CORRECTED: Gov. Brownback signs sweeping pro-life bill
Correction 04/24/2013: This article had originally stated that Governor Brownback had written "Jesus + Mary" at the top of the bill. In fact, he had written the words at the top of his talking points about the bill. The story has been corrected accordingly.
TOPEKA, KS, April 23, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed a sweeping new pro-life bill last week.
On Friday, Brownback signed House Bill 2253, the "Pro-Life Protections Act," which defines life as beginning at the moment of conception. It bans the practice of sex-selective abortion and forbids any tax breaks for abortion providers or post-abortive women.
The bill will require physicians to give women information about abortion and its potential impact on breast cancer.
Brownback was criticized after pro-abortion activists noticed that at the top of his talking points about the bill he had written “Jesus + Mary,” and added a note that the bill would create a “culture of life.”
“Kansas is building a culture of life,” he wrote in his own hand at the bottom of the talking points. “All human life is sacred, beautiful, precious. No matter who, no matter where.”
Amanda Marcotte of RH Reality Check said the common Catholic phrase Brownback used is “the kind of doodle that uncomfortably implies that Jesus is a schoolgirl crushing on his own mother.” Marcotte was dismisssed from her job on John Edwards' 2008 presidential campaign because of her history of anti-Catholicism.
“The note lays bare what’s going on with this and all other anti-choice legislation across the country,” she wrote. “It violates the First Amendment’s prohibition against the government establishing religion.”
Despite protests from Marcotte, Think Progress, and MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, the law itself contains no such religious language. A governor's personal message does not become legally binding.
Marcotte also objected, “sperm and eggs are – like all human cells – just as alive as a fertilized egg.”
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The bill states, "On and after July 1, 2013, the laws of this state shall be interpreted and construed to acknowledge on behalf of the unborn child at every stage of development, all the rights, privileges and immunities available to other persons, citizens and residents of this state, subject only to the constitution of the United States, and decisional interpretations thereof by the United States Supreme Court.”
It passed the state's Republican-dominated legislature by wide margins on April 5.
Representatives of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, the ACLU of Kansas, and Kansas National Organization for Women issued a joint condemnation of the law.
Brownback, who briefly ran for president in 2008, uttered similar words upon signing the bill into law.
“All human life is sacred. It’s beautiful,” Brownback said. “With this, we continue to build this culture of life in our state.”