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Minutes for SCR1606 - Committee on Federal and State Affairs

Short Title

Condemning the reproductive health act of New York.

Minutes Content for Thu, Mar 7, 2019

Chairperson Barker opened the hearing on SCR1606.  Jason Long, Revisor, provided an overview of the resolution.

Chairperson Barker recognized Senator Mary Pilcher-Cook who testified on behalf of the Kansas Truth Caucus as a proponent of SCR1606  (Attachment 1).  She stated the New York abortion law allows late-term abortions and eliminates the criminal penalties.  Late term abortions are indistinguishable from infanticide. This resolution is about protecting human life, reinstituting protections for women and their unborn children, ascribing inherent value to all human life and rejecting any legislation that would incite abuse and violence towards women and their unborn children.  It is also to let the Kansas Supreme Court know that this abortion mentality is depraved and totally unacceptable. Questions were asked by Representatives Ruiz, Highberger, Clayton, Lusk, Stogsdill, Eplee, Woodard, and Awerkamp.  As a result of the request of Representative Eplee, Chairperson Barker asked the Research staff to provide a copy of the New York law to the Committee.

Chuck Weber testified as a proponent of SCR1606 on behalf of the Kansas Catholic Conference (Attachment 2).  The New York law empowers non-doctors to perform abortions, it removes protections for infants accidentally born alive during the course of an abortion, and it allows abortions for any reason throughout a pregnancy.  Every life has value.  Representative Highberger had a question.

Chairperson Barker recognized Jeanne Gawdun who presented testimony in favor of SCR1606 (Attachment 3).  The question came up about whether the term "health" means that an abortion could be performed for any reason at any time.  She cited the case of Doe v. Bolton, which the United States Supreme Court decided on the same day as Roe v. Wade.  Health was defined as any number of factors that may affect the well being of the mother, which included age and familial status.  Although the Kansas Legislature has consistently been pro life in the laws it has enacted, there is a case pending before the Kansas Supreme Court that could find there is the right to abortion in the Kansas Constitution.  This would endanger the countless pro-life laws enacted in accordance with the will of the people.  Questions were asked by Representatives Lusk and Ruiz. 

Brittany Jones was recognized by the Chair as a proponent of SCR1606 on behalf of the Family Policy Alliance of Kansas (Attachment 4).  She stated New York has shown a disregard for life that is inconsistent with the values and beliefs of many Kansans.  Kansas is a state that celebrates and cherishes life. 

Chairperson Barker stated that copies of the New York law had been obtained and they were handed out to the Committee members (Attachment 5)

Chairperson Barker recognized Rachel Sweet, who testified as an opponent to SCR1606 on behalf of Planned Parenthood (Attachment 6).  She stated the resolution does nothing to help Kansas women and it doesn't change the laws of Kansas or New York.  The dialogue around it keeps shame and stigma on women who seek abortions.  Questions were asked by Representatives Arnberger, Highberger and Awerkamp.

After determining that there were no further conferees, Chairperson Barker closed the hearing on SCR1606

Representative Erickson moved to suspend the rule and work SCR1606, seconded by Representative Humphries.

Representative Ruiz moved to work SCR1606 next week, seconded by Representative Stogsdill

Chairperson Barker asked both parties to withdraw their motions because he intends to work this bill next week.  Representative Erickson and Representative Ruiz withdrew their motions.  Chairperson Barker will work SCR1606 on Monday, March 11th,

Chairperson Barker opened the floor for requests for bill introductions.

Representative Highberger requested 19rs1024 relating to medical marijuana.  This is being requested on behalf of Kevin Barone.  Seeing no objection, the request was accepted.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:00 a.m.