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Today let’s take a small stroll down memory lane.  While it’s easy for us to recall formative events in our lives such as riding our first bike, laughing with siblings, or family meals, our earliest events are beyond our ability to remember.  However just because we cannot remember doesn’t make them any less formative.  Let’s take a look at the diary of the unborn you.

Did you know that twenty-two days into your life your heart began to pump your blood through your tiny body?  Often before your parents discovered you were on your way you had a cardiovascular system that was working with your unique blood type.  Around this same time, your nervous system and organs began to form starting the beginnings of your spinal column, liver, and kidneys.

You continued to grow quickly, developing eyes, legs, hands, mouth, and toes all from weeks five to seven.  Your brain waves were first detectable at week six letting us know you could, in fact, thinking, despite what your siblings have led us to believe.  By the seventh week of your life you were already kicking and swimming, anxious to exercise and test your mettle.

By the eighth week of your life, you already possessed every organ that you have today.  Your bones began to replace cartilage, your unique fingerprints began to form, and you were able to hear the music your parents listened to from classical to Lynyrd Skynyrd.

In the tenth and eleventh weeks after your conception, you were able to grasp with your tiny hands.  Your body had finished forming its skeletal structure, nerves, and circulatory system.  You had formed your teeth, learned to turn your head, frown, and hiccup.  By your twelfth week in this world, your nervous system had developed all the parts you needed to experience pain, nerves, spinal cord, and thalamus.  Even your vocal cords were finished allowing you to wow all your friends by singing karaoke many years down the road.

At this point in your life, you had all the tools necessary to become the adult we all know and love.  A little more time, a little more love and a whole lot of growing were all that was necessary to help you become you.  In fact, given that all the information necessary for this miracle was in your DNA all along you could say that you have always been you.  We’re glad you’re here with us.

For more information go to our web page http://kfl.org/resources_pregnancy_wrtk.html

Attend the Rally for Life in Topeka http://kfl.org/events_2018rallyforlife.html

We will host the National Right to Life Convention in 2018. Learn more http://nrlconvention.com/

Sources for the essay:

Hopson, Janet L.  Fetal Psychology.  Oct. 1998.  07 Jan 2003. http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/tul/psychtoday9809.html.

Flanagan,  Geraldine Lux.  Beginning Life.  The Marvelous Journey from Conception to Birth.  New York: DK Publishing Inc., 1996.

Bergel, Gary (Produced by NRLC) “When You Were Formed in Secret.” 1998.

Essay by Joe Patton III

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Rep. Lance Kinzer

Rep. Lance Kinzer

The Kansas House today provisionally passed HB 2253, an updated version of last year’s Pro-Life Protections Act, with a final vote to be taken Wednesday. UPDATE Mar.20: Passed 92-31

The bill–which passed without any of the four hostile amendments offered–

  • removes tax breaks for abortionists and tax funding of abortion & abortion training;
  • codifies informed consent already created and in use by KDHE (state health dept.);
  • unifies abortion statute definitions;
  • adopts ‘Life begins at conception/fertilization’ as basis for legislation; and
  • improves support for medically-challenging pregnancies and disabled children.

Opponents’ game plan today was to introduce a new headline for the liberal press—which ate it right up—that Kansas rejected a rape exception for abortion. Nevermind that the ‘exception’ was actually a bold attempt to overthrow ALL state abortion regulation from the past two decades with one floor amendment. The headline got through, to be sent out on social media.

Neither did abortion supporters brush aside their usual untruths that the Kansas bill is ‘sweeping’ and forces doctors to lie to women that abortion causes breast cancer. No matter how many times the truth is told that the bill contains over 50 pages of required tax statutes, and that abortionists will not be required to utter any KDHE scripted remarks, they will ignore it.

The most vocal opponent, as usual, was long-retired anesthesiologist, Rep. Barbara Bollier with her perennial complaint that the bill was medically inaccurate. “I’m so disappointed in you all who have not gone to medical school, who have not gone to nursing school and think you know better. It’s shameful” said the Republican from Mission Hills, addressing the House.

Bollier has many ‘facts’ wrong, for example,

there is no phrase “abortion-causes breast-cancer” in the state informed consent materials, or in this bill that codifies those materials—no matter how many times she repeats it.

Even though she was made to admit at the podium, near the end of debate, that the first full-term pregnancy is well known to give lifetime risk protection from breast cancer, Bollier stubbornly said that does not prove that abortion has any effect on a pregnancy. She denied the logic of alerting a woman experiencing her first pregnancy of the risk that can result by preventing a full term delivery!

