Pro-Life Laws Passed in 2011: Kansas

By Dave Andrusko

There are still legislatures in session and we are anticipating more pro-life victories. Over the next week we will both keep you updated on breaking news and take a fond look back at what states across the nation have already accomplished.

Today, we begin with Kansas, which had a banner year. We talked with Dr. Alan Hansen, who is the Kansas Representative on the National Right to Life Board.

“This has been the most exciting and encouraging time for Kansans for Life in 29 years!,” he said.  “In just three months, we have passed major pro-life legislation.”

These triumphs include  

PAIN CAPABLE UNBORN CHILD PROTECTION ACT

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signing a pro-life bill into law.

Abortions of unborn children who are capable of feeling pain are no longer legal in Kansas. The only exception is for an authentic life-threatening physical condition. (HB 2218). Kansas joins Nebraska, Oklahoma,  and Idaho as states which have passed this legislation based on a model provided by the National Right to Life Department of State Legislation.

INSURANCE & ABORTION

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)–ObamaCare–requires states to operate and maintain “health insurance exchanges” by 2014. However there is specific language in the PPACA that allows States to affirmatively prohibit coverage of abortions under the qualified health plans offered through the exchanges. The language of HB 2075 prevents any future ‘ObamaCare’ state health exchanges from including abortion coverage in Kansas.

In addition private health insurance may not cover abortions except for authentic “life-of-the-mother” situations. Insurers may offer individually-purchased riders for abortion. 

Blue Cross of Kansas City long ago implemented this abortion exclusion in private plans across the state line in eastern Kansas, because Missouri passed this law in 1983. Seven other states limit abortion in private health insurance plans.

ABORTIONS & PARENTAL RIGHTS

“The Parental Consent Law requires both parents of intact families to consent to their daughter’s abortion if she is under 18,” Dr. Hansen said. The court “bypass” of this consent has been altered to prevent it from “rubberstamping” the minor girl’s claim she is mature enough or that involving her parent(s) is against her interest. The bypassing judge may engage additional evaluation and is required to report suspected child abuse to the proper authorities. The pregnant woman and her family have a stronger standing to sue for illegal late-term abortions. (HB 2035)

ABORTION FACILITY LICENSURE

Kansas hospitals, single-day surgical centers and private physician offices that do elective abortions must obtain an annual license, based on completed inspection and one additional unannounced inspection by Kansas Department of Health and Environment.  Each abortion must be performed by a state-licensed physician with local hospital privileges within 30 miles Ultrasound is required, not optional, prior to an abortion and the woman may obtain a hard copy of the image. (H Sub SB 36). Abortion Clinic Licensing–facilities now will have surprise inspections at least annually, and abortionists must have hospital privileges within 30 miles.

Abortions by pills must be administered by, or in the presence of, a state-licensed physician. “This prohibits so-called ‘web-cam’ abortions, because the abortionist must be in the presence of the mother,” Dr, Hansen said, “and only abortionists can prescribe the chemical pills.”

“Thanks to our solidly pro-life state legislature and an unwavering Governor Sam Brownback, Kansas will never again be an abortion capital,” Dr. Hansen said. “ Kansans for Life hopes to have Kansas “abortion free” within three years!”

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