Em-URGE-ing Voices

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Heart Beats in the Heartland

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February 7, 2013

This past Monday I had the opportunity, along with 25 other students across Kansas, to express my concerns regarding a piece of legislature that has been introduced once again concerning abortion restrictions. – HOUSE BILL No. 2253, Introduced by the Committee on Federal and State Affairs.

After having lobbying trainings the day before, we set out to Topeka with one mission: to defeat this bill before it even gets introduced. Knowing this highly unlikely, we came equipped with confidence and personal anecdotes. Each group according to geographic location was divided into smaller groups to meet with their representatives. Some of these meetings were scheduled and some we just dropped in. From a few of their reactions they didn’t know what hit them when 10 of us walked through the door demanding a stop to this nonsense.

Some representatives agreed with our concerns (Rep. Jim Ward), and others stated that “there’s two sides to every story” (Senator Greg Smith). In one of the aforementioned meetings frankly I felt like I was being patronized. Some of these congressmen seem to forget who’s harboring the uterus in the room. They also seem to forget that medical facts should take precedence to political popularity.

As of yesterday the bill has been formally introduced and is scheduled to be read to the floor on today. With our upcoming Sex [+] week at Choice USA, and the national call-in day (February 14th) I plan to have members of my lobbying team follow up with the members we had meetings with and again reiterate the gravity of harm that this bill will cause us. We will call, we will write, we well be heard, and I don’t take a liking to being ignored.

This bill doesn’t stop at making it even less accessible to get an abortion in Kansas. It would give legal protection to doctors who believed it to be a moral obligation to withhold information regarding a pregnancy to prevent termination of that fetus. It goes on to mandate that doctors give false information to women such as the un-fact that abortion causes breast cancer. After withholding information and lying about risks the physician would then be required to refer a woman seeking an abortion to their local Crisis Pregnancy Center…

Page one line 26 (1) states that the “life of each human being begins at fertilization;” and goes on to mandate that a fetus at any stage in development should be afforded the same rights and protections as any other citizen of the state. This is one of the most extreme pieces of this legislation.

Further on the bill details what information a physician would be required to give the pregnant woman “no less than 30 minutes” prior to the abortion. This information includes referrals to crisis pregnancy centers, information stating that the fetus can feel pain and that she is about to “terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique living human being.”

I suspect all these things will clearly enable the woman to think clearly and move ahead with her abortion… It’s just silly of me to believe that doctors should be the ones mandating information instead of someone who went out and majored in Political Science… these guys really know what they’re doing. They probably even had sisters at one point.

Read the bill here

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