Pro-Life Laws Move Ahead in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Idaho

Two important pro-life bills are headed to Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback where they will await his signature making them law.

On Tuesday morning, the House concurred on the final versions of HB 2218 (the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act”)  by 94-28, and HB 2035 (“Parental Rights Act”) by 100-22.

HB 2218 prohibits abortions on babies 20 weeks post-fertilization, or older, based on the scientifically established fact that by this juncture the unborn can experience pain. Thirteen bills patterned on Nebraska’s first of its kind law, passed in 2010, were introduced this legislative session.

Among other things, HB 2035 requires minors to obtain consent from two parents before receiving an abortion and also allows pregnant women or their families to file lawsuits against physicians who perform illegal abortions.

Rep. Cliff Bayer, R-Boise, sponsored the bill in the Idaho House

Meanwhile Oklahoma’s own Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act passed out of the Oklahoma Senate’s Health and Human Services Committee yesterday on a vote of 6-1. HB 1888 now heads to the full Senate.

Earlier in the month the measure passed the Oklahoma house by a vote of 94-2.

At the time, state Representative Pam Peterson, who sponsored the bill, said, “The science is there,” referring to the many scientific studies documenting that unborn children can feel pain by 20 weeks post-fertilization. “Whether you’re pro-life or pro-abortion, we should all agree that gratuitous suffering by an unborn child is incompatible with our society.”

The bill’s Senate sponsor, Senator Clark Jolley, explained that  “The purpose of this bill is simple—to eliminate and restrict abortions on fetuses that are 20 weeks of gestation.”

If the bill becomes law, abortionists in Oklahoma who perform abortions after 20 weeks  could face felony charges.

Oklahoma has a second key bill scheduled to come up this week– the Abortion-Is-Not-Health-Care bill. SB 547 would prohibit coverage for elective abortions under health-insurance plans in Oklahoma, affirm the principle that abortion is not health care, and protect the conscience rights of pro-life premium payers so they’re not complicit in the killing.

Idaho state Senator Russ Fulcher

In Idaho, a bill to ban physician assisted suicide is on its way to Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter. On Monday the House voted 61-8 to ban assisted suicide in Idaho; the bill had already passed in the Senate 31-2.

Idaho doctors who violate the ban would lose their license and could spend up to five years in prison.

The Idaho Medical Association supports the bill.

“We spoke with palliative care specialists and hospice physicians – physicians who deal with end-of-life care every single day – and this actually gave them more comfort in knowing they could give their patients the maximum amount of care,” said Susie Pouliot, CEO for the Idaho Medical Association, according to KUOW.org.

According to the Seattle Spokesman-Review, the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Russ Fulcher, said “several of Idaho’s surrounding states are becoming tolerant of assisted suicide, and he doesn’t think Idaho should go that way.

“It is a slippery slope to say the least,” he told the Senate. “To me, that kind of standard of care … sends a message to our elderly people … that some lives just aren’t worth living, and that death is an acceptable alternative treatment.”