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Posts Tagged ‘Gov. Sam Brownback’

KFL logoAbortion-supporting groups continue to complain about the increasing life-protective laws passed in the states, particularly Kansas. The pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute places Kansas as number four in the nation (see map) among pro-life states– even as three of our bills from 2011 are not in effect yet due to delayed court action.

The achievement of strengthening Kansas as a pro-life state is due to the efforts of many, with Kansans for Life taking a leadership role.  For highlights of Kansans for Life 2013 activities, including educational and political action, see here. To donate, go here.

2013 PRO-LIFE LAWS
Gov. Sam Brownback signed three pro-life bills into law in 2013.

Senate Bill 142 ["Civil Rights for the Unborn"] allows lawsuits to be filed in civil court on behalf of the wrongful death of an unborn child at any time in gestation and  prohibits the filing of civil “wrongful birth” or “wrongful life” lawsuits seeking jackpot awards for parents who claim they would have aborted their disabled child had they known the of the condition prenatally. Recently, a jury in the state of Washington awarded $50 million dollars to parents because a laboratory did not detect a genetic defect. Such a lawsuit cannot be filed now in Kansas.

Senate Bill 199 establishes the exciting and first-of-its-kind Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center at the University of Kansas, to increase the number of clinical grade stem cells available for use in patient treatments. The Center will create education modules for the public and medical personnel and create a global database resource for physicians and patients. Currently the only successful medical stem cell treatments are those using tissue sources such as blood, bone marrow and umbilical cords. The Center bars the use of any fetal or embryonic tissue cells, which are obtained through the destruction of unborn children.

House Bill 2253 ["2013 Pro-Life Protections Act"] was two years in the making, with extremist liberal media whining all along the way. HB 2253

  • strengthens medically accurate information made available prior to abortion from the state health department website;
  • bans all tax-funded payment for abortion,  tax breaks for abortion businesses;
  • forbids abortions for reason of sex-selection; and
  • declares that state public policy and budget priorities will reflect the fact that human life begins at conception, subject to U.S. Supreme Court rulings.

Planned Parenthood and the abortion clinic of Herb Hodes and Traci Nauser (both in Overland Park) have sued to block HB 2253’s new requirement that abortion clinics feature a link to state abortion information on the clinic’s website homepage. In addition, after failing to secure a legal injunction against the entire HB 2253, Hodes/Nauser attorneys did secure a block on one small provision in HB 2253 defining medical emergencies.

As usual, unable to win in the realm of public opinion, abortion interests run to the courts, hoping they will land activist judges to freeze laws from going into effect. That strategy did not work well for them this year.

The office of Attorney General Derek Schmidt is managing the defense teams for all challenged pro-life laws. We expect resolution in our favor, although the pace has been especially slow on the three lawsuits filed in 2011.

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Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, with health committee presenters: Dr. David Prentice, stem cell patient Richard Walters, Dr. Dana Winegarner, & Director Dr. Buddhadeb Dawn

Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, with health committee presenters: Dr. David Prentice, stem cell patient Richard Walters, Dr. Dana Winegarner, & Director Dr. Buddhadeb Dawn

What was once only a dream has become a reality– the Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center at the University of Kansas Medical Center will host its inaugural in-depth educational conference about adult stem cell treatments Saturday, Nov. 23 in Kansas City. See details here.

The purpose of this conference (which provides continuing education credits) is to update health professionals and trainees about advances in therapy with adult stem cells, as well as explaining adult stem cell biology and its potential for tissue and organ regeneration.

Adult stem cell treatments in the form of bone marrow transplants have been used for many years to successfully treat leukemia and related bone/blood cancers. The scientific community is now focusing on additional therapeutic options including organ repair. The Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center was created this year by the Kansas Legislature, (read here) under the leadership of Gov. Sam Brownback and Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, in order to:

  • facilitate the “translation” of basic stem cell research findings into actual clinical applications;
  • multiply clinical grade stem cells obtained from adult tissues, cord blood, and other sources, excluding embryonic and fetal;
  • increase the number of patients receiving stem cell treatments;
  • educate medical professionals and the public;
  • create and maintain a global database of available stem cell trials and therapies.

