After years of incremental baby steps in a setting that billed Kansas as the “abortion capital of the nation,” in a state whose executive branch refused to enforce laws protecting women and unborn babies, and in a state in which the judicial branch continues to persecute those who did try to enforce the law, the victories achieved in this legislative session are sweet indeed. The darkness surrounding the Capitol and the legislative process is beginning to lift; the bright sunshine of daylight and truth are beginning to illumine our beautiful Capitol. Thanks be to God!
Pro-Life Protection Act
The Pro-Life Protection Act (HB 2253) is headed to Gov. Brownback for his signature. Section 2 of the bill states: “the life of a human being begins at fertilization” and that Kansas will uphold the rights and privileges for all human beings except where barred by the U.S. Supreme Court. The language in Section 2 was copied from Missouri law which has been allowed to remain standing by the U.S. Supreme Court Webster decision (1989) which allowed the state to legislate a preference for childbirth over abortion. In 2011 for the purposes of abortion informed consent, Kansas adopted a statement from South Dakota (upheld by the 8th circuit appellate court )that “abortion terminates the life of a whole, separate, unique, living, human being.” The drafter of the Pro-Life Protections Act, Rep. Lance Kinzer (R-Olathe), stated after passage of HB 2253, “These measures represent a significant step forward in our ongoing effort to advance thoughtful and targeted legislation that both defends innocent human life and protects women who are so often exploited by the abortion industry.”
HB 2253 also codifies abortion consent materials for women considering abortion (Women’s Right to Know) including information regarding the possible link between breast cancer and abortion; it also removes all tax streams that pay for abortion or that benefit abortion businesses. In addition, it assures that taxpayers are not funding abortion training at state universities. SB 141, the ban on abortions done solely for the gender of the unborn child, was included in the language of HB 2253 during the last week of debate. CWA supported HB 2253 and testified for SB 141. HB 2253 strengthens medical and community support for Down syndrome and other conditions.
Midwest Center for Stem Cell Therapy
SB 199 establishes the Midwest Center for Stem Cell Therapy at the University of Kansas Medical Center in collaboration with the Blood and Marrow Transplant Center of Kansas and the Via Christi Cancer Institute in Wichita. This new center will expand ongoing adult and cord blood treatments and will facilitate clinical and educational resources for cures and treatments that do not use embryonic or fetal tissues. It will produce clinical grade stem cells which will increase clinical trials in this region and maintain a comprehensive stem cell database. CWA of Kansas testified for this bill. Our testimony was based on personal experience; my husband received a transplanted heart five years ago. At that time stem cell science and breakthroughs were not available to him hence the transplant. In spite of the success of his transplant, he has still experienced side effects and consequences of the rejection drugs he must take for the rest of his life. My husband’s own stem cells, nudged into building new heart tissue, could have avoided these side effects.
Wrongful birth and wrongful life
Last month the Kansas Legislature passed SB 142, “Unborn Civil Rights for the Unborn” which outlaws civil actions of “wrongful birth” and “wrongful life” on behalf of disabled children.
HB 2164 was passed in both Houses this session. This bill protects grand juries summoned by citizen petitions from interference and undermining by local district attorneys. These citizen-summoned grand juries have been used to challenge government agencies from not upholding pro-life and pro-family laws.
None of this could have happened without the diligent work of a coalition of pro-life/pro-family groups, the courage and dedication of legislators willing to carry the bills, and grassroots support—-YOU. Your prayers and your calls have ensured that justice and righteousness for women and the unborn will once again be the watch-word for Kansas. The rule of law had a victory this year. May God be praised!