Archive for the ‘Public Events’ Category

Teens at workshop

Rapt Teens for Life audience at KFL convention workshop

For a long time, Kansas was on the map as an abortion-friendly state. But the persistence of pro-life Kansans reversed that, and that indomitable spirit was on display Saturday at Kansans for Life’s state convention.

A big turnout at the Wichita Hyatt Regency began with a prayer breakfast and closed with a concert. In between, convention-goers were the beneficiaries of intense tutorials, workshops, panel discussions, and camaraderie.

There were three different program tracks throughout the day—General Audience, Latinos for Life, and Teens for Life.

close in teens

Teens at KFL convention

“Latinos and Teens,” said Convention organizer, KFL’s Development Director David Gittrich, “were especially energized to get equipped to educate and involve their peers in the effort to defend innocent human life.”

Comments from participants in all three tracks were extremely positive and many expressed their gratitude for the event.

The opening general session featured two of NRLC’s top talents: Burke Balch, director of the Robert Powell Center for Medical Ethics, and Mary Spaulding Balch, director of state legislation. The husband and wife team offered a joint exposition on “Pro-Life Lessons from Lincoln.”

This was a riveting explanation of the role the courts played in the civil rights movement, and how we can match those successes in the courts today using NRLC-supported legislation. One attendee said, “This is an absolutely remarkable defense of a strategy that will succeed!”

The afternoon general session featured international stem-cell expert, Dr. David Prentice, now at the Charlotte Lozier Institute, presenting an update on the successes of ethical stem cell therapies. Dr. Prentice is a founding member of the first-of-its-kind Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center at the University of Kansas Medical Center, now in its third year of operation.

Gov. Brownback, NRLC's Mary & Burke Balch, Lt. Gov. Colyer

Gov. Sam Brownback, Mary & Burke Balch, Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer

The audience was enthralled with the amount of stem cell clinical trials that are helping patients, including Kansans, and the medical marvels now occurring.

There was a broad selection of workshops available, including The Unborn Child’s Pain Capability, Why Judicial Reform is a Pro-life Issue, Threats to Receiving Life-sustaining Care in Kansas, and An Obamacare Alternative.

Latino and Teen tracks included topics tailored to their viewpoints and strengths.

Latinos for Life workshop

Latinos for Life workshop

Kate Gruver, from Pure and Simple, was a convention presenter and facilitated the Teens for Life track.  She said she was gratified to have so many people — including attendees from another state! “The teens were full of passion in their ‘standing for life,‘ and enjoyed learning from new perspectives,” she said.

Mary Spaulding Balch, did the “lifeboat” rationing exercise with the Teen track, and was very impressed to see so many young people who are passionate about protecting the lives of unborn children and the medically dependent.

“Their zeal is contagious,” she said. “Their participation is encouraging. The future looks bright.”

The Latinos for Life events “were very well received, with enthusiastic interaction,” reported Anna Myers, KFL’s Director of Hispanic Outreach.  The entire Latinos for Life track was in Spanish and attendees came from the far west to east end of the state.

It was Myers’ inspiration to close the convention with a highly successful Rondalla concert/rally featuring a variety of stringed musicians, and gospel singers.convention, Latinos for Life rondalla

Closing remarks for the day were delivered by Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell, Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, and Gov. Sam Brownback. The Governor detailed 15 pro-life measures he had signed into law and told the happy crowd, “Kansas is pro-life and we are not going back!”

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convention titel finalThe pro-life movement in Kansas is at a critical point in its history and Kansans for Life is holding a state convention on Sat., Nov. 14, to unite pro-lifers behind a plan for success.

The mobilizing crisis is a Topeka judge’s ruling in June that our 1859 Kansas state constitution contains a newly-discovered right to abortion –separate and distinct from the abortion legalization imposed on all states in 1973 by the Roe v Wade ruling.

This outrageous court development was consistently forewarned by Kansans for Life. The ruling is being appealed, but if we should lose, every state pro-life law will be lost, and Kansas tax-payer funding of abortion will be mandated!

A successful strategy is already in play–and will be detailed by national and state experts at the convention. To win, we need all pro-lifers “rowing in the same direction” and joining with fellow Kansans at this convention is the key.

This convention will also feature a variety of workshops and exhibits on abortion, stem cell innovations, rationed healthcare, advanced directives, pastoral concerns and community outreach.

The KFL convention will be held in Wichita with three separate tracks, tailored to address specific viewpoints and strengths:

  1. General Audience
  2. Latinos for Life
  3. Teens for Life.

A very low cost of $30 per person provides breakfast, lunch, all workshops, a convention book, gift bag and a closing musical gala.

No matter what your chosen role is in this pro-life battle, we guarantee you will be empowered and energized at this convention!

