert Bollig for first degree murder, attempted first degree murder, aggravated battery and distributing adulterated food, causing the death of an unborn child at 8-10 weeks estimated gestation.

Part of the pro-life agenda has been to pass laws that uphold the full humanity of the unborn child, including prosecution for both victims following crimes committed against pregnant women and their unborn children.

The criminal complaint against Bollig is based on just such a law– “Alexa’s Law,”– passed in Kansas in 2007, read more here and here.

Kansas was the 35th state (of now 37) to pass such a law, modeled on the 2003 federal “Unborn Victim of Violence Act” designed by the National Right to Life Committee. (see this NRLC list)

Alexa’s Law protects unborn children from fertilization through full term, while some states have enacted limited protection after viability.

Within six months of passage of Alexa’s Law, two pregnant women and their unborn children were murdered in Kansas, and their murderers convicted under this law. Here are the cases known to Kansans for Life that have since utilized Alexa’s Law for charging and convictions:

  1. Sedale Fox was convicted of two first degree murders for shooting his girlfriend to death and the death of their unborn child on Jan. 8, 2008. Read more here.
  2. Andrew Guerrero was convicted for three murders by shooting, committed on Feb.3, 2008—his ex-wife, her 8-month-old infant and an additional unborn child detected in autopsy. Read more here.
  3. Jason Cott was convicted of two counts of first degree murder for the Jan. 20, 2010 strangulation of his wife and death of their unborn child. Read more here.
  4. Ricardo Barnhart was convicted of two counts of aggravated battery for the beating of his wife and injury to their 38-week gestation unborn child on March 19, 2013; mother and child survived. Read more here.
  5. Richard Bennet was charged with 2 counts of attempted murder for the stabbing of his pregnant ex-girlfriend on June 18, 2013. she and the unborn child survived the attack. Bennet was sentenced to parole on lesser charges after the girlfriend later died in a freak accident before his trial. Read more here.
  6. Bryant Seba has been charged with two counts of first degree murder after he allegedly shot and killed his pregnant neighbor and unborn child on July 24, 2013. Read more here.
  7. Scott Bollig has been charged with first degree murder for the premeditated murder of his unborn child, Jan. 26, 2014; the mother survived, after allegedly being tricked into eating abortion-causing medication. Read more here.

“Alexa’s Law”—a tool enacted to uphold the value of any human victim of crime– is being utilized in crimes of abortion “by deceit” not even envisioned when the law was passed.

Pro-lifers are working diligently on all fronts to overturn the unjustifiable legalization of abortion, including building a cache of laws that recognize the humanity of the unborn and protect the unborn whenever possible.

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Rep. Lance Kinzer

Rep. Lance Kinzer

Rep. Arlen Siegfried

Rep. Arlen Siegfreid

Late Friday evening, as the legislative session was ending, the Kansas legislature passed three pro-life bills that Kansans for Life is confident pro-life Gov. Sam Brownback will sign.

Due to late amendments, all the measures were procedurally re-affirmed by both chambers as “conference committee recommendations” and passed by large margins.

House Judiciary chair, Lance Kinzer (R-Olathe), drafted the lead bill for the last two sessions, the Pro-Life Protections Act. He commented,

 “These measures represent a significant step forward in our ongoing effort to advance thoughtful and targeted legislation that both defends innocent human life and protects women who are so often exploited by the abortion industry.”

The Pro-life Protections Act of 2013, HB 2253, was carried by Rep. Arlen Siegfreid (R- Olathe) and passed 90-30 in the House and 28-10 in the Senate. HB 2253 codifies abortion informed consent materials authorized by the state health department, and removes all tax streams that pay for abortion and give advantages to abortion businesses.

The informed consent section has an added mandate for the state department to facilitate medical information access and community support for families facing pre-birth and post-birth diagnoses of Down Syndrome and other conditions.

HB 2253 assures taxpayers are not directly funding abortion or abortion training at the state university, and forbids state discrimination against pro-life citizens and entities.

Rep.David Crum

Rep. David Crum

Rep.John Rubin

Rep. John Rubin

As of this week, HB 2253 now includes SB 141, the ban on abortions done solely for the gender of the unborn child. This ban was passed earlier in the session by the Senate, and passed last year in the House as a provision in another bill. Kansas will join Illinois, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma and Arizona, in banning sex selection abortions.

