Allow me to introduce myself. As you may have read in Paul’s email last week, I will be serving as the Director of Advocacy for Family Policy Alliance of Kansas. In my role, I will be working with our elected officials in Topeka to create good laws (and oppose bad ones) with the goal of ensuring Kansas is a state where God is honored, religious liberty flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished. At Family Policy Alliance, I have served as a Policy Manager focusing on the issues of religious freedom, life, education, and pornography, and I am well-aware of the opportunities ahead of us.
As I learn more about Kansas, one thing that has impressed me is the state’s great legacy of protecting life at all stages of development. However, there are activist judges who are seeking to undermine some of your hard-won pro-life victories.
Just before the end of 2018, a district judge held that banning webcam abortions in the Kansas Telemedicine Act violated a “woman’s right to choose”. The bill was meant to protect women’s health by ensuring that they are seen by a doctor who is in the room with them and able to handle any emergencies that may arise.
The judge made his decision because he believes the law unduly burdens a woman’s ability to get an abortion. However, the government has a very good reason for passing and enforcing laws like ban on telemedicine abortions – because women’s lives and health are put at risk.
Telemedicine is also known as webcam medicine because it is practiced remotely by a doctor who is not in the same room with the patient. During a webcam abortion an abortionists can prescribe the abortion pill to a woman without ever seeing her in person or even being in the same state.
While telemedicine can be useful for certain medical issues, abortion should certainly not occur without a medical professional talking to and examining the woman because of the complex legal and mental health issues inherent in abortion.
From a legal perspective, Kansas law places many restrictions on abortion, such as not allowing them to occur after 20 weeks. Further, a woman cannot be forced to have an abortion and it is the medical staff’s duty to ensure that she is not being forced to have an abortion. These sorts of restrictions impact telemedicine because without a doctor being in the room it is difficult to know with certainty how far along the woman is or if she is being coerced.
From a safety perspective, abortions are inherently dangerous. And the farther along a woman is in her pregnancy the more dangerous they become. If a doctor is unable to correctly determine how far along a woman is, taking the pill could create an incredibly dangerous situation for the mother. Not having a doctor in the room could make it even harder to prevent this and ensure the safety of the woman.
For now, the law passed last year will not go into effect. There will likely be an appeal to this judge’s decision. Even as we work throughout this legislative session to protect life, we will keep you updated as this case moves forward. As we prepare for the coming legislative session, I look forward to working with all of you to continue to build a Kansas where life is cherished.
Proud to fight with you,