Kansas Governor Brownback Holds Ceremonial Signing of Pro-Life Bills

Gov. Sam Brownback has signed two pro-life laws, one to protect the lives of unborn children who are capable of feeling pain and the other to better prevent secret abortions on pregnant minors.

(left to right) Dave Gittrich development director, Mary Kay Culp Executive Director, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and Jeanne Gawdun chief lobbyist, and Kathy Ostrowski, legislative director

“Modern medical science provides substantial evidence that unborn children recoil from painful stimuli, that their stress hormones increase, and that they require anesthesia for fetal surgery,” said Mary Spaulding Balch, J.D., NRLC director of state legislation.  “Therefore, the states have a compelling interest in protecting unborn children who are capable of feeling pain from abortion. Kansas is the second state to recognize this obligation by enacting the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, but we expect Idaho and Oklahoma to follow within days – and other state legislatures will be voting on similar bills this year.”

At a Statehouse reception hosted this afternoon by Kansans for Life, legislators and pro-lifers assembled to watch by close circuit the ceremonial signing of HB 2218, the Pain-capable Unborn Child Protection Act, and HB 2035, the Accuracy in Abortion Reporting & Parental Rights Act.

Pro-life leader and House Judiciary chair, Rep. Lance Kinzer (R-Olathe) authored both bills and was joined by 62 co-sponsors on HB 2035 and 47 co-sponsors on HB 2218. “It’s a tremendous day,” Kinzer said Tuesday. “It’s been a long road for the pro-life movement in Kansas to get to this stage — not just a matter of years but going back decades, quite frankly.”

HB 2218 “is a significant advancement in the public discourse that the child in the mother’s womb is a living human being,” said Rep. Steve Brunk, (R-Bel Aire), who chairs the House Federal State Affairs committee that held full hearings on both bills.

“Before, viability was defined by our ability to keep a child alive outside the womb based on the existing technology, not the development of the human being. This provides a more appropriate benchmark for late-term abortions.  It is past due and appropriate that this kind of legislation should be passed in state legislatures across the country,” he said.

Kinzer introduced HB 2218 because, “we know an awful lot more about fetal development and fetal pain than when Roe v. Wade was decided. Unborn children do feel pain.”  He listed journals and studies that backed the development of pain receptors by 22 weeks of gestation, adding “the medical evidence is compelling and well-documented.”

“Rep. Kinzer and Gov. Brownback are to be commended for their efforts to protect unborn children and help their mothers with enactment of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” added Alan Hansen, O.D., president of the Kansans for Life Board of Directors.

For National Right to Life’s official statement, please go to www.nrlc.org/press_releases_new/Release041211.html.

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