Kansas OKs Abortion-Ultrasound Bill, Gov Kathleen Sebelius Pressured to Sign
by Steven Ertelt
March 18, 2009
Topeka, KS (LifeNews.com) — The Kansas legislature has given its final approval to a bill that would allow women a chance to see an ultrasound of their unborn child before the abortion. Now, pro-abortion Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, whom President Barack Obama has appointed as Health Secretary, is facing intense pressure to sign the bill.
Whether Sebelius signs the bill or not could greatly affect how the Senate perceives her.
Though she has a long record of vetoing pro-life bills and a close relationship with embattled late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller, who is on trial for allegedly repeatedly breaking state abortion laws, some are trying to cast Sebelius as pro-life.
The Kansas Senate signed off on the abortion-ultrasound bill Tuesday and sent it to Sebelius, who has 10 days to sign or veto the bill.
Kansans for Life legislative director Kathy Ostrowski says she thinks Sebelius will sign the bill to avoid criticism from pro-life advocates during her confirmation vote.
"She’ll be tempted to pass it," said Ostrowski. "I can’t imagine how she could veto this bill, especially since she’s up for Health and Human Services."
Or, the governor could veto the bill knowing that the majority Democrats in the Senate will likely approve her nomination. Neither Sebelius nor any administration officials have commented about the bill and what she will do.
Should Sebelius veto the bill, the Kansas legislature will likely override the veto since the measure received approval by more than two-thirds of the legislators in both the state House and Senate.
When used in pregnancy centers, ultrasounds persuade most women to keep their baby and Rep. Lance Kinzer hopes the same will happen in abortion facilities.
Kinzer introduced the legislation, billed as the Womans Right to Know & See proposal, in the Kansas state House along with 38 co-sponsors.
It says women must be given information about the ultrasound 24 hours prior to the abortion.
The bill also requires an abortion practitioner to provide the woman with a list of places where she can obtain a free ultrasound and that any ultrasound done at the abortion center must be completed 30 minutes prior to the abortion.
Kinzer, a Republican from Olathe, told the Capital-Journal newspaper that the legislation promotes a womans physical and psychological health and advances the states important and legitimate interest in protecting fetal life.
The bill also requires abortion centers to post an anti-coercion sign making it clear that women do not have to have an abortion for which they do not consent. The sign is a response to research from the Elliot Institute showing anywhere from 40-60 percent of abortions are done on women who are pressured or coerced by a husband, boyfriend, or someone else.
Every woman submitting to an abortion should only do so after giving her voluntary and well-informed consent, Kinzer told the paper.
KFL’s Ostrowski told LifeNews.com, "This bill will insure that women in abortion clinics are not denied the modern medical information other women receive in ordinary obstetric settings."
"Abortion is irreversible, with results that can produce a long-lasting, negative impact. Although abortion is an elective procedure, it is too often a coerced, rushed decision," she added.
Some 16 states have enacted similar ultrasound viewing legislation.
ACTION: Contact Governor Sebelius at https://www.governor.ks.gov/contact.htm and ask her to sign the abortion-ultrasound bill.
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