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Posts Tagged ‘Civil Rights for Unborn’

KFL logoAbortion-supporting groups continue to complain about the increasing life-protective laws passed in the states, particularly Kansas. The pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute places Kansas as number four in the nation (see map) among pro-life states– even as three of our bills from 2011 are not in effect yet due to delayed court action.

The achievement of strengthening Kansas as a pro-life state is due to the efforts of many, with Kansans for Life taking a leadership role.  For highlights of Kansans for Life 2013 activities, including educational and political action, see here. To donate, go here.

2013 PRO-LIFE LAWS
Gov. Sam Brownback signed three pro-life bills into law in 2013.

Senate Bill 142 [“Civil Rights for the Unborn”] allows lawsuits to be filed in civil court on behalf of the wrongful death of an unborn child at any time in gestation and  prohibits the filing of civil “wrongful birth” or “wrongful life” lawsuits seeking jackpot awards for parents who claim they would have aborted their disabled child had they known the of the condition prenatally. Recently, a jury in the state of Washington awarded $50 million dollars to parents because a laboratory did not detect a genetic defect. Such a lawsuit cannot be filed now in Kansas.

Senate Bill 199 establishes the exciting and first-of-its-kind Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center at the University of Kansas, to increase the number of clinical grade stem cells available for use in patient treatments. The Center will create education modules for the public and medical personnel and create a global database resource for physicians and patients. Currently the only successful medical stem cell treatments are those using tissue sources such as blood, bone marrow and umbilical cords. The Center bars the use of any fetal or embryonic tissue cells, which are obtained through the destruction of unborn children.

House Bill 2253 [2013 Pro-Life Protections Act] was two years in the making, with extremist liberal media whining all along the way. HB 2253

  • strengthens medically accurate information made available prior to abortion from the state health department website;
  • bans all tax-funded payment for abortion,  tax breaks for abortion businesses;
  • forbids abortions for reason of sex-selection; and
  • declares that state public policy and budget priorities will reflect the fact that human life begins at conception, subject to U.S. Supreme Court rulings.

Planned Parenthood and the abortion clinic of Herb Hodes and Traci Nauser (both in Overland Park) have sued to block HB 2253’s new requirement that abortion clinics feature a link to state abortion information on the clinic’s website homepage. In addition, after failing to secure a legal injunction against the entire HB 2253, Hodes/Nauser attorneys did secure a block on one small provision in HB 2253 defining medical emergencies.

As usual, unable to win in the realm of public opinion, abortion interests run to the courts, hoping they will land activist judges to freeze laws from going into effect. That strategy did not work well for them this year.

The office of Attorney General Derek Schmidt is managing the defense teams for all challenged pro-life laws. We expect resolution in our favor, although the pace has been especially slow on the three lawsuits filed in 2011.

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fertilization (2)The Pro-Life Protections Act, HB 2253, is headed to Gov. Sam Brownback for his signature. Section two of the bill says that “the life of a human being begins at fertilization” and that Kansas will uphold the rights and privileges for all human beings except where barred by the U.S. Supreme Court.  (See legal impact of this declaration here, from National Right to Life.)

There has been much misreported about the Pro-Life Protections Act, including the impact of this declaration on fertilization (Read James Taranto here about abortion supporters’ alarmism on this.)

Section two is neither a personhood measure, nor affects birth control (protected under Kansas law here.)  “Personhood” measures attempt to defy Roe v Wade by (1) winning a state ballot initiative that declares the state constitution forbids abortion, and (2) hoping the federal courts will allow it to stand. Kansans for Life does not believe such a strategy will succeed due to the federal Supremacy Clause.

The language in section two was copied from Missouri, which the U.S. Supreme Court let stand in 1989 in its Webster decision. Thirteen states have adopted it. Under the declaration of life begins at fertilization, the state may legislate with a preference for childbirth over abortion –in effect “corraling”  Roe from  drifting into other areas.  For example, because of Roe,

  • some states don’t allow criminal prosecution for 2 victims when a pregnant woman is murdered –Kansas does allow such prosecution, under Alexa’s Law passed in 2007 (see here);
  • some states allow the filing of lawsuits for compensation that a disabled child exists that ‘should have been aborted’ — these are wrongful birth lawsuits that Kansas now doesn’t allow, under the newly passed Kansas law, “Civil rights of the Unborn.”

The reality is that every state has been working for 40 years –either to promote abortion or to promote life –and Kansas is pro-life. Being a pro-life state is more than passing law, it is how our citizens stand against the forces that push abortion. Our state has continued to increase the number of centers across the state where pregnant women can get free assistance.

KANSAS LAW BACKGROUND

In 1973, the Roe Court cherry-picked some language to define a “constitutional” person such that homicide of the unborn could be accepted. But it was never denied that unborn were human beings, just that they could be aborted because they were not “protected constitutional persons” like their mother and the abortionist.

In 2007, for purposes of criminal prosecution, Kansas legally defined “person” and “human being” to include “unborn child” and  furthered defined unborn child as “a living individual organism of the species homo sapiens, in utero at any stage of gestation from fertilization to birth.” (see here)

In 2011, for purposes of abortion informed consent, Kansas adopted the South Dakota statement (approved by the eighth circuit appellate court in 2008) that “abortion terminates the life of a whole, separate, unique, living, human being.” (see here, section b(5))

Now in 2013, the legislature has officially adopted the scientific fact that life begins at fertilization as an undergirding for further public policies.

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