By Kathy Ostrowski, Kansans for Life legislative director
Late Friday evening the Kansas legislature passed additional pro-life bills that Kansans for Life is confident pro-life Gov. Sam Brownback will sign. Due to late amendments, all the measures were procedurally re-affirmed by both chambers as “conference committee recommendations” and passed by large margins.
Pro-Life House Judiciary chair, Lance Kinzer, commented, “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.”
Measures passed Friday include:
The Pro-life Protections Act of 2013. HB 2253 codifies abortion informed consent materials authorized by the state health department, and removes all tax streams that pay for abortion and give advantages to abortion businesses. The informed consent section has an added mandate for the state department to facilitate medical information access and community support for families facing pre-birth and post-birth diagnoses of Down Syndrome and other conditions.
HB 2253 assures taxpayers are not directly funding abortion or abortion training at the state university, and forbids state discrimination against pro-life citizens and entities.
As of this week, HB 2253 now includes SB 141, the ban on abortions done solely for the gender of the unborn child. This ban was passed earlier in the session by the Senate, and passed last year in the House as a provision in another bill. Kansas will join Illinois, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma and Arizona, in banning sex selection abortions.
The second measure passed Friday was SB 199, establishing a unique Midwest Center for Stem Cell Therapy at University of Kansas Med Center (KUMC). The Center will expand ongoing “adult” and “cord blood” treatments and become a global clinical and educational resource for cures and treatments that do not use embryonic or fetal tissues. In collaboration with the Blood and Marrow Transplant Center of Kansas and the Via Christi Cancer Institute in Wichita, the Center will produce clinical grade stem cells, accelerate clinical trials in this region, maintain a comprehensive stem cell database, and provide educational training modules.
Last month, Kansas passed SB 142, “Unborn Civil Rights for the Unborn,” which outlaws civil actions of “wrongful birth” and “wrongful life” on behalf of disabled children. A noteworthy provision in SB 142 is that it allows (outside of the abortion context) civil causes of action for wrong death of an unborn child to be filed throughout the entire nine months of gestation, not just after viability. (See http://nrlc.cc/14TOdaS.)