Paid pre-registration is absolutely required, and closes Nov. 6.

See the promotional flyer here, listing the speakers and workshops, along with the registration form.

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SB 95 ceremonial signing in Lenexa

SB 95 ceremonial signing in Lenexa includes pro-life legislators

A special event is happening in Kansas for the first time today, as Gov. Sam Brownback travels to four cities for ceremonial signings of SB 95, the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act

The model language for the Act was provided by Kansans for Life, from the National Right to Life Committee. It prohibits the barbaric abortion method of dismembering living unborn children and has been enacted in both Kansas and Oklahoma.

SB 95 was technically signed into law April 7, but this dismemberment ban has such significance to advancing the pro-life cause that Gov. Brownback deemed it important enough to mark its signing with a wide public audience.

The governor is traveling with the bill’s lead sponsor, Sen. Garrett Love (R-Montezuma) and the bill’s carrier in the House, Rep. Steve Brunk (R-Wichita) to school locations in the four quadrants of the state: Lenexa, Pittsburg, Wichita and Hays. Rep. Brunk was lead sponsor of Kansas’ Unborn Victims of Violence Act in 2007 and Sen. Love was a lead carrier of Kansas’ Pain-capable Unborn Child Protection Act in 2011.

The signing events kicked off at 9 a.m. in northeast Kansas at the Holy Trinity Catholic Church and elementary school. Archbishop Joseph Naumann, Catholic Conference Director Michael Schuttloffel, and representatives of Benedictine College, were among the special guests. Also in attendance were numerous legislators, including Rep. John Rubin (R-Shawnee) who assisted in the defense of the bill during floor debate.

Gov. Brownback commended the “outstanding long-term work of Kansans for Life” and for “bringing this measure to ban a horrific abortion procedure.” He told the audience that when the American public learned about partial-birth abortion, they strongly wanted it banned and the Supreme Court said it could be done. “The people of Kansas don’t support dismembering unborn children.”

Archbishop Naumann, who has been involved in pro-life advocacy for many decades, said, “We look forward to many lives being saved by this law; it is an answer to many peoples’ prayers. It will educate and awaken people to the horror that is abortion, which is the civil rights issue of our times.”

Mary Kay Culp, executive director of Kansans for Life, offered some remarks to the the crowd, which included 7th & 8th grade students.

“The signing of this pro-life law shows Kansas’ deep commitment to protecting innocent life and setting an example for the nation.

Often a formal signing ceremony is done in the Capitol and is witnessed by those most affected by the change in law. In the case of SB 95, those who are most affected, the unborn, cannot be here today. So we stand in solidarity with those unborn children by standing here for them today.

Kansas is a great place in which to be born and to live. We are a state where our top universities are working on unlocking the keys to treating disease by using our own cells, called stem cells. We are a state with specialty care for unborn children with serious health problems. We are a state where every community has a place to help struggling mothers-to-be get the immediate and long-term help they need to become a great parent.

Let us applaud all our pro-life lawmakers and our pro-life governor for achieving this law and pray that Kansas will continue to work to show respect for life.

Pro-lifers in southeast Kansas will be gathering at 11:00 at the St. Mary Colgan high school, and pro-lifers from south central and western Kansas can attend the 1:30 signing at Bishop Carroll High School. Update: Bishop Carl Kemme also spoke at the Wichita gathering,

Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, who is a physician and testified in support of SB 95, will join the final signing event at 3:30 at his alma mater, St. Thomas More Prep- Marian school in Hays.

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one small shot of Topeka crwd

a small sample of the Topeka March for Life crowd

The perennial sub-freezing weather has never deterred huge crowds for the annual March for Life, either in Washington D.C. or Topeka. For a story on Friday’s D. C. March, estimated to have engaged 600,000 pro-lifers, see here.

On Tuesday, Jan. 22– the actual date of the infamous U.S. Supreme Court Roe v Wade ruling– approximately 2,500 citizens, young and old–mostly young–attended the annual Kansans for Life Rally for Life in Topeka.  The day included educational workshops, religious services, and a rally at the Capitol steps to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the ruling legalizing abortion.

Pro-life Governor Sam Brownback joined 1,800 Catholic young people for Mass, ate lunch with them and those who attended the Protestant service, and then marched with them all to the south steps of the state Capitol building. Among noted “Marchers” were Catholic Bishop Michael Jaekels of Wichita and Catholic Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas.

Gov. Brownback addressed attendees about the joy found in serving others and the joy of being pro-life. He asked the marchers if they were ever going to quit fighting for life, to which they responded with a resounding NO!

Kansans for Life Development Director, David Gittrich, announced each of the  40 legislators on the steps who slipped out of committee meetings to greet the crowd and receive their applause. (This year an estimated 110 out of 145 Kansas legislators are pro-life!)

