Kansas closes a horrible chapter of abortion corruption today, which had caused the state to be referred to as the late-term abortion destination of the nation.
Gov. Sam Brownback has signed into law two measures that
protect the lives of unborn children who are capable of feeling pain and will better prevent pregnant teens from obtaining abortions without parental involvement.
At a Statehouse reception hosted this afternoon by Kansans for Life, legislators and pro-lifers assembled to watch the ceremonial signing of HB 2218, the Pain-capable Unborn Child Protection Act, and the actual signing of HB 2035, the Accuracy in Abortion Reporting & Parental Rights Act.
Pro-life leader and House Judiciary chair, Rep. Lance Kinzer (R-Olathe) authored both bills and was joined by 62 co-sponsors on HB 2035 and 47 co-sponsors on HB 2218. “It’s a tremendous day,” Kinzer said Tuesday. “It’s been a long road for the pro-life movement in Kansas to get to this stage — not just a matter of years but going back decades, quite frankly.”
Both laws use the term “unborn child” instead of fetus and HB 2035 requires written state information for pregnant woman at abortion clinics to include the medical fact that, “Abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique living human being.”
In 1998, Kansas banned post-viability abortion for “fetal anomalies”, yet the abortion industry lobbyists, and Kansas N.O.W. opposed this year’s bills by saying that mothers of unborn children diagnosed late in pregnancy with severe health limitations should be allowed to abort them!
“I don’t think we want to go down the path of targeting handicapped children,” said Rep. Joe Patton (R-Topeka).
Kansas is home to 73 free pregnancy assistance centers, with perinatal hospice centers in Wichita and Kansas City that provide help before and after delivery for medically-challenging pregnancies.
HB 2035 will also:
- clearly require that abortion reports to the state for post-viability abortions contain medical reasons, supported by an independent, and named, licensed physician;
- upgrades the state ban on partial birth method abortions to match the federal law, upheld in 2007 by the U.S. Supreme Court;
- closes gaps in prosecutorial boundaries and strengthens civil standing to sue for illegal late-term abortions;
- replaces one-parent notice with 2-parent consent (for intact families) for abortions on girls under age 18, and beefs up the judicial bypass procedure when the parental waiver is sought.
HB 2218 is landmark legislation originally drafted by National Right to Life in 2010 for Nebraska. The Nebraska law passed and has not been challenged in court. In a private call to media, Planned Parenthood announced they would not be challenging HB 2218.
HB 2218 bans abortion beginning at 22 weeks gestation (20 weeks post-fertilization) except to prevent the mother’s death or irreversible, substantial physical damage
“This is a significant advancement in the public discourse that the child in the mother’s womb is a living human being,” said Rep. Steve Brunk, (R-Bel Aire), who chairs the House Federal State Affairs committee that held full hearings on both bills.
“Before, viability was defined by our ability to keep a child alive outside the womb based on the existing technology, not the development of the human being. This provides a more appropriate benchmark for late-term abortions. It is past due and appropriate that this kind of legislation should be passed in state legislatures across the country,” he said.
Kinzer introduced HB 2218 because, “we know an awful lot more about fetal development and fetal pain than when Roe v. Wade was decided. Unborn children do feel pain.” He listed journals and studies that backed the development of pain receptors by 22 weeks of gestation, adding “the medical evidence is compelling and well-documented.”
Today with the passage of pro-life bills, Kansas is recommitting to its historical role in standing up for human rights. We waged a bloody battle to enter the union as a non-slave state, and sadly, thousands of unborn children’s lives were also sacrificed in this state over the past decades, even when we had laws on the books prohibiting such abortions.
The pro-life mission is not finished, there are bills yet to pass when legislators return from break. And much is left to be accomplished until Kansas becomes a state where every abortion is beyond illegal—it is unthinkable.