Kansas Republicans Vow to Override Governor’s ‘Inhumane’ Veto of Pro-Life Bill

Caden Pearson
By Caden Pearson
April 15, 2023Politics
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Kansas Republicans Vow to Override Governor’s ‘Inhumane’ Veto of Pro-Life Bill
Kansas Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly speaks to volunteers and supporters at a rally at Tomahawk Hill Golf Course in Shawnee, Kan., on Nov. 6, 2022. (Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)

Kansas House Republicans on Friday promised to override Gov. Laura Kelly’s veto of a bill that would have required doctors to provide care for babies born alive after a failed abortion or face criminal prosecution.

House Speaker Dan Hawkins, a Wichita Republican, said in a statement that he was saddened by the governor’s decision to veto the Born Alive Infant Protection Act.

“[T]he Governor has chosen to abandon the dignity of life by allowing for the ending of an infant’s life even once it’s outside the womb. This veto gives abortionists free reign to walk away as a living, breathing baby dies,” Hawkins said in a statement.

“This is not only radical, but also inhumane and I am confident House Republicans will make every effort during veto session to protect all living, breathing infants in our state regardless of the conditions surrounding their birth.”

Kelly, a Democrat, vetoed the first pro-life bill to come to her desk, calling it “misleading and unnecessary.”

“The intent of this bill is to interfere in medical decisions that should remain between doctors and their patients,” she said.

Kansas does not currently apply criminal penalities to doctors if they don’t comply with existing federal law that requires them to provide care to infants born alive during a failed abortion. The vetoed bill would have established those criminal consequences. Doctors could face up to one year’s probation for first-time offenders.

The bill would have required health care providers to take the same measures to save the life of a newborn as any “reasonably diligent and conscientious” provider would with any other live birth. The law would have applied to all instances where a fetus is completely expelled or extracted from the mother, which includes induced labor abortions.

The GOP has a majority in both the House and the Senate of the state legislature. This means that if the support for the bill remains strong, Kelly’s veto could be overturned. The House voted 86–36 in favor of the bill, and the Senate voted 31–9 in favor of the bill.

Similar laws have been enacted in 18 other states, such as Arizona, Florida, Ohio, and Texas, while one was rejected by voters in Montana in November last year.

‘Heartless’

In response to the governor’s veto, pro-life Kansas organization Kansas for Life stated that no baby born alive after an attempted abortion “should be left to die on a cold, steel table.”

Danielle Underwood from Kansas for Life called on legislators to override the veto.

“Legislators from both sides of the aisle stood together to state the simple fact that babies born alive after an attempted abortion should not be left to die on a cold, steel table,” Underwood said in a statement.

“These babies deserve protection and the same medical care as any other newborn of the same gestational age,” she added, criticizing the governor as out of touch with the values of the people of Kansas.

“We now call on all Kansans to urge their legislators to do the right thing and override Gov. Kelly’s heartless veto,” Underwood added.

A new report by the Society of Family Planning reveals that in the six months after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade there were 1,240 more abortions on average each month in Kansas—a state that permits abortions and is geographically closer to states that banned the procedure.

However, overall, there were 5,377 fewer abortions on average each month during the same period.

The report explains that while some states saw a decrease, others experienced surges. In Kansas, abortion is generally prohibited at 22 weeks, and women seeking an abortion must undergo a 24-hour waiting period and counseling.

In addition, Kansas restricts both public funding and private insurance coverage for abortions, and minors seeking the procedure must obtain the consent of a parent, guardian, or judge.

After the Kansas Supreme Court protected abortion rights in the state in 2019, voters declined a ballot initiative last year aimed at confirming the absence of a constitutional right to abortion in the state, which implies that abortions are legal in the state under certain restrictions.

Kansas, along with most states, doesn’t collect data on births during induced abortion procedures.

From The Epoch Times

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