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Posts Tagged ‘Rep. Jan Pauls’

Jan Pauls

Today in Hutchinson, funeral services are being held for a stalwart pro-life leader, former State Rep. Jan Pauls, who died last Wednesday at age 64. She had endured a variety of health challenges over the last few years.

Pauls was a Reno County attorney who served in various legal positions, including county district judge.  She was appointed in Aug. 1991 to fill the district 102 state rep vacancy under pro-life Democrat Gov. Joan Finney.

Pauls served 26 years at the Statehouse, until 2017– the last two years as a Republican. The withering of the pro-life position and other policies in the Democrat Party platform caused her, in her words, “to go from Blue Dog Democrat to Blue Collar Republican.”

UNWAVERING VOICE FOR LIFE
As a legislator, Paul’s absolute defense for the unborn was there from the start and never wavered. She not only voted pro-life, she regularly articulated compelling support for it–and against hostile proposals– at the podium during House debate.

The KFL legislative team always sought her input on new pro-life measures and her counsel in persuading wavering reps to vote for life.

“Jan had the courage of her convictions. She was a pro-life champion,” remembered KFL president, Joe Patton, who served as a state legislator with her from 2007 through 2012.

Kansas Catholic Conference executive director Michael Schuttloffel commended her. “Jan served in the front lines of the greatest human rights battle of our time: the fight to protect innocent, defenseless, unborn human beings from death by abortion.  When others succumbed to political pressure on this issue, Jan stood strong as Gibraltar.”

Lance Kinzer, past KFL president and a State rep from 2004-2014, also had deep respect for her professionalism. “One of the most striking things about Jan was her attention to detail; she truly read every word of every bill, every amendment, and every conference committee report. She did this because she understood that small details mattered in the way a new law would be interpreted, applied and enforced. To me, the work ethic associated with this level of effort was the most impressive thing about her –and made her really stand out as a legislator.”

As State Rep, at the close of the legislative session in 2016, Pauls pushed hard to get Simon’s Law passed via conference committee. The measure reflected her long-time commitment to reforming Kansas law to protect children and families. (The measure became law this July.)

In our experience, Rep. Jan Pauls did not aspire to preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits or popularity.

Rather, she was a wise and hard-working servant of Kansas and champion for life.  May she rest in peace.

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pp money (2)The Kansas Legislature adjourned for the year in the wee hours of Monday morning, with two big victories in the area of pro-life healthcare. UPDATE, May 13: Gov. Brownback signed both measures into law this week.

Disappointingly, the time clock hurt us on achieving Simon’s Law, which will be explained further on in this post.

Senate Bill 248, formerly SB 436 (KFL testimony here) was enacted late Sunday evening. It enacts, as permanent law, the “Huelskamp-Kinzer” language prioritizing Title X federal reproductive health money to full-service public health clinics.

Planned Parenthood hates this mechanism because they do not qualify as full-service and it’s a big chunk of Kansas money they no longer get. Planned Parenthood filed a legal challenge against the prioritization but lost in federal appeals court. Title X Kansas funding now surpasses the pre-litigation level.

Sen. Masterson, Sen. Tyson

Sen. Masterson, Sen. Tyson

Huelskamp-Kinzer language is a model way for states to improve healthcare for the indigent, by funneling Title X money to comprehensive services at “safety net” clinics and public hospitals.

State Sen. Caryn Tyson (R- Parker) carried the bill and Sen. Ty Masterson (R-Andover) shepherded it to completion. The vote was 87-34 in the House and 32-8 in the Senate.

MIDWIVES’ ROLE IN ABORTION STOPPED
Kansas passed a large bill, HB 2615, with a number of sections regulating health care services and providers. The section governing the independent practice of midwives includes pro-life language:
            Nothing in the independent practice of midwifery act should be call midwifeconstrued to authorize a certified nurse-midwife engaging in the independent practice of midwifery under such act to perform, induce or prescribe drugs for an abortion.”

There was quite a bit of educating to do on this subject as some legislators just didn’t want to believe that nurse midwives– those most intimately dedicated to nurturing labor and delivery– would actually do abortions.  Yet the National Abortion Federation has long had a strategy for increasing “access to abortion” (i.e. more babies aborted) by expanding the scope of practice of lower level health care professionals. Read more on this topic, including a memo from National Right to Life Director of State Legislation, Mary Spaulding Balch, J.D. here.

Sen. O'Donnell, Sen. Pilcher Cook

Sen. O’Donnell, Sen. Pilcher Cook

Sen. Sen. Michael O’Donnell (R-Wichita) and Sen. Mary Pilcher Cook (R-Shawnee) were real champions on insuring the abortion ban stayed with the midwives’ regulation. The House passed the final healthcare bill 115-7, but only after Senators voted 26-12 to insure that the final version kept the pro-life language.

