The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Kansas Dem Governor and abortion

The Great White Hope for the Democratic Party in '08 - according to some - is the Red State governor. Brian Schweitzer is a name often bandied about.

But MyDD flags an example of the addition to the rap-sheet that cohabitation with Republican majorities in the lege can lead to.

We're talking about HB 2380 (or H 2380), the Child Rape Protection Act, signed by Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius in April and due to come into force on July 1 2005 [1].

The Act provides that doctors performing abortions on girls under 14 should keep items of fetal tissue as specified in regulations to be promulgated. The ostensible aim is to preserve the DNA of rapists: the actual aim is undoubtedly to harrass the 'baby-killers' of the Sunflower State.

However, all was not gloom on the abortion front in Kansas this session: Sebelius's veto was sustained on HB 2503 (or H 2503) - which appears not to have a short title! - which would have brought abortion clinics under state regulation.

The lege is apparently Republican-controlled, 83-42 in the House and 30-10 in the Senate. The House override vote on H 2503 was 82-42, a tad short of the required two-thirds majority. The vote on passage in the House had been 87-36 [2].

(Whereas the House vote on H 2380 was 121-1!)

A cursory search suggests that Sebelius is loathed by the anti-abortionists and approved of by the likes of NARAL. Realistically, her signing of H 2380 should make no difference.

But, then, realism is not always to be found in this particular neck of the political woods.

Sebelius was elected in 2002 by a score of 53-45 and is not prevented by term limits from running again in 2006.

By comparison, Pat Roberts was re-elected to the US Senate in 2002 with a mere 83% of the vote. With no Democrat running against him. Which shows just how bad the internal GOP divisions must have been when it came to the governor's slot. Can that happen twice in a row?

(What was Sebelius's abortion record before the 2002 campaign, I wonder...)

  1. Search for Kansas bill texts and legislative histories here.

  2. Sebelius's veto message (down page) and from the media this and this.

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