The Healthcare Rights of Conscience Act, Hsub 62, passed the Kansas Senate tonight: 23 -16,with 1 absent, under the shepherding of Sen. Garrett Love (R-Montezuma). The bill had passed the House on March 29 by a vote of 95-29, 1 absent, having been introduced in the House Judiciary committee by Rep. Lance Kinzer (R-Olathe), chairman.
The Healthcare Rights of Conscience Act updates 40-years-old state law protecting health professionals’ right to refuse participation in abortion and sterilization. Specifically, it will:
- broaden the institutions covered to any medical facility, not just hospitals,
- widen the category of morally objectionable procedures to include drugs and devices that are reasonably believed to have abortion-causing effects; and
- protect against forced referrals for such procedures, drugs and devices.
This bill was needed because the definition of abortion covered by conscience protection, did not include drugs and devices provided to non-pregnant women, i.e. birth control. Yet the line is increasingly blurring between abortion drugs like RU486– intentionally given to cause abortion– and chemically-similar “contraceptive” drugs like ‘Ella’. And the intense moral decision-making falls on doctors and pharmacists who actually effectuate the termination of human life.
Medical professionals have the right to keep their first amendment freedom of religion, especially in a culture of death where med schools have largely abandoned the Hippocratic oath. This is an important step to prevent Kansas pro-life medical professionals from being run out of medicine.
Sen. Love ably defended the bill, refusing to get sidetracked from the main issue by the usual confusing meanderings of pro-abortion senators, who essentially
- tried to assert women’s healthcare would be hurt,
- thought pro-life medical professionals should wear ‘warning tags’ and make formal commitments to their employers about their belief systems, and
- confused belief in God with assessing package inserts on abortion effects.
“Reasonable belief” is neither frivolous nor non-scientific in origin. Every contraceptive drug and IUD package-insert indicates abortifacient potential to inhibit the implantation (nidation) of the conceptus (embryo)–which means a silent, but no less deadly, post-fertilization abortion. This includes emergency contraception (morning after pill or Plan B) in certain situations.
Scenarios of women denied cancer drugs and access to birth control are unrealistic. During consideration of Senate Bill 91 this session, the key anti-domestic battery lobby told Senators they were satisfied with the delivery system of emergency contraception info and medication to women following sexual assault. In fact, emergency contraception is readily available online to be over-nighted.
Roe v Wade installed abortion but it has always been acknowledged the ruling does not require practitioners and medical entities to perform them.
Republican Senators voting to pass the conscience bill were Abrams, Apple, Bruce, Donovan, Emler, Kelsey, King, Longbine, Love, Lynn, Masterson, McGinn, Merrick, Morris, Olson, Ostmeyer, Petersen, Pilcher-Cook, Pyle, Taddiken, Umbarger, and Wagle. The sole Democrat voting yes was Allen Schmidt. (see detailed roster here)
LifeNews.com Note: Kathy Ostrowski is the legislative director for Kansans for Life, a statewide pro-life group.