The first of Boiller’s 3 hostile amendments attempted to remove the topic of abortion’s link to breast cancer and pre-term future births from Woman’s Right to Know informed consent materials. Then Bollier tried to delete information describing the pain capability of the unborn child from the same materials. As she did 2 years ago when fighting passage of a law protecting pain-feeling unborn children, Bollier insisted no science backs it up. This time, her defense was more astounding.

First, Bollier—who has not practiced medicine for 14 years, was flat out wrong when she told House members that anesthesia is never given to unborn children directly, but only through their mothers. Then, in an even more insistent and embarrassing display, she argued that unborn children can’t feel pain, or “feel” a stress reaction, they can only “mount” a stress reaction!

HB 2253 bill sponsor, and House Judiciary chairman, Rep Lance Kinzer (R-Olathe), rebutted Bollier:

When it comes to stress reactions I imagine an unborn child does indeed experience stress when being dismembered and having arms and legs torn off. He cited the scientific evidence at doctorsonfetalpain.org.

Retired surgeon, freshman Rep. Shanti Gandhi, (R-Topeka) stood in strong support of the bill: “I come here to confirm one fact that’s indisputable, at least in my case having studied medicine, that is that life does start at conception. If we believe that, I think this bill is too long. All it needs is one paragraph that says life begins at conception.”

Speaking in SUPPORT of the bill were Reps. Kinzer, Gandhi, Steve Brunk (R-Wichita), Peggy Mast (R- Emporia), Allan Rothlisberg (R-Grandview Plaza), and Joe Edwards (R-Haysville).

Speaking in OPPOSITION to the bill were Reps. Bollier, Jim Ward (D-Wichita), Louis Ruiz (D-Kansas City), Anne Kuether (D-Topeka), Annie Tietze (D-Topeka), John Wilson (D-Lawrence), Roderick Houston (D- Wichita), Patricia Sloop (D-Wichita), and Carolyn Bridges (R-Wichita).

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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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Ruth Tisdale, Advice & Aid (left) and Donna Kelsey, Wyandotte Pregnancy Clinic (right) with KFL's lobbyist, Jeanne Gawdun

SCR 1606 conferees Ruth Tisdale, Advice & Aid Pregnancy Centers Inc.(left) and Donna Kelsey, Wyandotte Pregnancy Clinic (right) with KFL’s lobbyist, Jeanne Gawdun

Moving through the Kansas legislative process this week were two measures combating abortion coercion: the Pro-Life Protections Act and SCR 1606, a resolution commending pregnancy maintenance resource centers (also known as crisis pregnancy centers).

SCR 1606 was adopted by the Senate (fittingly) on Jan. 22 and recognizes the valuable contribution of such centers nationally, as well as the 71 Kansas centers officially found in the state informed consent registry. The resolution was sent to the House Health & Human Services Committee, which on Wednesday heard presentations of the work done at these centers– work the Kansas Catholic Conference testimony described as the “front lines of the Pro-Life movement” where “caring individuals offer the material and emotional assistance that changes lives, and even saves them”.

But how stunning to hear that 95% of the women at one center were headed for an abortion due to the unborn child’s father! The center’s director described their task as helping the woman “own” her pregnancy decision and providing her with true medical information about her baby. Although the media did not attend this committee hearing, would they have filed the story of rampant abortion coercion had they been there?  You know the answer.

The media description of the Pro-Life Protections Act, HB 2253, likewise, overlooks how the bill addresses abortion coercion. HB 2253 passed out favorably from the House Federal & State Affairs committee on Thursday and was reported as a “sweeping regulatory” bill, viewed “by opponents as the biggest threat to access”.

The press angle is all too predictable—how are abortionists being harmed and how are abortion-seeking women interfered with by the state? Never a politically incorrect story about protecting women from systematic victimization by the abortion industry.

Nevertheless, not only the wonderful pregnancy maintenance centers, but pro-life legislation aims at helping abortion-vulnerable woman who feel the lack of support for giving birth. Women who may be coerced into abortion are addressed in at least four ways by HB 2253, which:

  • strengthens a state-produced anti-coercion warning which abortion clinics must post inside the premises;
  • empowers a pregnant women by insuring she has access to scientific risks that meet the legal standard of information relevant to her pregnancy decision;
  • requires abortion businesses to link to the entire state’s “Woman’s Right to Know” website with 4-D ultrasound presentations on gestational development;
  • adds new services for women diagnosed with “medically challenging” pregnancies.

