Kansas Legislature Simply Cannot Stop Being Awful, Special Abortion Edition
So Kansas is really on track to be the Most Terrible State of 2014, which is a competition we just invented. This is the fifth time we've had to write a "what's the matter with Kansas" post (find all past Kansas goodness/badness here) yet this year and frankly, Kansas, we are getting a little tired of your Legislature's bad behavior. Can't you put them in a timeout or something?
This week, we have one of your rookie GOP folks, who seems conservative but not yet conservacrazy, proposing a bill that is probably perfectly well-meaning, if unnecessary and sorta kinda weird.
[House GOP Representative John] Doll introduced House Bill 2613 with the intent to establish a "certificate of birth resulting in stillbirth" for pregnancies that end after 20 weeks as an alternative to the current certificate of stillbirth, which some parents thought overemphasized the child's death.
Doll said he brought it on behalf of a constituent who said having a birth certificate would ease the trauma of his child's stillbirth.
See? We told you it was sorta weird, and we're not certain why one piece of paper rather than the other will make your loss any less loss-y, but who are we to judge. Also, relative to many things Kansas trying to do of late, like making it easier to hit your kids in school or criminally underfunding education, this was a mere drop in the bucket. In addition, the baby legislator specifically structured the bill so it wasn't a vehicle for anti-choice zealots to wreck, a thing for which we applaud him.
It passed the House 122-1 and when Doll brought it to the Senate Judiciary Committee he urged committee members to "pass it out clean" and avoid amendments that would mire the bill in abortion-related politics.
Oh, baby Kansas House dweller. You knew that was never going to happen, right? RIGHT.
The next day the committee attached an amendment brought by Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, R-Shawnee, that extended the bill's reach to pregnancies at any stage and added mandatory reporting requirements for miscarriages that occur at medical facilities or for the physician who sees a woman immediately following a miscarriage.
Pilcher-Cook said she used Doll's bill because it dealt with the same state statutes, but she made sure the amendment didn’t alter the intent of his proposal.
It didn't alter the intent of his proposal except insofar as it took his nice gesture towards grief stricken parents and turned it into a "hey slutty slut miscarrying at the hospital it was probably a secret 'bortion, hmmmmmmm?" bill, which is kind of a totally different bill that he did not propose and probably did not want!
Kansas, this is why you can't have nice things.