The second measure secured Friday was SB 199, with votes of 90-30 in the House, 31-8 in the Senate. It establishes a unique Midwest Center for Stem Cell Therapy at University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC) in collaboration with the Blood and Marrow Transplant Center of Kansas and the Via Christi Cancer Institute in Wichita. Rep. David Crum (R-Augusta) carried the bill.

The Center will expand ongoing “adult” and “cord blood” treatments and become a global clinical and educational resource for cures and treatments that do not use embryonic or fetal tissues. The Center will fill a void by producing clinical grade stem cells, increasing clinical trials in this region, maintaining a comprehensive stem cell database, and creating educational training modules.

The third bill that passed (which Kansans for Life supported) is HB 2164, by a vote count of  92- 28 in the House and 26-12 in the Senate. Under this bill, grand juries summoned by citizen petitions will be better protected from being undermined by local district attorneys.  A citizen-petitioned grand jury is an important watchdog tool, which has been used in Kansas to challenge government agencies not upholding pro-life and pro-family laws.

Last month, Kansas passed SB 142, “Unborn Civil Rights for the Unborn,” which outlaws civil actions of “wrongful birth” and “wrongful life” on behalf of disabled children. It was carried by House Corrections chair, John Rubin (R-Shawnee).

OPPONENTS’ TALKING POINTS CORRECTED:

Abortion supporters continue to mischaracterize these bills—even during debate in both chambers Friday night–so here are some needed corrections. Under these pro-life bills:

  • only abortions done solely for sex selection are banned, otherwise abortions for any reason, including rape, remain legal until the 22nd week of pregnancy, and after that time, can be obtained to preserve the life of the mother or prevent irreversible and substantial physical damage to her;
  • hospitals suffer no penalties for treating life-of-the-mother crises including both ectopic pregnancies and emergencies throughout 9 months;
  • the updated informed consent materials (created by KDHE since 1997) do not contain misinformation, do not say abortion causes breast cancer, and do not force any abortion provider to tell women ANYTHING because the materials are written and online;
  • the acknowledgment that ‘life begins at fertilization’ is language approved in 1989 by the U.S. Supreme Court, and adopted by 13 other states–it does not challenge abortion decisions at the federal or state level;
  • there was no money “taken” from the KUMC budget for the adult stem center, and the center is not hostage to politics, but is expanding on successful medical treatments ALREADY under way at KUMC and across the state.

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Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook

Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook

The Kansas Pro-Life Protections Act (HB 2253) passed the Senate by a vote of 29-11, after a nearly 3-hour debate Monday that focused on extraneous amendments offered by pro-abortion Democrat Senators.

Only one amendment (tweaking the tax code) was adopted. Because of that, HB 2253 must procedurally be “re-passed” in the House before heading to Gov. Sam Brownback’s desk.

The Pro-Life Protections Act actually enacts no new restrictions on abortion, rather it:

  • recognizes that life begins at fertilization for purposes of public policy decisions;
  • prevents state discrimination against pro-life entities;
  • restricts tax-payer funding for abortion;
  • defunds abortion training at the state university medical school;
  • keeps abortion businesses out of public school sex-ed;
  • codifies informed consent topics already used by the state health department;
  • strengthens medical and community support for Down Syndrome & other conditions.

Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook (R-Shawnee), Chair of the Health committee, introduced and defended HB 2253 as positive and protective legislation. She had her hands full explaining what the bill didn’t contain when rebutting senators repeating the spin that liberal pro-abortion forums like the Huffington Post have spewed for two years.

Sen. David Haley (D-Kansas City), who ordinarily causes pro-lifers to groan, really startled observers Monday by first complaining that abortion opponents “impose narrow Taliban-like philosophies” and then with his repeated–and bizarre– claim that “this bill would empower rapists.” Haley twice admitted in debate that “he didn’t know what was in the bill,” even though he was in the committee that took testimony and ‘worked’ the bill!

Haley offered three hostile amendments that failed; the first one was identical to the Wilson amendment which was offered and failed 2 weeks ago during House debate on this same bill.  Though described as limiting three abortion laws for women pregnant by assault, the language actually would invalidate ALL Kansas abortion statutes, including—just to name a few– informed consent, parental involvement, physician penalties, and protection of unborn children who feel pain.

