Posts Tagged ‘Rep. Pete DeGraaf’

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

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

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).

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Magistrate Judge Kenneth Gale

UPDATE, Sept. 19: Gale recommends injunction denial to Judge Wesley Brown, who will issue the final decision.

Kansans for Life attended a 90-minute hearing today in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Kenneth Gale in federal court in Wichita.

The hearing was about emergency action (a preliminary injunction) to halt the new Kansas law ending abortion coverage in private health insurance plans.

At the hearing, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) was pressing for the injunction on behalf of unnamed women who will lose current abortion coverage.  They claim this is sex discrimination that prevents women from buying plans covering all of their “health-care needs” while imposing no limitations on the medical needs of men.

Judge Gale appeared to favor the ACLU while frequently interrupting Kansas Solicitor General, Stephen McAllister, handling the state’s defense.

The ACLU was supposed to show irreparable harms (more…)

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Bill author Pete DeGraaf & Senate sponsor Ty Masterson were congratulated by KFL's Kathy Ostrowski & Jeanne Gawdun

Today, Planned Parenthood of Kansas (PP) is decrying the just-passed pro-life insurance bill, HB 2075, that Missouri enacted in 1983 and that Blue Cross of Kansas City has implemented in Kansas for decades.

HB 2075 includes the contents of a pro-life bill filed by Rep. Pete DeGraaf (R-Mulvane) that removes  abortion from being automatically covered in standard private health plans, other than those obtained to prevent the death of the mother.

Kansas insurers will be allowed to offer abortion coverage only through individually-purchased riders, which the AP reported as costing $2.  READ MORE on the new bill here.

The real reason PP is squawking is that they’ll be losing their cash-cow:  insurance-paid abortion.

Kansas statistics show over 40% of abortions are repeats, i.e. the second, third , fourth or fifth time the same woman has obtained an abortion! Unquestionably, when employers are freed from buying elective abortion coverage for their employees, abortion numbers will be reduced.

In their media release, (more…)

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Before going home this week, the Senate and House will yet get to vote on a “clean-up” insurance bill that will include the contents of HB 2292,  introduced last year by Rep. Pete DeGraaf (R-Mulvane). [UPDATE, MAY 13: the bill passed the Senate 28-10 and the House 86-30]

HB 2292 requires health insurance policies to remove  abortion from automatic coverage, relegating it to individually-purchased riders. This only makes sense; pregnancy is not a disease and abortion is not true healthcare.

Blue Cross of Kansas City implemented this policy decades ago in eastern Kansas, because their Missouri clients across the stateline had such a limit.

 HB 2292 would only permit standard health insurance coverage for abortions done to save the life of the mother– although abortions for that reason have not occurred in Kansas since mandatory reporting began in 1998.

HB 2292 would also prevent any future ‘Obamacare’ state health exchanges from including abortion coverage. (more…)

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6 years ago, the Kansas legislature put abortion restrictions into place on the salaries of state employees— which are paid by the state tax-payers.

In his first term in 2010, Rep. Pete DeGraaf (R-Mulvane) discovered that those restrictions had been undermined and filed a bill to fix it.  Unfortunately, this fix– HB 2293— has not yet been adopted in 2 legislative sessions.

With only a few days left, one sole Senator on a committee of six, Ruth Teichman (R- Stafford), is refusing to add this measure to a conference committee report, apparently with the backing of Senate leadership. [Note: Conference reports reconcile differences between the House and Senate versions of one or more bills at the end of the term.]

HB 2293 is not a new policy mandate– it closes an illegal loophole using state tax dollars to fund elective abortions.

As used in three other pro-life bills passed this session, HB 2293 defines elective abortion to include those obtained for reasons of rape or incest.  (more…)

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