By Kathleen Gilbert

TOPEKA, Kansas, March 18, 2009 ( – A bill restricting abortion that Kansas senators approved Tuesday 32-6, now falls in the hands of Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a pro-abortion “champion” who has consistently vetoed bills restricting abortion in the past.  As the new and highly controversial Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) nominee, Sebelius’ decision on the bill may have broad consequences.

Pro-lifers are hoping that the governor, whom Obama nominated as the next HHS secretary earlier this month, may break with her solid pro-abortion record and support the bill with an aim to soften her extreme pro-abortion reputation and make her Senate confirmation more secure.

The legislation requires abortion providers to allow expectant mothers to see their unborn child via ultrasound or listen to their heartbeat, and to provide literature on abortion alternatives.

“I think there’s an awfully good chance, for a variety of reasons, that she’ll sign this bill,” Kathy Ostrowski, a lobbyist for Kansans for Life, told the Associated Press. “It’s the right thing to do, but politically, it’s probably very helpful to her to sign this bill.”

Laws similar to the Kansas bill are already in place in several states.  “It’s a very simple bill,” said Sen. Mary Pilcher Cook, R-Shawnee, on the Senate floor Tuesday. “It doesn’t change the structure of our current law. What it does do is empower women by giving them more information.”

ProKanDo, the political action committee formed by Kansas’ notorious late-term abortionist George Tiller, disapproved of the bill.  “What this bill does and what it says is that women do not have the intellectual capacity to make good healthcare decisions for themselves,” said ProKanDo’s Julie Burkhart. 

Gov. Sebelius has come under fire for maintaining political ties with Tiller, who has funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to her campaigns throughout the years.  The governor has consistently vetoed legislation enforcing laws that would have restricted Tiller’s booming late-term abortion business.  Tiller is currently on trial facing 19 charges of illegal late-term abortions.

Gov. Sebelius has said that she will “carefully study” the bill.

David Gittrich of Kansans for Life said the bill “allows the woman to look for all the information which we think she should have before she makes a permanent and irreversible decision.”

“If [Sebelius] really cared about women and didn’t care about protecting the abortion industry, she’d sign it,” said Gittrich.


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