TIME CRUNCH HURT SIMON’s LAW
This year’s Kansas legislature was dominated by a budget crisis, and in an unprecedented move, leadership cancelled two weeks of legislative session time.  This really doomed House consideration of Simon’s Law, despite heroic

Sen. Laturner, Rep. Pauls

Sen. LaTurner, Rep. Pauls

attempts by bill sponsor, Sen. Jacob LaTurner (R-Pittsburg), vice-chair of the Senate Federal & State Affairs committee, and Rep. Jan Pauls (R-Hutchinson), Chair of the House Federal & State Affairs committee, to maneuver it to get a House vote.

Simon’s Law is a vital bill to protect parental rights in preventing the unilateral issuance of Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) for minors. The measure has gained tremendous public enthusiasm, and secured an amazing 37-3 bipartisan vote in the Kansas Senate. With support of pediatric specialists across the country and four pro-life medical groups, Kansas ought to be enacting Simon’s Law next year.

baby SImon Crosier died to a secret DNR

baby Simon Crosier died due to a secret DNR

Lest too rosy a picture be painted about Simon’s Law, however, it must be noted that not one Kansas medical facility or physician group officially testified about the measure—pro, con or neutral—and many well-paid medical lobbyists out of the public eye pushed to kill the bill. Apparently, the current ability to issue DNRs unilaterally is sadly a power that too many medical entities do not want brokered by parents.

The movement to educate the public about discrimination in life-sustaining procedures has just begun and the entire nation needs Simon’s Law.

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Rep. Jan Pauls

Rep. Jan Pauls

Kansas passed three pro-life measures Tuesday. Two of them (SB 142 and SCR 1606) are headed to Gov. Sam Brownback’s desk, the third (SB 199, creating a stem cell center) is temporarily stalled in conference due to the addition of a friendly amendment.

Pro-lifers are acutely aware that over 55 million unborn children have been denied the right to life because of Roe v. Wade. However Roe’s interior logic has also infiltrated courtrooms increasingly in the form of ‘wrongful birth’ and ‘wrongful life’ lawsuits. These are suits brought under the claim that money damages are owed the parents because the baby—most often one with some significant disability—should not be alive.

Kansas passed SB 142 ‘Civil Rights for the Unborn’ by a vote Tuesday of 89-33 in the House, following earlier Senate passage by a vote of 34-5. Currently, thirteen states bar wrongful birth claims by statute or case law and 34 bar wrongful life suits by statute or case law.

This bill does not interfere with the proper filing of malpractice for obstetric negligence and incompetence. However, this simple truth did not deter abortion supporters from telling the nation that Kansas doctors will be free under this bill to “lie to women.” After making that claim at the bill’s hearing in the House Corrections & Juvenile Justice committee, and

when challenged directly by pro-life Rep. Jan Pauls, the Kansas N.O.W. lobbyist reasserted that only pro-choice doctors will not lie to women.

Additionally noteworthy is the provision in SB 142 that allows civil causes of action for wrongful death of an unborn child (outside of the abortion context) to be filed throughout the entire nine months of gestation, not just after viability. SB 142 is the civil counterpart of Kansas’ 2007 “Alexa’s Law,” allowing criminal prosecution when the unborn is a victim of crime.

Also on Tuesday, SCR 1606, a joint chamber resolution recognizing the work of pregnancy maintenance centers in Kansas and across the nation, passed the House 122-0 after having passed the Senate.

Kansas has eighty pregnancy maintenance help centers. (If you divide the estimated 2,000 national centers by 50 states that would yield an average of 40 per state.) These centers are a vital component of the pro-life movement. Recent testimony from one center in the Kansans City area indicated 95% of their clients are being pressured to abort by the father of the unborn child. (See this.)

Finally on Tuesday, SB 199 passed the House by a vote of 90-32, having previously passed the Senate with a vote of 33-7. Procedurally, the bill had to return to the Senate for re-passage because of a small technical addition.

SB 199 establishes the Midwest Adult Stem Cell Therapy Center at the University of Kansas Medical Center in collaboration with the Blood and Marrow Transplant Center of Kansas and the Via Christi Cancer Institute in Wichita.  “All funds and facilities shall be dedicated to treatments and research with adult, cord blood and related stem cells and non-embryonic stem cells.

No funds or facilities shall involve embryonic stem cells or fetal tissue cells.”

 The Center will:
  • serve as a core facility to produce clinical grade stem cells;
  • create and maintain a database resource for physicians and patients that provides a comprehensive global list of available stem cell clinical trials and therapies;
  • initiate clinical trials with adult, cord blood and related stem cells;
  • create education modules to train and educate physicians and research scientists.

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