Kansas Lawmakers Send Two Pro-Life Abortion Bills to Senate

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 22, 2011   |   11:51AM   |   Topeka, KS

After initially not voting on the bills because some lawmakers didn’t attend the committee hearing, and after pressure from pro-life groups, members of a Kansas state Senate committee approved two pro-life bills.

The Senate Judiciary Committee initially could not debate the bills because six of the 11 members did not show up for the hearing but the panel called another meeting in the evening, late Monday, and approved the measures.

“Pro-life pressure worked,” Kathy Ostrowski, the legislative director for Kansans for Life, told LifeNews.com.”Very late in the afternoon, 10 Senate Judiciary Committee members met, and passed on to the full Senate two of the three pro-life bills Kansas needs and unborn babies & women deserve. But, we are determined to get the third bill on abortion clinic licensing, also to the Senate.”

Legislators signed off on twin bills SB 146 & HB 2337 for late-term abortion reporting and parental rights as well as HB 2218, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act that bans abortions at 22 weeks gestation (20 weeks post-conception) due to the scientific evidence that not only do unborn children feel pain, they feel it more acutely because pain “dampeners” do not fully develop until 40 weeks gestation, and later.

The first measure would require an abortion practitioner to get written permission of both parents before doing an abortion on an underage girl. Current law only requires that a parent be notified before the abortion.

The Kansas state House passed two bills in February as the House signed off on HB 2218, the fetal pain bill, on a 91-30 vote. The second bill, HB 2035, received a 96-25 vote and the measure strengthens parental involvement for pregnant minors, improves judicial bypass protocol, acknowledges that abortion will terminate the life of a separate, whole, unique living human being, and includes provisions preventing abortion fraud that were passed but vetoed three times in the past by Governors Sebelius and Parkinson.

About the fetal pain bill, Ostrowski added that “the human unborn child feels pain more acutely than any other age infant, child or adult because the biological development of pain suppressors does not mature until 40 weeks gestation.”

She said HB 2218 will “help the nationwide pro-life movement establish that, despite Roe v. Wade, the states have a compelling interest not only in protecting the life of the unborn but in protecting our society from further descending into the barbarism of permitting the intentional inflicting of abortion torture on tiny, pain-feeling humans.”

Before the House vote, a committee heard from pro-life pediatricians from Parsons and Topeka with phone-in advice from a Washington state maternal-infant specialist. Abortion supporters opposing HB 2218 testified as well but brought no intellectual firepower to counter the medical experts that had testified definitively for the pro-life side. The House Federal & State Affairs committee asked opponents if they had any scientific or medical information relevant to the bill. They had none, other than mentioning a 2005 discredited article.

Section 3 allows the induction of an abortion upon a woman when gestational age is 22 or more weeks if “in reasonable medical judgment” she has a condition which so complicates her medical condition as to necessitate the abortion to avert her death or to avert serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.

“This language is fully adequate to cover circumstances in which termination of a pregnancy is truly medically necessary,” Ostrowski said. “Other than a true maternal physical medical situation or life-threatening condition, HB 2218 will ban abortions after 22 weeks gestation (20 weeks post-fertilization). This will prevent abortions sought for the emotional or mental health of the mother, or for the severity of a fetal condition.” [related]

Ostrowski concluded: “Kansans are ashamed of the thousands of abortions that were done in Wichita using this “mental health loophole”–not to help save the mother’s life or prevent substantial, irreversible damage to her body.”

She urged pro-life advocates, after Monday’s actions to call the Kansas Legislative Hotline at 1-800-432-3924 and thank members of the Senate Judiciary Committee for passing the two bills but asking them to send the Abortion Clinic Licensing bill to the Senate floor and to Gov. Brownback’s desk.