Kansas Committee Passes Comprehensive Pro-Life Abortion Bill

State   |   Kathy Ostrowski   |   Mar 16, 2012   |   11:31AM   |   Topeka, KS

HB 2598, the Pro-Life Protections Act, passed favorably out of the Kansas House Federal State Affairs committee today, legislation reflecting the state’s right to promote childbirth, not abortion, and to uphold the dignity of the human person.

The bill had several sections:

  1. removes taxpayer funding and tax exemptions from abortion and its provision;
  2. secures further respect for the unborn by broadening “wrongful death” actions for the unborn throughout gestation, instead of just after viability (matching criminal protection under Alexa’s Law) and by barring “wrongful death” and “wrongful life” lawsuits;
  3. promotes medically accurate information in elementary and secondary schools and in Kansas’ informed consent (Woman’s Right to Know) materials which must be accessed prior to abortion.

We thank bill author, Rep. Lance Kinzer (R-Olathe), Federal States Affair chair Steve Brunk (R-Wichita), vice-chair Joe Patton (R-Topeka) and committee members John Rubin (R- Shawnee) and Terri Lois Gregory (R-Baldwin).

Some committee discussion was spent on an amendment clarifying that KUMC ob/gyn physician residents who are state employees under KUMC are only permitted to do abortion training ‘on their own time and their own dime’ while all related issues are being studied for one year. This complies with by-law IV.A.2.d (5th & 6th sentences) of the accreditation agency, the American Council on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).

Kansans for Life executive director Mary Kay Culp said: “The evidence shows that abortion training is not ‘best practices’– but was mainstreamed into ob/gyn physician resident programs to recruit abortionists and normalize abortion as healthcare. Expert medical advisors say the act of ending the lives of unborn children does not need to be performed, or watched, in order to learn how to evacuate the uterus, and to learn how to manage pregnancy and abortion complications.”

The Woman’s Right to Know informed consent booklet was largely put into statute, leaving KDHE (as they have done since 1997) to determine any language on risks of breast cancer and future pre-term births. A motion by Rep. Kalty Wolfe-Moore (D-Kansas City) to remove information on breast cancer risks failed.

Under the informed consent statute, no doctor is impelled to “tell,” “defend” or “explain” any of the content in the KDHE-produced Woman’s Right to Know materials. HB 2598 specifically does not include mentioning studies examining the independent breast cancer risk and there is no “suspect” information being codified.

This bill prohibits:

• state funding for abortion, including payment through state employee insurance policies;
• tax credits for individual abortions and for abortion businesses;
• discrimination by state agencies against individuals or entities that refuse to provide, pay for, or refer for abortion;
• abortions sought because of the unborn child’s gender;
• public school districts from contracting with abortion providers for any services, including course materials for sex ed classes;
• civil lawsuits for wrongful birth or wrongful life (such claims have been made on “behalf” of disabled children that they should have been aborted).

The bill adds these protections:

• puts large portions of the KDHE informed consent “Woman’s Right to Know” materials into statute;
• clarifies maternal rights and expands warnings about coercion on the sign already required to be conspicuously posted inside abortion clinics;
• harmonizes technical definitions in the post-viability abortion statute with those enacted in the newer pain-capable statute;
• expands civil lawsuits for wrongful death of unborn to be applicable from conception, not just after viability.

LifeNews.com Note: Kathy Ostrowski is the legislative director for Kansans for Life, a statewide pro-life group.