Haley’s  second amendment was described as keeping birth control legal, which is already in Kansas statute, and his third motion was to table the bill.

Sen. Marci Francisco (D-Lawrence) introduced four amendments, one of which would overturn our 2011 law that excludes elective abortion coverage in private health plans. The ACLU took this law to court (a law which other states have had on the books for decades), forcing Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt to defend it. As the trial neared, the ACLU dropped the suit.

Francisco also made a motion to expand abortion deductions and a motion to add domestic partner language to the bill; those amendments failed. Her tax-tweaking amendment succeeded.

Senate Minority leader, Anthony Hensley (D-Topeka), heartily endorsed every defeated motion.

The third abortion supporter to offer an amendment was freshman Sen. Pat Pettey (D-Kansas City). She wanted breast cancer and pre-term birth topics removed from the bill’s informed consent provisions.

KDHE (the state health department) has determined for 15 years that these topics are relevant to provide legally acceptable informed consent.

KDHE cites the Institute of Medicine and a 2009 international meta-analysis in their exposition of possible future pre-term birth risk.

As for breast cancer, KDHE has a modest section citing that there are studies for and against what is known as “the independent” risk factor of abortion. What is pre-eminent is the incontrovertible biological evidence that the risk of breast cancer is reduced with a full-term delivery. An already-pregnant woman deserves that information.

In fact, a national Planned Parenthood fact sheet (submitted by the Kansas City affiliate in opposition to HB 2253) actually reinforces this fact in their breast cancer section:

“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 above with the first 3 sentences in the KDHE abortion informed consent 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.

The language is nearly identical! Sen. Pettey’s amendment failed. The challengers sought headlines, not improvements for the bill. Kansans can be proud of this legislation.

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Rep. Jan Pauls

Rep. Jan Pauls

Kansas passed three pro-life measures Tuesday. Two of them (SB 142 and SCR 1606) are headed to Gov. Sam Brownback’s desk, the third (SB 199, creating a stem cell center) is temporarily stalled in conference due to the addition of a friendly amendment.

Pro-lifers are acutely aware that over 55 million unborn children have been denied the right to life because of Roe v. Wade. However Roe’s interior logic has also infiltrated courtrooms increasingly in the form of ‘wrongful birth’ and ‘wrongful life’ lawsuits. These are suits brought under the claim that money damages are owed the parents because the baby—most often one with some significant disability—should not be alive.

Kansas passed SB 142 ‘Civil Rights for the Unborn’ by a vote Tuesday of 89-33 in the House, following earlier Senate passage by a vote of 34-5. Currently, thirteen states bar wrongful birth claims by statute or case law and 34 bar wrongful life suits by statute or case law.

This bill does not interfere with the proper filing of malpractice for obstetric negligence and incompetence. However, this simple truth did not deter abortion supporters from telling the nation that Kansas doctors will be free under this bill to “lie to women.” After making that claim at the bill’s hearing in the House Corrections & Juvenile Justice committee, and

when challenged directly by pro-life Rep. Jan Pauls, the Kansas N.O.W. lobbyist reasserted that only pro-choice doctors will not lie to women.

Additionally noteworthy is the provision in SB 142 that allows civil causes of action for wrongful death of an unborn child (outside of the abortion context) to be filed throughout the entire nine months of gestation, not just after viability. SB 142 is the civil counterpart of Kansas’ 2007 “Alexa’s Law,” allowing criminal prosecution when the unborn is a victim of crime.

Also on Tuesday, SCR 1606, a joint chamber resolution recognizing the work of pregnancy maintenance centers in Kansas and across the nation, passed the House 122-0 after having passed the Senate.

Kansas has eighty pregnancy maintenance help centers. (If you divide the estimated 2,000 national centers by 50 states that would yield an average of 40 per state.) These centers are a vital component of the pro-life movement. Recent testimony from one center in the Kansans City area indicated 95% of their clients are being pressured to abort by the father of the unborn child. (See this.)

Finally on Tuesday, SB 199 passed the House by a vote of 90-32, having previously passed the Senate with a vote of 33-7. Procedurally, the bill had to return to the Senate for re-passage because of a small technical addition.

