2011 Pro-Life Laws of Kansas

(Yes, I did watch the Republican Presidential debate last night. (Most of it, anyway; I missed the first part.) I didn’t find anything particularly striking about it, and all the candidates seem decent. I’m not posting about it because I think it’s too early in the race to tell anything.)
Kansans for Life sent out a summary of all the pro-life legislation passed this year. I thought it very nice and handy, so I’ll copy and paste it here. But first, a short version, if you don’t want to read the whole thing:
·        Pain-capable Unborn Child Protection Act/House Bill 2218
o   Abortions banned after 22 weeks gestation based on the pain capability of the fetus. (Exception to save mother’s life.)
·        Abortion Reporting Accuracy and Parental Rights Act/House Bill 2035
o   Tightens reporting regulations of abortions, like all other medical procedures. (Yeah, no-brainer. Have to wonder why it wasn’t done before.)
o   Tightens parental consent laws – both parents, and getting a judicial bypass is harder.
o   Wording is changed from “fetus” to “unborn child” and the fact that “abortion will terminate a separate, whole, unique, living human being” is added to informed-consent materials distributed by the State.
·        Abortion Facility Licensure/ House substitute for Senate Bill 36
o   Lots of little details that overall makes the clinics safer: more inspections of the clinics, abortiosn have to “be performed by a state-licensed physician with local hospital privileges”. (You know, all the things that normal clinics and hospitals have always needed to do. Yes, another no-brainer.)
·        Health Insurance without Abortion/ House Bill 2075
o   What it says. Health Insurance won’t automatically cover abortions, except for cases that involve the life of the mother.
·        State Budget Provisions
o   Planned Parenthood loses a lot of funding, money goes to non-abortion health care clinics.
2011 Pro-Life Laws Passed in Kansas
Pain-capable Unborn Child Protection Act/ House Bill 2218 
  • Due to the medical evidence of the pain capability of the unborn (not viability) abortions are now banned after 22 weeks LMP/ gestation (20 weeks post-conception) except if needed to authentically save the mother’s life.
Abortion Reporting Accuracy & Parental Rights Act/ House Bill 2035 
  • Abortion and elective abortion are newly defined, consistent with all other 2011 abortion laws.
  • Each report to state health department of abortion after 22 weeks LMP/gestation (which should be extremely rare under HB 2218) must include a medical diagnosis and a referring physician’s affidavit of independence.
  • 1998 state partial birth abortion law is replaced with the stronger federal language upheld by U.S. Supreme Court in 2007, which does not allow for mental health exception.
  • The consent of both parents (with exceptions) replaces current 1-parent notice required for abortion of minor.
  • The judge issuing a “bypass” (waiver of parental consent) is now required to report suspected child abuse and may order a professional evaluation of the minor.
  • Abortion laws are worded with “unborn child” instead of “fetus,” consistent with the 2007 unborn victim protection law that defines the unborn child at any stage as a member of the species homo sapiens.
  • The medical fact that “abortion will terminate a separate, whole, unique, living human being” is added to the informed consent materials distributed by state health department. 
  • The aborted woman / girl and her family now have improved standing to sue for illegal late-term abortions.
Abortion Facility Licensure/ House substitute for Senate Bill 36
  • Physician medical offices, surgical centers and hospitals doing elective abortions must be licensed by completing annual state health department inspection with an additional unannounced inspection that year.
  • No abortion after 22 weeks LMP/gestation may take place in a physician’s office, even if licensed.
  • Standards are adopted for abortion facility personnel, equipment, emergency access, and prompt reporting of accidents and deaths; the state health department may take actions for an emergency closure for violations.
  • Every abortion must be performed by a state-licensed physician with local hospital privileges.
  • Abortion pills cannot be administered via ‘webcam’-- the physician must be in same room with the woman.
  • Formerly-optional ultrasound use at abortion facility is now mandated, to be administered by the physician or specifically-trained staff, and – in addition to the woman’s current right (at least 30 minutes before abortion) to view the image, and receive a hard copy --  she can now ask that the physician review the results with her.
Health Insurance without Abortion/ House Bill 2075
  • Private health insurance plans will no longer include coverage for abortion (except to prevent the death of the mother) except through individually-purchased riders.
  • As allowed under Obamacare, future state health ‘exchanges’ (plans) set to begin in 2014 will not cover abortion except to prevent the death of the mother.
State Budget Provisions
  • $339,000 in grant-matched funds are restored to the ‘Stan Clark Fund’ for pregnancy assistance and adoption counseling.
  • Title X federal money for 'reproductive-related' services will only go to public health clinics, and those qualified hospitals and clinics offering full service primary and preventative care-- thus, due to limited ‘services,’ Planned Parenthood will lose tax-payer funding of $300,000 or more.

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