Kansas Joins Other States in Enacting Pro-Life Legislation
Gov. Sam Brownback (R) of Kansas signed three pro-life bills into law in April, making Kansas yet another state that is making headway in the promotion of life for mothers and their babies.
According to National Catholic Register, Brownback signed S.B. 142, “Civil Rights for the Unborn,” a measure that prevents “wrongful life suits” that are filed, usually when a baby has a significant disability, under the claim that damages are owed parents because they were not given information that would have led them to abort their baby.
In addition, the law allows civil causes of action for the wrongful death of an unborn child throughout the entire nine months of gestation, not just after viability. This part of the legislation applies in cases when an unborn child dies as a result of a drunk-driving accident or an assault on the mother.
Brownback also signed into law a bill that would protect the religious liberty of Kansas taxpayers by not forcing them to pay for abortions. With the new legislation, taxpayer funds are not allocated for abortions- even indirectly. Neither tax breaks nor deductions for medical expenses will be permitted for abortion providers as a result of the new law.
“Every taxpayer can now know with certainty that none of their money is being used for abortions,” said state Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook (R), one of the sponsors of the measure. “The legislation prohibits the use of public funding from being used in any manner to facilitate abortions.”
Brownback also signed H.B. 2253, a bill that prohibits sex-selective abortions and establishes more clearly the health information that must be given to women prior to an abortion. This measure is also designed to keep abortion providers out of classrooms, so that “parents can be more confident their children are not exposed to abortion politics in sex-education classes,” Pilcher-Cook said.
The new law also provides assistance for families with a prenatal or postnatal diagnosis of a child with a disability, including the establishment of local registries of families willing to adopt, for example, children with Down syndrome.
The measure significantly declares that the life of each human being begins at fertilization, “with all state laws to be interpreted and construed to protect the rights, privileges and immunities of the unborn child, subject only to the U.S. Constitution and the judicial decisions and interpretations of the U.S. Supreme Court.” Similar wording has already withstood a challenge before the Supreme Court in 1989, in Webster v. Reproductive Health Services.
Pro-life advocates in Kansas believe their hard work on behalf of babies and mothers is being rewarded, particularly since their former governor, Kathleen Sebelius, who claims to be Catholic, is the force behind ObamaCare, which mandates coverage of abortion, contraception, and abortifacients. Abortionist George Tiller, who operated his women’s clinic in Wichita, where he performed late-term abortions, was found to have contributed to Sebelius’ campaign.
Kathy Ostrowski, legislative and research director for Kansans for Life, recalled that Sebelius vetoed every reasonable pro-life legislation. But, “pro-lifers are very persistent in Kansas,” Ostrowski said.
Ostrowski added that the new legislation signed by Brownback, a convert to Catholicism, is a key part of the strategy in building a culture of life.
“In Kansas, we are attempting to do what the Supreme Court said we could do in 1989,” Ostrowski said, “which is protect the unborn child and the interests of his parents in the courtroom, despite the existence of Roe [v. Wade].”