SB 199 establishes the Midwest Adult Stem Cell Therapy Center at the University of Kansas Medical Center in collaboration with the Blood and Marrow Transplant Center of Kansas and the Via Christi Cancer Institute in Wichita.  “All funds and facilities shall be dedicated to treatments and research with adult, cord blood and related stem cells and non-embryonic stem cells.

No funds or facilities shall involve embryonic stem cells or fetal tissue cells.”

 The Center will:
  • serve as a core facility to produce clinical grade stem cells;
  • create and maintain a database resource for physicians and patients that provides a comprehensive global list of available stem cell clinical trials and therapies;
  • initiate clinical trials with adult, cord blood and related stem cells;
  • create education modules to train and educate physicians and research scientists.

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Rep. Lance Kinzer

Rep. Lance Kinzer

The Kansas House today provisionally passed HB 2253, an updated version of last year’s Pro-Life Protections Act, with a final vote to be taken Wednesday. UPDATE Mar.20: Passed 92-31

The bill–which passed without any of the four hostile amendments offered–

  • removes tax breaks for abortionists and tax funding of abortion & abortion training;
  • codifies informed consent already created and in use by KDHE (state health dept.);
  • unifies abortion statute definitions;
  • adopts ‘Life begins at conception/fertilization’ as basis for legislation; and
  • improves support for medically-challenging pregnancies and disabled children.

Opponents’ game plan today was to introduce a new headline for the liberal press—which ate it right up—that Kansas rejected a rape exception for abortion. Nevermind that the ‘exception’ was actually a bold attempt to overthrow ALL state abortion regulation from the past two decades with one floor amendment. The headline got through, to be sent out on social media.

Neither did abortion supporters brush aside their usual untruths that the Kansas bill is ‘sweeping’ and forces doctors to lie to women that abortion causes breast cancer. No matter how many times the truth is told that the bill contains over 50 pages of required tax statutes, and that abortionists will not be required to utter any KDHE scripted remarks, they will ignore it.

The most vocal opponent, as usual, was long-retired anesthesiologist, Rep. Barbara Bollier with her perennial complaint that the bill was medically inaccurate. “I’m so disappointed in you all who have not gone to medical school, who have not gone to nursing school and think you know better. It’s shameful” said the Republican from Mission Hills, addressing the House.

Bollier has many ‘facts’ wrong, for example,

there is no phrase “abortion-causes breast-cancer” in the state informed consent materials, or in this bill that codifies those materials—no matter how many times she repeats it.

Even though she was made to admit at the podium, near the end of debate, that the first full-term pregnancy is well known to give lifetime risk protection from breast cancer, Bollier stubbornly said that does not prove that abortion has any effect on a pregnancy. She denied the logic of alerting a woman experiencing her first pregnancy of the risk that can result by preventing a full term delivery!

The first of Boiller’s 3 hostile amendments attempted to remove the topic of abortion’s link to breast cancer and pre-term future births from Woman’s Right to Know informed consent materials. Then Bollier tried to delete information describing the pain capability of the unborn child from the same materials. As she did 2 years ago when fighting passage of a law protecting pain-feeling unborn children, Bollier insisted no science backs it up. This time, her defense was more astounding.

First, Bollier—who has not practiced medicine for 14 years, was flat out wrong when she told House members that anesthesia is never given to unborn children directly, but only through their mothers. Then, in an even more insistent and embarrassing display, she argued that unborn children can’t feel pain, or “feel” a stress reaction, they can only “mount” a stress reaction!

HB 2253 bill sponsor, and House Judiciary chairman, Rep Lance Kinzer (R-Olathe), rebutted Bollier:

When it comes to stress reactions I imagine an unborn child does indeed experience stress when being dismembered and having arms and legs torn off. He cited the scientific evidence at doctorsonfetalpain.org.

Retired surgeon, freshman Rep. Shanti Gandhi, (R-Topeka) stood in strong support of the bill: “I come here to confirm one fact that’s indisputable, at least in my case having studied medicine, that is that life does start at conception. If we believe that, I think this bill is too long. All it needs is one paragraph that says life begins at conception.”

