For Kansas pro-lifers, being at the state capital today was better than a double-header at Royals stadium: two priority pro-life bills were passed on provisional votes.
First, the House gave unanimous approval to Simon’s Law, which had already passed the Senate, 29-9-2, and is gliding toward Gov. Sam Brownback’s signature.
State reps then turned to debate and provisionally passed the Disclose Act, HB 2319, by a vote of 85-38-2. An identical version of the Disclose Act (SB 98) has awaited Senate floor action for a month.
Rep. Susan Humphries (R-Wichita) expertly explained that informed consent for abortion is controlled by the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1992 Casey ruling. Kansas’ response was enacting the 1997 informed consent statutes, called the Woman’s Right to Know Act.
The Disclose Act is a very narrowly tailored update that advances “transparency” in decision-making for non-emergency, elective abortions.
Since the great majority of abortions in Kansas are now transacted with a single phone call or email, the Disclose Act requires seven basic “bullet points” of information about each abortionist be listed on the consent form.
Kansas abortion businesses are playing fast and loose with their online forms as far as “fine print.” Humphries stated the context of this bill is the “poor performance” of Kansas clinics when implementing simple state mandates, as when they publish a required link to the Kansas Health Department–but do so in reduced type in light grey ink.
Two hostile amendments by perennial abortion supporters were offered and failed. The first, by Rep. John Wilson (D-Lawrence) wanted to remove the typeface, ink and background requirement, which the clinics have brought on themselves by their past bad acts. The amendment failed on voice vote.
The second amendment, by Rep. Annie Kuether (D-Topeka), claimed that all state-licensed physicians should also have these disclosures on various surgery consent forms. She ignored the reality that with abortion there is almost never any existing patient/physician relationship.
Abortion is not just “another medical procedure” like knee surgery or skin biopsy, as Rep. Kuether portrayed.
Rep. Eric Smith (R-Burlington) pointed out that what abortion supporters try to gloss over is that a second life, the baby, is involved in each abortion.
The Kuether amendment failed 41-84.
Supporting the pro-abortion amendment were five Republicans [Stephanie Clayton (Overland Park), Linda Gallagher (Lenexa) Melissa Rooker (Fairway) Tom Sloan (Lawrence), Susie Swanson (Clay Center)] and all Democrats except four.
The four Democrats who voted pro-life were: John Alcala (Topeka), Henry Helgerson (Eastborough), Adam Lusker (Frontenac), and Vic Miller (Topeka).
During debate, assistance for defense of the Disclose Act came from Shelee Brim (R-Shawnee), Pete DeGraaf (R-Mulvane), John Eplee, M.D. (R-Atchison), Greg Lakin, D.O. (R-Wichita), Les Osterman (R-Wichita), Abraham Rafie, M.D. (R-Overland Park), Scott Schwab (R-Olathe), and Chuck Weber (R-Wichita).