Thursday, May 24, 2007

Editorial in Wichita Eagle: Sebelius wrong to veto abortion reporting bill

The following is this morning's editorial in the Wichita Eagle written by editorial board member Brent Castillo:

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius again vetoed a legislative proposal that would have required doctors to report exactly why viable fetuses -- those who could survive outside the womb -- were aborted. The Kansas Senate failed Tuesday to override her veto.

At least this time Sebelius didn't muddle her veto message with personal-objection rhetoric, as she did last year. Instead she wrote that "all Kansans support efforts to reduce the number of abortions," but that the proposed law "likely" would have little substantive effect and would violate the privacy of patients.

Sebelius is correct that the proposed law may not have directly reduced the number of abortions. But she is blowing more smoke than a western Kansas coal plant on the privacy concern. Privacy would have been protected, because doctors would have assigned numbers to patients and wouldn't submit names to the state.

Contrary to the pro-choice propaganda, pro-lifers aren't anti-women. But they do want to elevate considerations about the intrinsic value of unborn life. We should be earnest in demanding that babies aren't aborted for reasons less than the law requires.

Kansas law allows these procedures after the 21st week only if the woman's life is in danger or if two doctors certify that continuing the pregnancy would cause "substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function." But without more details, no one can be sure the law is being followed. Former Attorney General Phill Kline was ridiculed for trying to find out.

Many suspect that the mental health exception is being abused by some doctors.

"The abortion industry seems to have an almighty right to do whatever they want without anyone finding out," David Gittrich, state development director for Kansans for Life, told me. "Every other doctor is open to scrutiny on everything they do. It's just indicative of how she (Sebelius) believes abortion should be allowed in any instance."

Beyond enforcement, more details might also reveal trends that would show us how to help women in these difficult circumstances.

"We don't care about the name of the person," Gittrich said. "We want to know why women are having late-term abortions; that way we can help them. Obviously the mothers have desperate needs or situations, but why are they desperate?"

We may never find out. Current reporting laws offer only minimal details such as how many late-term, viable-life abortions are performed, and whether the women were from Kansas. In the past few years, the numbers ranged from 233 last year to 395 in 2001. None of the abortions was to save the life of the mother.

Abortion supporters are determined to keep the industry in the shadows, but these extreme procedures need closer scrutiny. Doing so would be better for mothers and their near-born children.

Between this, the Olathe Daily News and the Lawrence Journal World, is the media tide in Kansas starting to turn? Write letters to the editor thanking them and agreeing with them when they do the right thing, such as what appears below.

This is the first pro-life editorial written by one of the Wichita Eagle staff that I have ever seen published by the Eagle. Perhaps they published this because they are losing so many of their paying customers due to their strong pro-abortion stance. I know of several people who have dropped their subscriptions because of their highly biased reporting. This is a nice change! Let's hope they keep it up!

Via Kansans for Life.

1 comment:

Bill said...

They give out papers on a regular basis. I believe this is so they can "pad" the number of papers they can say they have incirculation to increase the prices they charge to advertisers.