Speaking in SUPPORT of the bill were Reps. Kinzer, Gandhi, Steve Brunk (R-Wichita), Peggy Mast (R- Emporia), Allan Rothlisberg (R-Grandview Plaza), and Joe Edwards (R-Haysville).

Speaking in OPPOSITION to the bill were Reps. Bollier, Jim Ward (D-Wichita), Louis Ruiz (D-Kansas City), Anne Kuether (D-Topeka), Annie Tietze (D-Topeka), John Wilson (D-Lawrence), Roderick Houston (D- Wichita), Patricia Sloop (D-Wichita), and Carolyn Bridges (R-Wichita).

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Kari RInker

Kari Rinker

This is National Multiple Sclerosis Society (MSS) Awareness Week, but anyone who desires a positive public image for MS faces two problems: the MSS advocacy of embryonic stem cell (ESC) research and MSS’ choice of an abortion activist as a regional coordinator/lobbyist.

First, and unbeknownst to most donors and volunteers, is that MSS’ official support for stem cell research includes the embryo-destructive kind (see here). Two weeks ago in Georgia, an MS activist testified in opposition to an embryo protection bill even though there are no MS cures or promising clinical trials using ESC. In fact, adult stem cells are providing actual successful treatments for MS (see here, here and here).

Support for ESC is an unethical position that will alienate a number of pro-lifers, and likely dissuade them from joining with MSS to help promote the interests of MS victims.

Secondly, what explains why the MSS Mid America chapter (covering Kansas, Western Missouri, and Nebraska) hired an ACORN-styled street fighter, Kari Rinker, to be their voice at the state Capitol in Topeka this year?

Rinker lobbied from 2009-2012 on behalf of the Kansas National Organization for Women (N.O.W.) Her no-holds-barred style gained additional notoriety last year when she pounded a rubber stamp on the committee podium when testifying against a pro-life bill.

Rinker’s commentary is regularly found in national extreme liberal press outlets, including the Daily Kos, Huffington Post, and Rachel Maddow Show– due to her perspective as ‘speaking truth to power in an anti-woman Republican state’. In Rinker’s words:

Rinker organized online harassment of pro-life Gov. Brownback (see here and here). She complained about him attending a prayer summit and the national day of prayer. She regularly derided his vision for creating a Culture of Life, as coming “from his mansion…while pimp[ing] out poverty-stricken single mothers”.

‘Shaming events’ (here and here) were proudly organized by Rinker and broadcast nationally, against the sponsor of a 2011 Kansas pro-life insurance law– a law that she and the American Civil Liberties Union sued, and lost.

Rinker goes beyond advocating the standard N.O.W. position for gay marriage and mandatory emergency contraception when slamming ‘rabid-dog bishops’ for defending religious liberty. She recently Facebooked this: ‘Pope-schmope, I was sick of hearing about it before this conclave sh-t even started’ and posted other mockery of the Catholic church.

At the end of last year, Rinker announced she had quit as N.O.W. lobbyist, so her showing up at an abortion hearing and a pro-choice luncheon, while wearing the official lobbying badge for MSS, might be written off as coincidence.  But she continues, to this day, to publish aggressive misinterpretations of pro-life legislation in the most liberal media venues.

This inevitably leads to the question of whether she may be taking advantage of her (assumedly salaried) MSS staff position to keep her hand in abortion lobbying and to train her young N.O.W. replacement.  In fact, Rinker’s Facebook page features a large MSS awareness banner reading “connections count” but the postings below it are mainly abortion connections.

Certainly, she is entitled to her opinions, but does MSS, much less their donors, know that they hired a gal who continues to actively promote a radical social agenda that includes bashing the very Kansas officials with the power to help MS advocacy?

On Wednesday, when she was traversing the Capitol to publicize MS Awareness Week, Rinker filed this national post, which criticizes specific Kansas legislators and bemoans how our state has the most “harmful abortion restrictions”!

It’s a no-brainer that lobbyists tasked with securing public support and helpful legislation are supposed to make friends and win over opponents. How can Rinker win over the 3/4 of the Kansas House and Senate who are pro-life, when she continues to slam them in the national press and on social media around the state? And will MSS donors and volunteers tolerate Rinker’s representation?

Whatever the answers, MS victims are not being well-served.

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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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