Tag archives: Kansas

Why Elections Matter

by Rob Schwarzwalder

April 13, 2011

In 2009, Barack Obama appointed then-Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to be Secretary of Health and Human Services. This was a troubling pick for conservatives, given her support for abortion-on-demand and support from abortion giant Planned Parenthood. As an advocate for federal funding of abortion, abortifacient drugs and embryonic stem cell research, among other things, Sec. Sebelius has justified these concerns.

Yet there is a significant bright side to Sec. Sebelius’ departure from Topeka: Former Senator Sam Brownback, a champion for life, is now Governor of Kansas. And what a difference that has made.

Yesterday, Gov. Brownback signed legislation that “strictly limits abortions after 22 weeks based on the fact that fetuses can feel pain beginning after the 21st week of pregnancy” and another measure, “the Abortion Reporting Accuracy and Parental Rights Act,” which “requires minors who seek abortions to obtain consent from both parents and places certain prohibitions on late-term and partial birth abortions.”

Kathleen Sebelius would have fought these bills from their introduction. Sam Brownback not only signed but celebrated them.

To those who say that Christians should withdraw from political engagement and concentrate on private acts of charity or work solely with church or ministry groups, consider Sam Brownback and his allies in the Kansas Legislature. Were these bills the final word in the battle for life? No. They are part of a larger legislative mosaic that is building, gradually but steadily, a culture where the personhood of the unborn child increasingly is being recognized in law and in the American conscience. For the children whose lives will be saved through these measures, they are nothing less than critical.

Does political engagement bring complete resolution of every problem? No. But political action can make a decisive, if incremental, difference in a host of areas — most importantly those involving the sanctity of life, the dignity of marriage, and the centrality of religious liberty to American public life.

Elections matter. Just ask Sam Brownback.

State of the States: Kansas

by Family Research Council

March 30, 2011

Mirroring a bill passed last year in Nebraska, the Kansas legislature recently gave final approval to a measure prohibiting abortions after 21 weeks based on an unborn childs ability to feel pain. This measure, HB2218, has now been sent to Governor Sam Brownback who is expected to sign it. Passage of this legislation signals a huge step toward fully protecting and valuing unborn human life. It also sets a precedent among states, the majority of which currently protect life at fetal viability, a stage which can be hard to definitively determine. Kansas is not alone in their effort to protect unborn children who can feel pain, 12 other states currently have similar legislation (ID, OK, OR, AR, AL, GA, SC, FL, MS, MN, IA, IN).

Another pro-life bill passed by the legislature was HB2035. It defines the criteria for those required to report cases of suspected child abuse and broadens it to include those who work or volunteer at organizations that provide pregnancy services to minors. Also included are reporting requirements for abortion providers; a provision allowing a woman to file suit if an abortion was performed upon her illegally; and a parental consent requirement among other things.

On the topic of abortion, other bills in the legislature would prohibit taxpayer funding of abortion (HB2377), specify licensing requirements of abortion clinics (HB2337, SB36, SB45 and SB165), create health exceptions to late-term abortions (HB2007), and address abortion coverage in health insurance (HB2292 and HB2293).

In other areas, the legislature recently passed a bill requiring citizens to present valid ID before voting and in order to register to vote. Provisions of the law do not start going into effect until January 1st, 2012.

Currently in committees of origin are bills that establish covenant marriages and enact divorce reform (HB2254), prohibit public funding of human cloning (HB2214), and include sexual orientation and gender identity in state law prohibiting discrimination (SB53). Also of note is a bill which has passed the house and is now in a senate committee that addresses the method of selecting judges (HB2101).

For more on the issue of fetal pain please read The Science of Fetal Pain by Jeanne Monahan.

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