KFL Executive Director, Mary Kay Culp, told the audience,  “The cover of the new Time Magazine says that our opponents won a big victory 40 years ago with Roe v. Wade, then says ‘They’ve Been Losing Ever Since.’ Pro-life organizations, pro-life churches, pro-life crisis pregnancy centers, pro-life schools—all represented here today are a major reason they are losing and we are winning, and we thank you!

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Sammie Nesslein's grand prize entry

This year’s task in the grade school poster contest was to design a pro-life parade float with the words: Kansans are pro-life. All entrants attend Kansas schools or home-schools. Prize-winning and honorable-mention entries were displayed at the Rally for Life on Monday, where winners received their prize check and a handshake from Gov. Sam Brownback. The top awards went to:

$100 Grand Prize, all divisions:  Sammie Nesslein, Gr. 6-  Prairie Village
$50 1st Place, Gr. 7-8 Division: Molly Muehlebach, Gr. 7- Prairie Village
$25 2nd Place, Gr. 7-8 Division: Madison Masilionis, Gr. 8- Overland Park
$50 1st Place, Gr. 5-6 Division: Clare Sexton, Gr. 6- Leawood
$25 2nd Place, Gr. 5-6 Division: Megan Lynn, Gr. 6- Prairie Village
$50 1st Place, Gr. 3-4 Division: Ethan Northcott, Gr. 4- Kansas City
$25 2nd Place, Gr. 3-4 Division: Catherine Torkelson, Gr. 3- Wichita

12 year-old Cure of Ars student Sammie Nesslein garnered the grand prize for her well- designed  and executed entry.  It featured painted sunflower balloons, hand-drawn characters and 3-d elements, including a battery pack to provide lights in the wheels!  Her poster will be framed for display in the Governor’s office. View the other delightful posters here: (more…)

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The youthful “face” of the pro-life movement was on display at the annual Rally for Life Monday at the State capitol in Topeka, organized by Kansans for Life.  Not only was the crowd of approximately 3,000 filled with students, the keynote speaker was the youngest senator ever to serve in the Kansas senate, Sen. Garrett Love (R-Montezuma) –who turned 23 as he began his term last January.

Where did this young Senator get the passion to defend children in the womb? He pointed to the his “little brother” Austin, a 6’5″  local college basketball standout who stood on stage near the podium.  Sen. Love told the crowd, “When Austin was born, he fit in the palm of my Dad’s hand.  Was he fragile? Yes. Extremely.  The most defenseless among us? Yes.  And was he a life that was worth the effort of defending? Of course he was. For my family, that story and those difficult times surrounding Austin’s birth and who Austin is today are all great reminders at both how precious and awesome life is.”

Sen. Love continued, “Most concerning to me was when I learned that that during the time frame between 20-30 weeks gestation, we have more pain receptors per square inch on our body than at any other time in life and that is at the same time that our body’s system of pain suppression is not yet fully operating.  That time frame is when many abortions have been performed in Kansas and also the time frame when my brother was born…. That means babies, at a time that they feel more than at any other point in their life, which we have learned through scientific evidence, are going through the worst kind of pain and our state used to say that was okay.”

This is the kind of appealing advocacy Sen. Love articulated on the Senate floor last April, helping to send the Pain-capable Unborn Child Protection act to the desk of pro-life Governor Sam Brownback, and making Kansas the second state in the nation to secure such pro-life protection.

Sen. Love reminded rally attendants to continue to be the “voice for the voiceless” knowing that, in the words of Thomas Jefferson,“The care of human life and happiness and not their destruction is the first and only legitimate object of good government.”

Gov.Brownback also addressed the crowd, with rounds of applause for other pro-life elected officials in attendance: over 50 state legislators, as well as Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, Secretary of State Kris Kobach, and State Treasurer Ron Estes.

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Look how few abortion cheerleaders turned out for a very heavily advertised rally at the Statehouse Wednesday– you can get to 24 attendees without counting the 5 reporters. Of course, the mainstream media took tight photos (here and here) to pretend there was a significantly- sized crowd there to justify coverage.

The “rally” was scheduled to last 2 hours, with music, and was organized by 3 KU young women to be featuring ACLU, N.O.W., MAINstream coalition, Planned Parenthood, “Moms for Choice,” and the misnamed “Trust Women” Political Action group (the re-imaged group begun by George Tiller). That works out to about 4 members each…

KFL did not bother to attend, as we had heard enough spin at the earlier public meeting about state health department licensure regulations, particularly, from N.O.W.’s state coordinator, Kari Ann Rinker, known for her unrestrained rhetoric. (more…)

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