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Posts Tagged ‘Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook’

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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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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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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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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(from left) Drs. Omar Aljitawi, Richard Burt, Dana Winegarner, David Prentice, with Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook & Rep. Brenda Landwehr

The Kansas House Health & Human Services committee was warned on Monday that their state is ‘missing-in-action’ when it comes to life-saving and life-changing adult stem cell medicine.

Because of that concern, committee chair, Rep. Brenda Landwehr (R-Wichita), and fellow pro-lifer, Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook (R-Shawnee) scheduled this presentation by international adult-stem cell advocate and cell-biologist, David Prentice, Ph.D., along with a trio of noted physician/ researchers:

  • Richard Burt, M.D., from Northwestern University Hospital in Illinois– a leading researcher in stem-cell immunotherapy;
  • Omar Aljitawi, M.D., assistant professor at the Blood & Marrow transplant center at Kansas University’s Medical Center; and
  • Dana Winegarner, D.O., a neurologist from the MidAmerica Neuroscience center in the Kansas City area.

The speakers’ united message was that both the public and physicians remain unaware that adult stem cells are already being used clinically to treat many diseases in human patients around the world. Dr. Prentice gave an overview of

innovative stem cell applications, including the “spray gun” that allows a burn victim’s own cells to be altered and then sprayed over the damaged area for skin regeneration.

Dr. Prentice reminded the committee that a 2010 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association noted that adult stem cell transplants have become “the standard of care for many patients” (more…)

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Justice Antonin Scalia

The Washington Business Journal reports that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is prepared to discard a major precedent in abortion law when considering a future challenge to state regulations of abortion clinics, such as those approved in Virginia, Kansas and South Carolina.

A self-described  “originalist”, Scalia addressed a meeting of Washington, D.C. attorneys Thursday, affirming that the 14th amendment confers rights to the states.  But he repeated his long-held view that the Constitution is silent on abortion and that judges should stay out of the issue.  Scalia mocked the so-called ‘undue burden’ principle on accessing abortion thusly:

“So I run to the law books to see what an ‘undue burden’ is,” Scalia said. “What do you know, for 200 years, no burden was an undue burden. You could prohibit it. So I can’t use the law books.”

Scalia’s exasperation with courts inventing abortion law as they go along– together with the 4 pro-life vs 4 pro-abortion (and one swing vote) composition of the U.S. Supreme Court –ties in with why the Kansas abortion clinics switched to the state courts to fight the new law for licensing, inspection and regulation of abortion businesses.

Attorneys search the history of appellate courts and state supreme courts before they move forward with litigation.  In two out of three attempts this summer at the federal courts in the Kansas jurisdiction, abortion lawyers succeeded in securing injunctions to block new Kansas laws: the family planning funding case and the temporary rules of the licensure law.

But days before the permanent licensure rules went into effect, the abortion lawyers smoothly slid into state court and dropped their original federal suit, gauging that they weren’t going to win in federal court in the long run.  This is where the new comments of Scalia (more…)

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Pro-life leader Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook warned of dangerous abortion pills

National news has recently exposed past incidents of death and injury from RU-486 abortion pills.  Yet the template for the Wichita Eagle story about the signing of the new abortion facility licensure law was

  • NOT to point out that one important provision of this bill is a response to these dangers,
  • NOT to contact the bill sponsor, Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook  (R-Shawnee) to comment on the connection,
  • but to recycle the House testimony of Rep. Barb Bollier (R- Mission Hills)– the newest (unofficial) spokesperson for Planned Parenthood.

Dr. Bollier is an anesthesiologist who hasn’t practiced medicine since before abortion pills became legal in 2000. She asserted chemical abortions were nothing to worry about, like ‘God-caused miscarriages.’ (read more here)

Sen. Pilcher-Cook had cited detailed FDA warnings about abortion pills during Senate debate on the licensure bill.

But more notable than Bollier’s opinion, was the House committee testimony of Kansas abortionist, Herbert Hodes, who opposed the licensure bill but testified that he agreed with the “anti-abortion-pill-by-webcam” provision.

Hodes said that the provision requiring abortion pills be administered in the physician’s presence was “perfect” (more…)

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Today, a guest post from Pro-lifer Bill from Olathe:  “I had the pleasure of being in the Senate chamber today for the passage of H Sub SB 36, the Abortion Clinic Licensing Bill. It passed 24-15 and will almost certainly be signed into law by Gov. Brownback.  Some high points of this bill are:

  • it requires clinics to meet minimum medical standards, like having doorways wide enough to fit a gurney through and keeping the surgical equipment from being stored amongst medical waste.
  • it requires that injuries and deaths occurring during the act of abortion are reported.  As it stands, if a woman isn’t reported dead at the abortion clinic itself, then there is no requirement for the clinic to report the death. This makes tracking the number of abortion-related injuries and deaths rather dicey.
  • it would ban the prescription of RU-486 via web cam. Honestly, I didn’t even know this was an option.  Any time I have a sinus infection, my doctor of 15 years requires I’m tested and checked out before prescribing the same antibiotic he prescribes every year.  I suppose abortionists are a little less concerned about the health of their patients.
This is a good bill, and a necessary one. Kudos to the right-thinking 24 senators. My beef is with the usual suspects who attempted to defeat (more…)

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Both bills edit old statutes, replacing the term 'fetus' with Unborn Child.

The Kansas Senate today ushered in a new pro-life era by advancing two significant measures that Gov. Sam Brownback is anxious to sign into law.

The landmark Pain-capable Unborn Child Protection Act, HB 2218, and the  Abortion Reporting Accuracy and Parental Rights Act, HB 2035, each passed 24-15.  Both measures acquired minor amendments on the Senate floor and will require a quick assent  by the House, when it returns to work Monday.

UPDATE Mar. 29: House concurs on HB 2035 by100-22 and HB 2218 by 94-28.

Sen. Terry Bruce (R-Hutchinson) did a top notch job leading the defense of HB 2218 in floor debate,  citing

  • the 1987 ground breaking evidence published in  the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine,
  • a ‘litany’ of consistent scientific studies after that, and
  • the 2004 U.S. Dept. of Justice testimony of top researchers.

Bruce added “the smartest man he knew, one of only ten neuro-radiologists in the country” supports the science of the bill that unborn children aged 20 weeks post-conception (22 weeks gestation) can acutely experience pain.

Speaking in support of HB 2218 were Senators Julia Lynn (R-Olathe), Ty Masterson (R-Andover) and Garrett Love (R-Garden City. Sen. Jeff King (R-Independence) (more…)

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The Kansas Senate judiciary committee has passed 2 bills that will hurt the pro-life cause: one (SB 456) restricting  free speech and the other (SB 468) aimed at preventing citizen-petitioned grand juries.  Both bills deserve the axe, so contact your Senator quickly as the bills are on the fast track for Senate action. 

UPDATE: Senators Tim Huelskamp, Dick Kelsey and Mary Pilcher-Cook helped stave off adoption of SB 468 this afternoon and it has been sent to committee, possibly til next week.  SB 456 is still slated for debate tomorrow, Friday, Feb.19.  Keep those contacts coming, Senate offices can be reached at 1-800-432-3924.

SB 456  is a clear attempt to silence KFL in the upcoming elections by eliminating our ability to use auto-dialed phone calls.  (more…)

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