The Center’s director is Buddhadeb Dawn, M.D., current director of the KU Med Center’s Cardiovascular Division, who has been engaged in promising adult stem cell therapy for cardiac repair. International stem cell expert, Dr. David A Prentice, has been appointed to the Center’s 15-member advisory board.

Let your favorite medical personnel know about this exciting conference!

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stem cell patients (2)If cell therapies are indeed becoming the ‘Third Pillar of medicine’ —the title of a symposium today at the University of California at San Francisco—Kansas has positioned itself to become the global clearinghouse of those treatments. Last Friday the legislature passed Senate Bill 199 creating the Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center (MSCTC) at the University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC).

Gov. Sam Brownback, long a champion of non-embryo-destructive stem cell research during his tenure as U.S. Senator for Kansas, is anticipated to sign the legislation soon, along with the Pro-Life Protections Act, House Bill 2253.

SB 199 does not mandate tax funding, although some seed money in the Kansas annual budget is not entirely off the table yet when the legislature returns in May.  But the Center will actively pursue grants from private and public sources. For example, the numerous disease foundations as well as the U.S. military, dealing with thousands of injured veterans, would have a strong interest in donating to this project.

Dr. David Prentice, Adjunct Professor of Molecular Genetics and an international expert on the stem cell topic, has testified annually over the past decade to Kansas lawmakers about adult (non-embryonic) stem cell (ASC) treatments, including 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.

As reported yesterday, the Vatican has said that its international conference this week on ethical stem cell research will aim to correct the public misperceptions of the burgeoning scientific field. The Washington Times quoted conference co-sponsor, Dr. Robin Smith,  “Regenerative medicine is poised to revolutionize disease management by finding new ways to boost the body’s ability to heal itself…

“People are dying, literally, who could be treated or cured.”

Even as the MSCTC was touted during debate on SB 199 as expanding cures and treatments that would end suffering for thousands, some Kansas lawmakers opposed it. Sen. Laura Kelly (D-Topeka) and Rep. Barbara Bollier (R-Mission Hills) led opposition to this center as ‘meddling’ with university independence. They tried to imply that MSCTC was more pro-life politics than good science.

The real reason was sour grapes—most of these legislators have been on the wrong (and losing) side for a long time.  They and/or their mentors:
•    failed to prevent ethical limitations in the 2004 Kansas Bio-Science Authority Act governing state commerce,
•    failed to achieve embryonic stem cell and cloning initiatives from 2005-2007, and
•    failed to keep tax-funded abortion training at KUMC the past two years.

But pro-lifers won’t hold that grudge when those legislators and their families come to the MSCTC for treatments in the near future!

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fertilization (2)The Pro-Life Protections Act, HB 2253, is headed to Gov. Sam Brownback for his signature. Section two of the bill says that “the life of a human being begins at fertilization” and that Kansas will uphold the rights and privileges for all human beings except where barred by the U.S. Supreme Court.  (See legal impact of this declaration here, from National Right to Life.)

There has been much misreported about the Pro-Life Protections Act, including the impact of this declaration on fertilization (Read James Taranto here about abortion supporters’ alarmism on this.)

Section two is neither a personhood measure, nor affects birth control (protected under Kansas law here.)  “Personhood” measures attempt to defy Roe v Wade by (1) winning a state ballot initiative that declares the state constitution forbids abortion, and (2) hoping the federal courts will allow it to stand. Kansans for Life does not believe such a strategy will succeed due to the federal Supremacy Clause.

The language in section two was copied from Missouri, which the U.S. Supreme Court let stand in 1989 in its Webster decision. Thirteen states have adopted it. Under the declaration of life begins at fertilization, the state may legislate with a preference for childbirth over abortion –in effect “corraling”  Roe from  drifting into other areas.  For example, because of Roe,

  • some states don’t allow criminal prosecution for 2 victims when a pregnant woman is murdered –Kansas does allow such prosecution, under Alexa’s Law passed in 2007 (see here);
  • some states allow the filing of lawsuits for compensation that a disabled child exists that ‘should have been aborted’ — these are wrongful birth lawsuits that Kansas now doesn’t allow, under the newly passed Kansas law, “Civil rights of the Unborn.”

