Kansas Pro-Life Group Upset Legislature Adjourns With No Abortion Bill OK
by Steven Ertelt
May 8, 2008
Topeka, KS (LifeNews.com) — A Kansas pro-life group is disappointed the state legislature adjourned for the session without first approving a bill to limit abortions. Lawmakers put together a revised abortion reform bill after Gov. Kathleen Sebelius vetoed the first one, but they adjourned without finishing the work on it.
The governor vetoed the Comprehensive Abortion Reform Act and, when the legislature returned on April 30, Senate President Steve Morris "undermined" the 27 votes secured for the override vote, Kansans for Life told LifeNews.com.
KFL director Mary Kay Culp said, on May 7, Morris reneged on the agreement to vote on a revised CARA that would have overcome the objections Sebelius stated in her veto message.
"The Kansas legislature has adjourned without abortion reform, due to Democrat Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and Republican Senate president Steve Morris," Culp said.
The bill had a range of parts to it that helped limit abortion in various circumstances that a majority of the public likely supports.
Both versions of CARA would have prevented coerced abortions, given women an opportunity to see their baby on ultrasound, and help limit abortions on teenagers and late-term abortions.
"Many dedicated legislators worked hard to get CARA passed, only to be cheated of veto override," Culp said. "Many constituents called the capitol to urge passage, override and a vote on a revised version."
Culp said the group’s political action committee would hold lawmakers accountable for their votes on the bill.
The Kansas Senate failed by two votes to overturn the veto. The vote would have failed by one but a pro-life lawmaker was absent at the time of the debate. The Comprehensive Abortion Reform Act failed on a 25-14 vote and, had Senator Emler been there, the Senate would have been one shy of the 27 votes needed.
The House approved the legislation on a veto-proof majority, so a victory in the Senate would have meant the measure would likely have become law.
The legislation would provide for better enforcement of the late-term abortion laws there and reduce teen abortion.
It covers 17 areas of abortion law meant to limit the number of abortions, give women more information and protect parental rights. And it allows lawsuits against abortion practitioners who may be violating state abortion law.
The measure includes the Teen Protection Act, which the Kansas House approved in 2006 on a bipartisan vote.
It targets criminals who sexually abuse teenagers and take them for abortions to cover up their crimes. As a result, the bill makes judges in parental notice bypass hearings become mandatory abuse reporters.
The measure also requires abortion businesses to check IDs of minors and companions, report child sexual abuse to state officials, report incest to law enforcement, and notify the custodial parent of a pregnant minor’s intended abortion.
Despite the failure to enact the bill, Culp said her group applauds the efforts of Rep. Lance Kinzer and Senator Tim Huelskamp who led the fight to get it approved.
Related web sites:
Kansas Legislature – https://www.kslegislature.org
Kansas Senate – https://www.kslegislature.org/legsrv-senate/index.do
Kansas House – https://www.kslegislature.org/legsrv-house/index.do
Kansans for Life – https://www.kfl.org