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Posts Tagged ‘Sen. Steve Fitzgerald’

Sen. Rob Olson

The Kansas legislature is sending Gov. Sam Brownback another first-in-the-nation pro-life bill.

This morning the state Senate approved, 25-15, Senate sub SB 83, an update to the 1997 Woman’s Right to Know statute, that the House passed Friday 84-38.

“I think this is a bill that will help women make the right choice and an informed decision,” said Sen. Rob Olson (R-Olathe), who carried the bill today.

Rep. Susan Humphries

The Disclose Act was introduced this session in both chambers with numerous pro-life co-sponsors, including the three practicing physicians who are state representatives. The bill carrier in the House was Rep. Susan Humphries (R-Wichita).

The Disclose Act requires abortion businesses to provide –in an easily readable typeface –minimum professional information about each abortionist listed on clinics’ online informed consent documents.

Kansas abortion clinics cannot defend not providing basic data about the pool of practitioners they list on the informed consent documents they all make available online. State law requires this consent document as the gateway form that must be downloaded and time-stamped at least 24 hours prior to the abortion.

Currently if a woman uses the clinic’s form, she doesn’t “choose” the abortionist; she is assigned one. Nor can she evaluate if that practitioner is acceptable to her. She has no idea of the abortionist’s training, age, and professional reliability. This information stranglehold is not faced in any other elective procedure.

The Disclose Act requires these physician minimum topics:

  • Kansas residency,
  • medical degree year,
  • years employed at that abortion location,
  • whether hospital privileges are in effect,
  • malpractice coverage,
  • disciplinary actions completed by the State Board of Healing Arts (which regulates physicians).

Abortion clinics can very easily add this information in a one-time data entry to their online admission forms. Abortion clinics unjustifiably defend withholding this information–calling it harassment–the very words some abortion supporting Senators used today in debate.

Sen. Ty Masterson

SENATE DEBATE
A hostile motion by Sen. Dinah Sykes (R- Lenexa) to send the bill back to committee– to extend the disclosures to other medical practitioners– failed 16-23.

Sen. Ty Masterson (R-Andover) chastised opponents for veiling their opposition to the Disclose Act under the complaint that abortion was being treated differently. “Abortion is different because there is a third person involved in the procedure [the unborn baby].”

Sen. Steve Fitzgerald (R-Leavenworth) added, “The point is that in this procedure, the intended result is a dead human being.” He hammered at the claims from senators not to know this difference, saying this “must be explained not [due] to ignorance but to insincerity, deceit and self-delusion; and that is offensive.”

Sen. Steve Fitzgerald

Sen. Fitzgerald continued, charging that the actual intent of opponents “cloaked in ‘concern’ [about other medical procedures]” was

“to deny women important, relevant information in a convenient format at the appropriate time.”

Rebutting claims that the state Healing Arts Board makes providing disclosure to women unneeded, Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook (R-Shawnee) reminded that the Board does not act as a consumer protection agency, and “it is [our] legislative duty to protect, not point to another agency.”

Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook

Sen. Pilcher-Cook also read some excerpts from the National Abortion Federation convention which indicated the coarseness of abortionists. “The nature of abortion is ugly and it’s evil because it kills a human being,” she said.

The comment from one senator that too much time had been spent on this bill when budget issues remained, sparked this rebuttal from Sen. Gene Sullentrop (R-Wichita): “I don’t think money is more important than life…we should be making law about this and pass it.”

ABORTION VIA EMAIL
The Disclose Act is a recognition that–unlike decades ago when the Woman’s Right to Know Act became law–the great majority of abortions in Kansas are currently secured with a phone call or internet contact, not an office visit or medical referral.

Sen. Gene Suellentrop

Under state law enacted in 2013, each abortion clinic’s home page must include a live weblink to the state website for helpful “Woman’s Right to Know” information. However, proponents of the Disclose Act charge that abortion businesses have

  • disobeyed the location for that mandate or
  • printed it as to be barely-readable in tiny grey type on a tinted background.

That is the reason for requiring baseline data about abortionists be printed in black ink, 12 pt. size, on white paper.

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Sen. LaTurner

Sen. Pilcher-Cook

Last night, the Kansas Senate approved Simon’s Law, 29-11, despite a last-minute hostile amendment from Sen. Barbara Bollier (R-Mission Hills).

All but three Republicans voted in favor of this Kansans for Life-priority bill while eight of nine Democrats voted in opposition.

Simon’s Law insures that parents are the decision-makers when it comes to Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders for their critically ill children.

Sen. Jacob LaTurner (R-Pittsburg) carried the bill on the Senate floor, and opposed the Bollier amendment as undermining the key purpose of the bill.

Baby Simon

Simon’s Law was introduced last year and passed the Senate but wasn’t heard in the House before time ran out on the session. It is named in honor of infant Simon Crosier, whose life ended when he was denied resuscitation in a hospital, after a DNR was put on his chart without the knowledge or consent of his parents.

Parents have been uniformly shocked and disturbed to discover that DNRs could be assigned to their children without their consent. In a number of cases, families testified that their children were treated as “not worthy of life” due to chromosomal disorders. Simon had Trisomy 18.

During Thursday evening’s Senate floor debate, pro-life champion Sen. Mary Pilcher Cook brought up the issue of medical discrimination. She cited a book by former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum and his wife, Karen.

In “Bella’s Gift: How One Little Girl Transformed Our Family and Inspired a Nation,” the Santorums chronicle medical discrimination against their daughter, Bella, who, like Simon, has Trisomy 18. Sen. Santorum recounts how Bella had to be hospitalized repeatedly and for six years, medical personnel continually advised the Santorums to let her die.

Sen. Pilcher Cook warned that medical discrimination exists, and cited last year’s study in which 25-76% of responding pediatricians said they were comfortable issuing DNRs unilaterally. That is the situation Simon’s Law is meant to end.

Vocal support for parental rights during the debate on Simon’s Law also came from pro-life Senators Rob Olson (R-Olathe), Dennis Pyle (R-Hiawatha), and Steve Fitzgerald (R-Leavenworth).

Sen. Pyle

Sen. Fitzgerald

This year, Kansans for Life collaborated with medical and disability experts to produce a slightly amended version of Simon’s Law, which was commended during floor debate.

Substitute for SB 85 requires that parents be informed orally and in writing, before an order for a DNR can be placed in the medical chart of an unemancipated minor.

The delivery of that information must be recorded on the chart. Parents can allow that order to proceed or refuse it.

During conflict resolution, the child’s life must be preserved. This provision was emphasized by Sen. LaTurner as particularly important.

Sub SB 85 also requires that hospitals and medical facilities with written “futility” policies about when life-sustaining care will be denied, must disclose them to patients (or prospective patients) upon request.

Simon’s Law will have a hearing in the House Federal & State Affairs committee on Tuesday. In the House, Simon’s Law has the sponsorship of 30 State Reps, including three practicing physicians.

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