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Author Topic: New legislation in Kansas: Life begins at fertilization  (Read 401 times)
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Gratch
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« on: April 11, 2013, 02:21:26 AM »

The new anti-abortion bill soon to be passed in Kansas is deeply troubling to me.  There's lots of obvious reasons, but I'll just stick with a couple:

1.  If life begins at fertilization, then they are essentially outlawing In Vitro fertilization procedures.  As the proud papa of one and soon-to-be-three IVF babies, I can't even begin to express how angry this makes me.  It's concerning because I live in a state far more conservative than Kansas, and I could see something like this taking hold here.  This one element could have some far-reaching implications.  The fact that anyone (not to mention some GOP halfwit) could determine my ability to have children...I'm sure you can imagine how I feel about that.  smile

2.  This part is equally as fucked up:

Quote
The bill, called The Women's Right to Know Act, also requires doctors to provide controversial information to patients either seeking or inquiring about an abortion of a link between the procedure and breast cancer. The National Cancer Institute concluded in 2003 that abortion does not raise the risk for breast cancer, but physicians would have to address the issue as a "potential risk" for women seeking an abortion.

The Wichita Eagle reported that Rep. Annie Kuether, D-Topeka, responded to the bill's passage by saying the measure should be called "the Women's Right to Be Lied to Act."

So they're going to mandate that doctors tell their patients abortion raises the risk of cancer, even though there's no evidence to support that claim?  Honestly, in what world does this possibly make any sense?  

I'm pretty sure this will get struck down as unconstitutional at the federal level (something similar in Oklahoma did), but it's disturbing that it could get this far in the first place.

EDIT:  Clarified the topic header a bit.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2013, 06:54:07 PM by Gratch » Logged

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MonkeyFinger
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« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2013, 05:02:06 AM »

Gratch, I don't have a horse in this race but I was wondering about this part:

Quote from: Gratch on April 11, 2013, 02:21:26 AM

If life begins at fertilization, then they are essentially outlawing In Vitro fertilization procedures.

Where does this come from? I looked at a summary of the legislation and it has this:

"The bill redefines one term currently in statute, “medical emergency,” regarding a pregnant woman, and adds these two definitions for the terms “bodily function” and “fertilization” in the general abortion statutes"

"Fertilization” means the fusion of a human spermatozoon with a human ovum."


Which would include In Vitro. Not knowing anything about the "general abortion statutes" there, is this what you were referring to?
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Victoria Raverna
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« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2013, 07:45:21 AM »

With IVF normally there are some leftover embryos. So does destroying those count as abortion if life begins at fertilization?
« Last Edit: April 11, 2013, 02:17:58 PM by Victoria Raverna » Logged
Gratch
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« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2013, 11:54:25 AM »

Quote from: MonkeyFinger on April 11, 2013, 05:02:06 AM

Gratch, I don't have a horse in this race but I was wondering about this part:

Quote from: Gratch on April 11, 2013, 02:21:26 AM

If life begins at fertilization, then they are essentially outlawing In Vitro fertilization procedures.

Where does this come from? I looked at a summary of the legislation and it has this:

"The bill redefines one term currently in statute, “medical emergency,” regarding a pregnant woman, and adds these two definitions for the terms “bodily function” and “fertilization” in the general abortion statutes"

"Fertilization” means the fusion of a human spermatozoon with a human ovum."


Which would include In Vitro. Not knowing anything about the "general abortion statutes" there, is this what you were referring to?

Victoria summed it up well, but I'll elaborate.

The IVF process (in a nutshell) involves harvesting eggs from the mother, fertilizing them with the father's sperm in a petri dish, incubating them for 3-5 days, then transferring one or two viable embryos back into the mother.

The number of eggs per process which actually fertilize and begin to develop varies wildly from person to person.  Mrs. Gratch got 36 on our last round (which is crazy high), her friend got 6.  The doctor will pick the best one or two embryos out of the bunch, then they put the rest in cryostasis.  In our last round, of the 36 eggs that fertilized, only 12 of them made it to the viable embryo stage.  Of those 12, only 6 were high enough quality to implant.  The first two we tried to implant didn't take, the second set did.  So I still have 2 fertilized embryos on ice right now, in case we ever want to try for more kids.

The problem with the Kansas law is that the moment these embryos are fertilized, they are considered "alive".  I haven't read through the entire document yet (I shamefully admit that my post last night was a knee jerk reaction sans research), but I assume that with the "life" designation, they claim certain protections under the law.  Therefore the rest of the process (incubating, storing unused embryos, etc.) would essentially be criminal.

It brings up two questions:

1.  Do the doctors get charged with kidnapping for keeping the embryos frozen?
2.  Do I get tax write-offs for all 36 of my fertilized embryos?  

I'm being facetious, of course, but this law does bring up all sort of issues with IFV and fertility treatment issues.  I'm hoping they thought through at least some of these, but am highly doubting it.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2013, 12:10:55 PM by Gratch » Logged

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MonkeyFinger
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« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2013, 12:45:18 PM »

Thanks for that, helps explain the issue for me.
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naednek
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« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2013, 06:14:26 PM »

Thanks for the explanation.  It definetely gave me something to think about in terms of my beliefs. 
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Gratch
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« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2013, 06:52:53 PM »

You're welcome.  In Vitro and other fertilization treatments are things that can be critically impacted in abortion legislation, but are rarely discussed because they are utilized by such a small percentage of the population (mainly due to the rather ridiculous cost involved).

It's something that, for obvious reasons, I have some pretty strong feelings about.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2013, 06:54:53 PM by Gratch » Logged

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hepcat
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« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2013, 08:16:59 PM »

Let's take it back even further and declare that life begins after the mother's first beer.
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