Kansas Senate committees today worked, and passed out favorably, two pro-life measures.
The Senate Judiciary committee passed SB 142 [Civil Rights for the Unborn] and the Senate Public Health and Welfare committee passed SB 199, to establish the Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center at the University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC).
Support for SB 199 came from KFL, pointing out that in 2006, despite heavy lobbying to support unproductive and unethical embryonic research, the Kansas legislature made the correct decision to support adult stem cell research by
- enacting legislation to facilitate the recruitment of entities, and encourage strategic partnerships.
- budgeting $150,000 to fund a KU adult stem cell research project using umbilical cord blood.
Overall the Senate Public Health and Welfare committee heard support for the novel KU Center from a stem cell patient, four doctors /researchers and a representative of KU. In addition, Rockhurst University ethicist John Morris submitted testimony (read it here) explaining the alarming phenomenon of “stem cell tourism”, in which patients travel abroad to obtain unproven treatments from unqualified personnel.
SB 199 conferee Dr. David Prentice has noted, “the Kansas City metropolitan area has become one of the strategic centers in the nation for life sciences.” Umbilical cord blood research is already being done at KU, using a discovery made at K-State (“Wharton’s Jelly”) so there’s no reason to delay establishing a global center here for stem cell treatment, research, and education. (see past posts here and here)
The Senate Judiciary committee passed SB 142, which was part of the 2012 Pro-Life Protections Act passed 88-31 last year in the House. SB 142 would
- BAN any “wrongful birth/life” lawsuits claiming that the child, in essence, is a ‘damage’;
- BROADEN civil suits on behalf of wrongful death of an unborn child to be filed throughout gestation, not just after viability.
TAKE ACTION : Both SB 199 and SB 142 are expected to go to the Senate for votes quite quickly to meet the Friday deadline for action on bills originating in each chamber. To contact your senator about either bill, you may use the roster here.