The reality is that every state has been working for 40 years –either to promote abortion or to promote life –and Kansas is pro-life. Being a pro-life state is more than passing law, it is how our citizens stand against the forces that push abortion. Our state has continued to increase the number of centers across the state where pregnant women can get free assistance.

KANSAS LAW BACKGROUND

In 1973, the Roe Court cherry-picked some language to define a “constitutional” person such that homicide of the unborn could be accepted. But it was never denied that unborn were human beings, just that they could be aborted because they were not “protected constitutional persons” like their mother and the abortionist.

In 2007, for purposes of criminal prosecution, Kansas legally defined “person” and “human being” to include “unborn child” and  furthered defined unborn child as “a living individual organism of the species homo sapiens, in utero at any stage of gestation from fertilization to birth.” (see here)

In 2011, for purposes of abortion informed consent, Kansas adopted the South Dakota statement (approved by the eighth circuit appellate court in 2008) that “abortion terminates the life of a whole, separate, unique, living, human being.” (see here, section b(5))

Now in 2013, the legislature has officially adopted the scientific fact that life begins at fertilization as an undergirding for further public policies.

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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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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. 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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one small shot of Topeka crwd

a small sample of the Topeka March for Life crowd

The perennial sub-freezing weather has never deterred huge crowds for the annual March for Life, either in Washington D.C. or Topeka. For a story on Friday’s D. C. March, estimated to have engaged 600,000 pro-lifers, see here.

On Tuesday, Jan. 22– the actual date of the infamous U.S. Supreme Court Roe v Wade ruling– approximately 2,500 citizens, young and old–mostly young–attended the annual Kansans for Life Rally for Life in Topeka.  The day included educational workshops, religious services, and a rally at the Capitol steps to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the ruling legalizing abortion.

Pro-life Governor Sam Brownback joined 1,800 Catholic young people for Mass, ate lunch with them and those who attended the Protestant service, and then marched with them all to the south steps of the state Capitol building. Among noted “Marchers” were Catholic Bishop Michael Jaekels of Wichita and Catholic Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas.

Gov. Brownback addressed attendees about the joy found in serving others and the joy of being pro-life. He asked the marchers if they were ever going to quit fighting for life, to which they responded with a resounding NO!

Kansans for Life Development Director, David Gittrich, announced each of the  40 legislators on the steps who slipped out of committee meetings to greet the crowd and receive their applause. (This year an estimated 110 out of 145 Kansas legislators are pro-life!)

KFL Executive Director, Mary Kay Culp, told the audience,  “The cover of the new Time Magazine says that our opponents won a big victory 40 years ago with Roe v. Wade, then says ‘They’ve Been Losing Ever Since.’ Pro-life organizations, pro-life churches, pro-life crisis pregnancy centers, pro-life schools—all represented here today are a major reason they are losing and we are winning, and we thank you!

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BleedingKansas (2)“Bleeding Kansas” was the moniker for our state during the mid-nineteenth century when guerrilla warfare raged between forces for and against slavery, until Kansas was accepted into the Union as a slave-free state in 1861.  That disposition not to yield to evil is seen in the Wichita community’s reaction to the announced opening of a new abortion clinic at the location of the infamous late-term clinic of George Tiller.

Since the death of Tiller in May 2009, a national push to re-open his abortion clinic has been led by the abortion advocacy group, Trust Women, headed by Julie Burkhart.  Burkhart was a Tiller employee who ran his PAC (political action committee) from 2002-2009.

Yesterday, the Associated Press covered Burkhart’s announcement that the South Wind Women’s Center (SWWC) is “expected to open in the next few months with one full-time and two part-time doctors amid heightened security and community outreach efforts.”  SWWC “will offer prenatal, obstetrical and gynecological health care services as well as abortions” and “has contracted with the doctors and has hired most of the other nine or ten people it plans to employ.”

Interestingly, no physician names were divulged, nor whether they are state-licensed, or reside in Kansas.

