PHOTO: Keith Horinek
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Last year, on June 24, the U.S. Supreme Court made a ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. As part of that ruling, Roe v. Wade was overturned and sent the authority to regulate abortion back to the individual states.
The ruling was controversial because Roe v. Wade was misinterpreted for decades. Proponents of abortion call it a constitutional right though it is not found in the Constitution.
Many legal scholars say the 1973 ruling was not just bad constitutional law but the right to abortion is “not inferable from the language of the Constitution.”
On April 4, the Kansas legislature approved a “born-alive infants protection act.”
According to Catholic Review:
The Kansas House voted 86 to 36 to pass the bill, HB 2313, which would require physicians to provide medical care to infants “born alive” as the result of a botched abortion procedure appropriate to their gestational age and to report data to the state about any such incidents. The Kansas bill also would apply to instances where doctors induce labor to deliver an unborn child that is not expected to survive outside the womb.
Danielle Underwood, director of communications for Kansans for Life, made a statement regarding the new legislation.
“A supermajority of Kansas legislators heard the testimonies of abortion attempt survivors and doctors and responded with compassion.”
“The bill now heads to the governor’s desk where she can sign it into law, allow it to become law without her signature, or veto it. What will Gov. Laura Kelly do next?”
Underwood reasoned that Kansans “must hold our elected leaders accountable to recognize these babies exist and deserve equal care.”
“Kansans for Life calls on all who believe that no baby should be left to die alone on a cold, steel table to urge Gov. Laura Kelly to quickly sign the Kansas Born Alive Infants Protection Act into law,” Underwood said.
“One important aspect of the bill is that it would require that reporting on abortion survivors,” said Kelsey Pritchard, spokesperson for the national anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, citing that only a handful of states report such live births.
The bill passed both chambers of the state Congress with more than a two-thirds majority meaning they have the necessary votes to override a veto from Kansas Governor Laura Kelly.
“We can have differing views on abortion and still agree on the need for this legislation as a humanitarian issue,” three top Republicans from the Kansas House said in a joint statement.
Some Democrats spoke in opposition to the legislation.
“If the infant is born alive and only has minutes to live, the mother, the father, the family, have the right to ask for palliative care and embrace the infant until it is no longer breathing,” said state Rep. Susan Ruiz.
“This bill is absolutely unnecessary,” state Sen. Pat Pettey, of Kansas City, said during a debate last week. “This bill will traumatize mothers who desperately want to be mothers, who already are dealing with the heart-breaking moments of loss imaginable.”
Even though the lawmakers can override a potential veto from Governor Kelly, the legislation may end up in the courts.
In 2015, a court ruling blocked Kansas from enforcing a ban on a certain second-trimester abortion procedure.