By Kathy Ostrowski, legislative director, Kansans for Life
Monday was the first committee hearing for Kansas’ Senate Bill 95–the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act–a top legislative priority of Kansans for Life and the National Right to Life Committee.
This first-in-the-nation measure, SB 95 is co-sponsored by 25 state Senators. The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act was the subject of the Monday afternoon meeting of the Senate Public Health & Welfare committee, chaired by Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook.
Testimony from four opponents to SB 95 was expectedly weak, but not to worry, the mainstream media came to their rescue (more on that later).
The position of both Elise Higgins (Planned Parenthood) and Julie Burkhart (Trust Women) was essentially this:
legislators have no authority in this matter;
SB 95 threatens women’s health and “invades” the doctor -patient relationship;
the bill is unconstitutional;
the state is facing a budget crisis and we should deal with that.
As usual, nothing original or substantive was offered. And in fact, their claims ignore the reality of U.S. Supreme Court abortion rulings that repeatedly uphold the State’s “compelling interests” in respecting the dignity of the unborn and in protecting the integrity of the medical profession.
The other two testimonies from opponents were also predictable. One young mother said she was grateful to have had her abortion at age 19. A Harvard neurology professor (Note: not an ObGyn) insisted that the D & E dismemberment method is the standard of care for second trimester abortion and the “safest” method.
What none of them said, but what many published articles reveal, is that the “advantage” (if that word should even be used) of dismemberment abortions is that they are–wait for it–cheaper and faster!
The 2009 National Abortion Federation Training manual affirms not only is the D & E method the “most cost-effective,” it prevents women from having to endure the “prolonged labor experience” of other 2nd trimester abortion methods (in other words from having to deliver their dead babies).
When opponents concluded their comments, an observer to the hearing might have reasoned that SB 95 is an affront to women [wrong].
That’s when I testified to the committee, as KFL’s legislative director. I reminded the senators that, “The focus of this bill is the small, living, human unborn child facing a brutal and inhumane dismemberment abortion.”
You could have heard a pin drop.
As I spoke, I held fetal models of the unborn child, first at 14 weeks and then, at 20 weeks gestation; the ages during which dismemberment is the ‘standard’ method for abortion.
I briefly described the attributes and movements of babies at that age in the womb.
Then I noted what the U.S. Supreme Court itself admitted. To quote Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy, “The fetus, in many cases, dies just as a human adult or child would: It bleeds to death as it is torn apart limb by limb. The fetus can be alive at the beginning of the dismemberment process and can survive for a time while its limbs are being torn off.”
I mentioned that even one such barbarous act should not be tolerated. Then I pointed out the fact that, elsewhere in the legislature, there is a bill advocating the adoption of the most humane, painless way to euthanize pets.
Unfortunately, that irony was lost on the media. Speaking of the media….
Although we did get decent but very short coverage in a television news spot at both 5 & 6 pm, the 10 pm news completely omitted SB 95, choosing instead to spend an unusually long segment of five minutes on the shooting of a neighborhood dog. Seriously.
Not one print media used any phrase about the tearing apart of limbs of the living child in dismemberment abortions. Most of them are referring very antiseptically to the bill as a “method of abortion affecting 8% of abortions.” One story said SB 95 refers to “so-called dismemberment.”
That’s why I so appreciated Andrew Bair’s very excellent analysis yesterday of the misreporting about this bill.
He wrote that the media
“… purposefully omits the key details about what happens to the unborn child, skipping over the dismemberment process entirely….”
Thus, my duty yesterday was to focus the committee and the audience on every painfully victimized member of our human family that was tortured to death in each of the 578 dismemberment abortions that occurred in 2013 in Kansas.
And to urge that that those atrocities end.