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.
Pro-abortion Sen. Marci Francisco (D-Lawrence) led the opposition, using statements so dumbfounding it was difficult to politely respond. One of her 5 hostile amendments was based on the contention of pro-abortion Kansas State representative, Dr. Barb Bollier (R-Mission Hills) that only a “fetus with a functioning cerebral cortex” could feel pain. (See rebuttal here and here.) The amendment failed 13-25.
The opposition of ACOG cited by Francisco [that no legitimate evidence exists that unborn children in the second trimester feel pain] is patently contradicted by the fact that doctors use anesthesia during fetal surgery and hospitals give pain-killing drugs to second trimester preemies in the NICU!
Bruce argued that a society that requires that we treat animals humanely should err on the conservative side of when the unborn child experiences pain.
Another Francisco amendment would have reinstated a mental health exception for late abortions. It was extolled by pro-abortion Sen. Laura Kelly (D-Topeka), as showing compassion for suicidal pregnant women. The amendment failed 13-26, after pro-life Sen. Mary Pilcher Cook (R-Shawnee) pointed out how the medical research strongly shows that abortion raises, not resolves, suicidal inclination.
The mental health loophole for securing Kansas late-term abortion was notoriously abused and exposed when the eminent 25-year head of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins reviewed some of the files from the now-closed Wichita clinic of George Tiller. That expert doctor, Paul McHugh, proclaimed that social reasons, not even coming close to the statutory intention, had been used as excuses to perform late abortions.
The second pro-life bill passed, HB 2035 (also introduced as SB 146), addresses the long-standing fraudulent late-term abortion reports accepted by the state health department. Well defended by Sen. Mark Taddiken (R-Clifton), the bill combined three issues:
- a thrice-vetoed mandate that medical reasons be documented in abortion reports, with
- the federal version of a partial birth abortion ban, and
- two-parent consent for minors seeking abortion.
Teens considering abortion are at a statistically higher risk of suicide, substance abuse and physical complications after abortion. The law should never be used to help provide cover for secret abortions.
However, pro-abortion Sen. Anthony Hensley (D-Topeka) said he was concerned that the HB 2035 provision requiring notarized parental consent form would violate “abortion privacy”by use of a public notary. He was apparently unaware that Planned Parenthood testified they already require notarized forms for abortions for minors.
As expected–but no less dreaded– pro-abortion Sen. David Haley (D-Kansas City) rambled on against HB 2035 with outrageous assertions, including, that only women should be voting on these issues, that only children who are planned have the right to life, and that the definition of the unborn was insulting and incorrect, even though it is language already in federal law!
Speaking in defense of the bill were Senators Bruce, Pilcher-Cook, and Ralph Ostmeyer (R-Grinnell).
Two more pro-life bills await action before the session ends next Friday: abortion clinic licensure (now numbered SB 36) and abortion-free health insurance (now numbered SB 65). Contact your representatives and senators to vote pro-life!