TOPEKA, Kansas, March 13, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Both chambers of the Kansas legislature adopted a resolution condemning a new law in New York state that legalized abortion.
The non-binding resolution was passed after three hours of deliberation on Tuesday despite opposition from House Democrats, who tried to shut down debate with a series of amendments to Kansas Senate Concurrent Resolution 1606. Eight amendments to the Kansas resolution condemning New York were ruled out of order. The resolution passed the House 78-5, with dozens of House members not voting.
House Majority Leader Dan Hawkins, a Republican, said Democrats’ amendments to the resolution were intended to mitigate the message from Kansas to New York about life issues.
“Our GOP caucus is firmly opposing each move they make to deny the reality that our duty is to protect innocent life,” Hawkins told colleagues, according to the Wichita Eagle. “When extreme injustice is inflicted on innocent children, it is incumbent on Kansas leaders to speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves.”
The Kansas resolution criticized New York legislators for celebrating the passage of liberalized abortion laws. “This resolution is about protecting women and children. On that, I think we all agree,” said GOP Rep. Renee Erickson, who was a leader in passing the Kansas resolution.
Under New York’s Reproductive Health Act, mothers may request an abortion even past 24 weeks of pregnancy if deemed necessary to protect their life or health. The bill decriminalized the killing of unborn babies whose mothers are victims of assault and allows non-physicians to commit abortions.
The Kansas resolution says the New York law “repealed vital protections for an unborn child who is born alive and who survives an abortion attempt” and that the people of Kansas “value and seek to protect” all human life. According to the resolution, New York law now allows a mother “to claim minimal mental or societal effects as a reason for an abortion, up to the very moment of birth.”
The New York law allows women, read the resolution, “to claim minimal mental or societal effects as a reason for an abortion, up to the very moment of birth.” Also, the New York bill allows non-physicians to commit abortions, thus removing safety protections.
Democrats were not pleased with the turn of events, arguing that the legislature should have spent its time on other issues. For example, Democratic House Rep. Brett Parker tweeted, “Schools underfunded, Medicaid not expanded, foster care crisis, and a prison emergency but we’re wasting time debating toothless resolutions so (pro-life Kansans for Life) can send political attack mail. Shame on us.”
From the floor, Democratic Rep. Elizabeth Bishop told the House: “Colleagues, I have had an abortion and it saved my life, and it saved my health and enabled me to go on to have another healthy child,” and claimed that she would have bled to death without an abortion.
According to the Family Policy Alliance of Kansas, which supported the resolution in the legislature, Kansas is the first state in the nation to pass such a resolution. In a statement, the pro-family organization predicted that other states will follow Kansas’ lead.
Brittany Jones, advocacy director for the organization, said in a statement: “Kansas is one of the most pro-life states in the country. The New York abortion law is a horrific reflection on the state and its values. The New York law does not reflect the values of Kansans. Even as several more states consider following New York’s lead, Kansas is proud to be a state that cherishes life and provides some of the strongest pro-life protections in the county.”
After passing the resolution condemning New York, the Kansas House Health and Human Services Committee voted to endorse House Bill 2274, which requires abortion providers to inform mothers in writing as well as by telephone or in person that even while they are in the midst of a medication abortion it may be halted.