With the Republican resurgence in both Kansas and Washington, abortion has once again taken a prominent place on the agenda.
The 28th anniversary of Roe. v. Wade, which was observed Monday, let many state and local politicians air their views on the controversial Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.
“It is a tragic anniversary because each year we also remember the innocent lives lost as a result of this decision,” said 1st District Congressman Tim Huelskamp, who attended Monday’s March for Life in Washington D.C. “But, year after year, every January, hundreds of thousands of Americans show up in Washington and in their state capitols to denounce the decision not just because they oppose abortion, but because they support life.”
In his first special order speech on the House floor on Jan. 19, Huelskamp called for the federal government to defund Planned Parenthood, and encourage more adoptions.
“Let me speak directly to those that might be considering abortion, there are alternatives, there are opportunities, there are caring Americans that would love to participate in adoption and would love to provide assistance,” Huelskamp said on the House floor. “I would ask that we consider to defund an industry that is not concerned with the women, not concerned with the families. Let’s turn our attention toward those across America that have given their hearts and homes and opening them up to our youngest members of society.”
Huelskamp is not alone in his call for less abortion. Already, the administration of Gov. Sam Brownback has started to tighten rules on late-term abortion, by requiring practitioners to provide the state with more details.
Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Secretary recently told the Associated Press that doctors must now fully explain the medical reasoning for an abortion past the 21st week of pregnancy.
Currently the law only permits the procedure when the mother’s life is in danger, or she faces major harm to her physical or mental health.
However, those restriction would be tightened even further if HB 2035 is passed. Under that bill, authored by Rep. Lance Kinzer (R-14), law enforcement agencies would be granted access to KDHE records, dual-parent consent for minors seeking an abortion, a requirement that the doctor must inform a patient of the specific medical basis of the procedure, enhanced reporting requirements for possible sexual abuse of minors, a requirement that a good-faith medical determination that the mother would suffer irreversible harm to justify an abortion, enhanced informed consent about the consequences of the procedure and a civil cause of action for violation of late-term abortion restrictions.
Currently, the bill has more than 60 sponsors in the House. Neither of the county’s two Congressmen, Rep. Clark Schultz or Rep. Don Schroeder have endorsed the bill.
At least 25 other states have adopted laws requiring two parents to give consent for an underage girl to have an abortion.
Brownback has indicated he is willing to sign any bill restricting abortion if it comes to his desk. During the State of the State address, Brownback called for a culture of life. Furthermore, he closed his remarks to a recent Topeka pro-life rally with a prayer asking for forgiveness.
“Forgive us as Kansans for the spilling of innocent blood, whether that’s Native American or our unborn,” Brownback said.
Other anti-abortion legislation is expected to be introduced later in the session, including bills relating to government funding of abortion and fetal pain.