Kansas abortion clinics are either local physician offices or single-day surgery centers licensed by the state health department (KDHE).  A public records request last week showed no official clinic application is yet on file with KDHE for the SWWC location, possibly because the names of the facility’s physicians would have to be revealed.

The AP report indicated remodeling is scheduled for the clinic to meet the abortion facility standards Kansas passed in 2011. Those licensing and inspection standards –similar to what other states have passed–were long sought by Kansas pro-lifers and were signed into law in the first term of Gov. Sam Brownback.  However, the standards are not in force due to litigation by another abortion clinic in suburban Kansas City.

In a “virtual chat” online at the Trust Women website this fall, SWWC services were touted as medical (pill) abortions, and fertility and transgender services. Burkhart continues to try to erase this community’s memory of the Tiller location as the home of an actual onsite crematorium for unborn children destroyed up through the third trimester.

Kansans for Life (KFL) contends that reopening the place as an abortion clinic would disturb what has become a quiet, residential area.  The KFL citizen petition drive–urging city officials to rezone the area– is well on its way to exceeding the goal of securing 20,000 signatures. “As Wichitans we know that when an abortion clinic opens in a neighborhood everything changes,” said David Gittrich, KFL development director. “Abortions means taxis and traffic, police cars and ambulances, barricades and signs. People who support abortion – and people who believe every abortion kills an innocent baby – come to demonstrate.”

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Sammie Nesslein winner grand prize

“Kansans are pro-life” 2012 KFL grade school grand prize poster

After the re-election of President Clinton, Kansans for Life distributed refrigerator magnets and bumper stickers saying “pro-lifers are unbelievably persistent”. That description came from a local media story, and while not intended as a positive, we chose to take it as a compliment.

So the tragic re-election of pro-abortion President Obama will be answered by our steady, uninterrupted march to create a pro-life culture in Kansas.

Both our U.S. Senators, Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran, are pro-life and all four Congressional reps are pro-life. Two of them, Tim Huelskamp and Kevin Yoder, had uncontested races, while the remaining two, Mike Pompeo and Lynn Jenkins, saw robust victories Tuesday.

Kansas’ pro-life Gov. Sam Brownback was not up for re-election this year, but actively lent his support to firming up pro-life majorities in the state House and Senate. The Kansas House will continue its super-majority status, with a minimum of 86 (and probably higher) pro-lifers out of 125 members. The Senate has now attained a pro-life super majority with 29 of its 40 members.

76% of House candidates and 70% of Senate candidates who garnered Kansans for Life’s endorsement won contested races Tuesday, 

similar to the rate of pro-life success in the August primaries. A half dozen races (both pro-life wins and losses) face recounts due to narrow margins.

But simple stats belie the hard fought nature of some of these election battles, set up against a backdrop of last-minute state redistricting by the court to correct the failure of the Senate to pass acceptable new state maps reflecting 2010 census changes. (This is a task all states must do every ten years and Kansas was the only state in the nation to fail to accomplish it.)

So after the court drew new boundary lines in June, many proven pro-life incumbents found themselves redrawn into new districts in competition with one, or even two, of their long-time pro-life legislative comrades. And in other districts, constituents found themselves without their long-time reliably pro-life representative.

Because Kansas is a heavily Republican state, the winner of the GOP primary is very often guaranteed the seat. So Democrats and liberal Republicans actively urged Democrats this summer to register as Republicans in the primary and vote against conservative pro-lifers. That strategy contributed to the narrow primary loss of a Senate seat for Kansans for Life co-founder, Joe Patton.

But despite the party-switch tactic of Democrats, three-fourths of the pro-lifers in Kansas state primaries won their races. That led liberal Republicans who’d lost their seats in the primaries, to publicly encourage Republicans to vote Democrat in the general election. That plea had little, if any, success.

Thanks to the hard work of the Kansans for Life Political Action committee and the myriad of pro-life volunteers across the state, the final tally of pro-life lawmakers for the Kansas 2013 legislative session is:

•    a minimum of 79 out of 92 House Republicans and 7 of 33 House Democrats;
•    29 of the 32 Senate Republicans and 0 of 8 Senate Democrats.

Yes, Kansas pro-lifers are unbelievably persistent!

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