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Thread: Kansas set to enact life-starts-"at fertilization" abortion law

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    Kansas set to enact life-starts-"at fertilization" abortion law

    (Reuters) - Kansas is set to enact one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation which defines life as beginning "at fertilization" and imposes a host of new regulations.

    The Kansas House of Representatives passed the bill 90-30 on Friday night, a few hours after the Senate backed it on a 28-10 vote. Strongly anti-abortion Republican Governor Sam Brownback is expected to sign it into law. Republicans hold strong majorities in both houses.

    In addition to the provision specifying when life begins, the bill prevents employees of abortion clinics from providing sex education in schools, bans tax credits for abortion services and requires clinics to give details to women about fetal development and abortion health risks. It also bans abortions based solely on the gender of the fetus.

    The Kansas bill comes on the heels of anti-abortion measures passing in states across the country, including one in Arkansas banning abortions in the 12th week of pregnancy and a law in North Dakota that sets the limit at six weeks.

    The Kansas language stating that life begins "at fertilization" is modeled on a 1989 ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court, said Kathy Ostrowski, legislative director of Kansans for Life, anti-abortion group.

    Ostrowski said the language protects the rights of the unborn in probate and other legal matters.

    If the bill is signed into law, Kansas will become the eighth state declaring that life begins at fertilization, said Elizabeth Nash, state issues manager of the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute, which researches abortion-related laws nationwide.

    While it would not supplant Kansas law banning most abortions after the 22nd week of pregnancy, it does set the state up to more swiftly outlaw all abortions should the U.S. Supreme Court revisit its 1973 ruling making abortion legal, Nash said.

    Link to Story: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...93501220130406
    Are the new laws really that restrictive? It's not changing the timeline for when abortions can be performed, only setting a new definition of when life begins and adding a few seemingly minor restrictions. Is this just being hyped up?

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    Re: Kansas set to enact life-starts-"at fertilization" abortion law

    Quote Originally Posted by Pilot View Post
    Are the new laws really that restrictive? It's not changing the timeline for when abortions can be performed, only setting a new definition of when life begins and adding a few seemingly minor restrictions. Is this just being hyped up?
    It doesn't really seem like much has changed. What I'm confused about is if life begins at fertilization then how come abortions are still allowed? If it's a human at say 1 week, then wouldn't an abortion terminate the life of a human? If that's not the case, then why even change when it's considered a human life?

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    Re: Kansas set to enact life-starts-"at fertilization" abortion law

    Quote Originally Posted by Dubliner View Post
    It doesn't really seem like much has changed. What I'm confused about is if life begins at fertilization then how come abortions are still allowed? If it's a human at say 1 week, then wouldn't an abortion terminate the life of a human? If that's not the case, then why even change when it's considered a human life?
    That's a good question. I'll try to find the actual text of the bill. It sounds like abortion at any stage would effectively become murder, but that goes against what is being reported.

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    Re: Kansas set to enact life-starts-"at fertilization" abortion law

    Quote Originally Posted by Pilot View Post
    That's a good question. I'll try to find the actual text of the bill. It sounds like abortion at any stage would effectively become murder, but that goes against what is being reported.
    Awesome, thank you. That's exactly what I was thinking. I don't understand what the point of that part of the bill is if it doesn't change anything either. According to the bill, then is it legalizing murder for "children" up to 22 weeks old?

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    Re: Kansas set to enact life-starts-"at fertilization" abortion law

    Link to the amended bill: http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b201...53_02_0000.pdf

    Link to summary: http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b201...53_02_0000.pdf

    I don't have time to read the 72 page bill, but this is what the summary says about the new definition:

    2253, as amended, would revise the general and
    late-term abortion statutes, the Woman’s-Right-To-Know Act,
    and the state tax statutes. In addition, the bill would add a
    new statutory provision that would declare 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, only subject to the U.S.
    Constitution and the judicial decisions and interpretations by
    the U.S. Supreme Court.

    The bill would provide that nothing in the new provisions
    shall apply to an abortion that is necessary to preserve the
    life of the pregnant woman.

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    Re: Kansas set to enact life-starts-"at fertilization" abortion law

    So a miscarriage is manslaughter now?
    He touched her over her bra and underpants, she says, and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear
    Quote Originally Posted by Lutherf View Post
    We’ll say what? Something like “nothing happened” ... Yeah, we might say something like that.

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    Re: Kansas set to enact life-starts-"at fertilization" abortion law

    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
    So a miscarriage is manslaughter now?
    Sure looks like it.

    The bit at the end about SCOTUS rulings might prevent that, but all in all, this seems like a legal disaster. If you are going to say life begins at conception, how can you allow what would be murder under the new definition?

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    Re: Kansas set to enact life-starts-"at fertilization" abortion law

    Quote Originally Posted by Pilot View Post
    That's a good question. I'll try to find the actual text of the bill. It sounds like abortion at any stage would effectively become murder, but that goes against what is being reported.
    Murder is the illegal killing of another person.

    If you say life begins at fertilization, it still doesn't automatically make the killing of that life "murder" if such a killing is legal under teh law.

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    Re: Kansas set to enact life-starts-"at fertilization" abortion law

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    Murder is the illegal killing of another person.

    If you say life begins at fertilization, it still doesn't automatically make the killing of that life "murder" if such a killing is legal under teh law.
    Good point. I could see an argument for leaving exceptions for the mother's safety, but other than that how can they justify keeping the 22 week limit? It seems like it will cause a lot of legal problems the way it currently is.

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    Re: Kansas set to enact life-starts-"at fertilization" abortion law

    Quote Originally Posted by Pilot View Post
    Good point. I could see an argument for leaving exceptions for the mother's safety, but other than that how can they justify keeping the 22 week limit? It seems like it will cause a lot of legal problems the way it currently is.
    Because this is an issue largely based on strong political views, not necessarily individuals views on the law. This law being in place isn't likely to change many peoples views. If they felt that there was no justification for the 22 week mark before, they probably still feel that way. If they felt there was justification for, they probably still think there is SOME justification for it. Because it's less about the laws and what makes sense by them for most people...it's about whether they think abortion should be legal and nothing else but that.

    My guess is if the notion is correct that this won't make abortion illegal prior to 22 weeks in the state, then I could see that part basically just be something being done with the notion of being able to apply pressure in the state, or through things funded by state funding, that a woman having an abortion is "killing" the "child".

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