The last bullet point addresses the fact that abortion has been promoted, not only as a solution to unborn children diagnosed with serious and lethal conditions, but even for those with Down Syndrome. In HB 2253, a national perinatal (pre- and post- birth) Hospice registry becomes part of state information, as well as a mandate that the state health department co-ordinate and provide support systems for Down syndrome and other prenatally and postnatally diagnosed conditions.

This new mandate to strengthen the information available to help families face challenging medical outcomes is modeled after the Brownback-Kennedy federal bill which—while passed—never was properly funded. Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback sponsored the bill as U.S. Senator, noting that, 90% of children prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted.

That percentage is similar for children prenatally diagnosed with other conditions such as spina bifida, cystic fibrosis, and dwarfism.

Rep. Steve Brunk (R-Wichita) told the Federal & State Affairs committee of his daughter’s spina bifida condition, and the lack of resources which propelled him to create, and lead for ten years, the Spina Bifida Association group in Kansas.

So these are some of the “sweeping” provisions of Kansas pro-life legislation that are never deemed “newsworthy”.

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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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Conferees Dr. DAvid PRentice and KFL's lobbyst,jeanne Gawdun

SB 199 conferees, Dr. David Prentice & KFL lobbyist, Jeanne Gawdun

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.

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pinochioTestimony last Wednesday to the Kansas House Federal State Affairs committee from opponents of this year’s version of the Pro-Life Protections Act, HB 2253, showed they don’t know how to read a legislative bill.

Pro-abortion conferees so misunderstood which parts of the bill include existing statute that they were asking the committee not to pass provisions [the pre-abortion 24-hour waiting period, and definitions of medical emergency and bodily health] that already exist as state law!

Of course, the other explanation is that the abortion lobby doesn’t care about accuracy as long as the spin works. Some examples follow.

ABORTION SPIN: Up again for consideration in Kansas is “70 pages of anti-abortion regulations”.

FACT: In Kansas, bill drafts must include the entire statute that is relevant– even for just a one-word change. The lengthiness of HB 2253 is due to the necessary inclusion of the revenue tax code plus the  “Woman’s Right to Know” (WRTK) handbook, issued by KDHE (the state health department).

ABORTION SPIN: This bill “forces doctors to lie” and “contains a huge amount of medically inaccurate information that doctors should never have to repeat.”

FACT: HB 2253 does not mandate abortionists “tell” women anything, period. The abortionist is free to disagree with KDHE materials, even mock them—as one KCK clinic has done on its website for years. By law since 1997, the abortion-seeking woman signs a paper for her clinic file that she has ‘accessed” these materials 24 hours prior to the abortion. HB 2253, codifying the WRTK handbook, conforms to the ‘reasonable patient standard’ in law covering potential risks needed to be revealed. If breast cancer and pre-term birth risks are nonexistent, KDHE can say so under this bill.

ABORTION SPIN: “No credible evidence exists” linking abortion with future pre-term birth.

FACT: In 2006 the Institutes of Medicine listed induced abortion as an immutable cause of premature birth in its publication on prematurity. A 2009 analysis of international studies concluded prior induced abortion, especially repeat abortions, as associated with a significantly increased risk of low birth weight and preterm births. KDHE finds this persuasive.

ABORTION SPIN: This bill says “abortion causes breast cancer”.

FACT: HB 2253 does not say that! It requires that the WRTK handbook “shall also contain objective information… including risk of premature birth in future pregnancies, [and] risk of breast cancer.”  The information currently provided is one short paragraph on each topic, based on medical and scientific evidence. To read the pertinent section from the WRTK booklet go here.

ABORTION SPIN: “Claims linking abortion and breast cancer fly in the face of scientific evidence.”

FACT: That sentence was taken from the national ‘fact sheet’ issued by Planned Parenthood and submitted by their Kansas facility as defending their opposition to WRTK info. However, two paragraphs further on that ‘fact sheet’, the section on breast cancer reads:

“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 with the first 3 sentences in the WRTK 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.

Gee, sounds nearly identical; even the World Health Organization acknowledged over 50 years ago that the first, full-term birth gives women the “greatest lifetime protection” against breast cancer. When a woman is pregnant, it is her unborn child who sends the chemical signal (after the 32nd week) to the mother’s breast cells to “mature” and become milk-producing. This breast cell maturation brings resistance to cancer-causing agents.

Thus, if an already-pregnant woman deserves all relevant information, the fact that delivering this child will enhance her breast cancer protection and abortion will decrease it, is relevant. And the fact that abortion raises future pre-term birth risk is also relevant. The KDHE is on solid ground, as is the Pro-Life Protections Act. (read more here)

Abortion opponents are intentionally promoting deceit.

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