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Will She Sign Pro-Life Legislation?

April 23, 2009

The day has arrived for KS abortion bill
as Sebelius waits on the Senate

Submitted by David Klepper on April 23, 2009

Today’s the day Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius must decide whether to sign or veto abortion legislation that puts new requirements on late-term abortion providers like George Tiller.

Sebelius has shown no qualms about vetoing such legislation in years past, but this is a different year for the Democrat. She’s faced intense scrutiny from anti-abortion groups as she awaits a final vote in the U.S. Senate on her nomination to head the Dept. of Health and Human Services.

Another veto would just amplify their criticism, at a time when Sebelius isn’t looking for a political fight.

Anti-abortion groups have speculated that Sebelius hoped to dodge the bill by being confirmed first, leaving it to Gov.-in-waiting Mark Parkinson to sign or veto the bill.

But with time ticking away, it’s looking more likely that the U.S. Senate won’t vote in time for Sebelius to avoid the bill. Will she sign it? Veto it? If she does nothing, the bill becomes law without her signature.

The legislation would require late-term abortion providers to report to state health officials the specific medical diagnoses used the justify the otherwise illegal procedure. Late-term abortions are prohibited unless necessary to save the life of the women or prevent a serious medical threat. Many lawmakers say they think Tiller should have to report just what medical condition required the procedure.

The measure would also require abortion providers to include in the written information they give women prior to an abortion that the procedure will eliminate a “whole, separate, unique, living human being.”

The bill also contains some slight changes to current restrictions on late-term abortion, and a new definition of partial-birth abortion which matches federal law.



090424 update:

In an additional complication, more confirmation of Sebelius’ extreme abortion support came today as the Kansas governor vetoed yet another law that would have restricted late-term abortions in the state, reports the Associated Press.

The law aimed to give women and girls, as well as their husbands or parents, power to sue abortionists if they perform the procedure illegally. The legislation also would have required late-term abortionists to provide a fuller account of each procedure to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Sebelius’ abortion connection is not the only concern that has been raised about the HHS nominee.

Sen. John Kyl (R-Ariz.), the same senator who questioned Sebelius on her abortion ties, issued a press release Monday saying that he would not support Sebelius’ nomination because she supports initiatives that could lead to a rationing of healthcare, to the disadvantage of the elderly and disabled.

“She [Sebelius] left me with no assurance that HHS, federal health care programs, or any new entity – such as the Federal Coordinating Council – will not use comparative effectiveness research as a tool to deny care,” said Kyl. “And this should be a matter of concern to all of us.”

Kyl highlighted one particular project that Sebelius supports, which promotes cost effectiveness research as providing “accurate and objective information to guide future policies that support the allocation of health resources for the treatment of acute and chronic conditions.”

“‘Allocation of health resources’ is a euphemism for denying care based on cost,” said Kyl. “Yet, Governor Sebelius did not agree to pull this project.”

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