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Kline an eager soldier in the War on Women

by Dan Burns on June 14, 2013 · 8 comments

538554_417321918296055_196601040368145_1516637_2083533339_nIn the contemporary atmosphere of War on Women zealotry/lunacy, Rep. John Kline (R-MN) is of course doing his bit.

So it is not a surprise that Mr. Kline has sponsored many pieces of legislation related to the subject … one bill that has made it through two committee votes and appears to be headed for a vote by the full House is H. R. 1797 Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.
The “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” will be a national prohibition on aborting pain capable unborn children after twenty weeks gestation (post-fertilization age). The legislation lists 14 findings (plus constitutional authority) … weighing into medical discussion of neurodevelopment effects and children born missing the bulk of the cerebral cortex … but no mention of Congress’s role in protecting the health and lives of pregnant women.
(MN Political Roundtable)

There is no legitimate science whatsoever behind claims that fetuses are “pain-capable” at twenty weeks, or anything like it.

As always, Kline is just going along with the right-wing agenda – I’m not at all sure that he’s really capable of independent thought, in any meaningful sense of the phrase. The title of the article from which I took the following is “2013 Is Shaping Up To Be The Worst Year For Reproductive Freedom In Recent History.” It would seem to be spot-on, and we still have 6 ½ months to go.

On a call with reporters, representatives from the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom project pointed out that abortion opponents have been more aggressive about their goals in 2013, and predicted this year will “go down in record books” for advancing some of the most stringent legislation this nation has seen since Roe v. Wade legalized abortion 40 years ago. The ACLU considers the mounting pile of state-level restrictions to be a “coordinated campaign” to eventually ban abortion in every clinic in every state. The group points out that there are three prongs of attack in this national strategy: making abortion services inaccessible for women, making it impossible for abortion doctors to continue their work, and forcing abortion clinics to close their doors.
(Think Progress)


give2attain June 14, 2013 at 5:20 pm

Are you being difficult or do you really support the killing of a 20+ wk fetus?

I am anti-abortion but Pro-choice up through the first trimester, but after ~14 weeks somebody had better be at a high risk of dying if an abortion is occuring….

How long do you think it should be the waman’s/doctor’s choice? 39 weeks?

For more thoughts and links, both prolife and prochoice.

Mac Hall June 15, 2013 at 8:41 am

First, let’s talk the politics.
Do you think that legislation that is approved in the House will be passed by the Senate and signed into law by the President ?
Yet, that is what the Chairman Kline and the Republican-controlled House is doing … what ties his FlexFamilyTime, student loan, NRLB board, ObamaCare repeal legislation and abortion-related legislation together is that none are going anywhere. They are wasting time … and regarding abortion, they are just setting up future court challenges.

Second, let’s talk about abortion and the “weeks” question that you posed … do you think the decision should be dictated by Congress or a medical decision based on the fetus and the woman ?
As Congress heard in the testimony of Christy Zink and the obvious emotional pain that the family endured

I’m here today to share my story with you so that you can understand why this bill that purports to prevent pain is, instead, harmful to families and to women in situations like the one I faced, and why all women in this country need access to safe, quality medical care. In addition to the pregnancies with my two children, I was also pregnant in 2009. I wondered who my child might grow up to be. Would she inherit her father’s love of the pitcher’s duel in baseball? Would he make a habit of skipping to the last page of a book, peeking at the end, as I do? I looked forward to the ultrasound when we would get a chance to have a look at the baby in utero, to learn a little bit more. I certainly hadn’t imagined that we’d learn terrible news, and that, after that doctors’ visit, my husband and I would have to make the most difficult decision of our lives. I took extra special care of myself during that pregnancy. I received excellent prenatal attention from an award-winning obstetrician. Previous testing had shown a baby growing on target, with the limbs and organs all in working order. However, when I was 21 weeks pregnant, an MRI revealed that our baby was missing the central connecting structure of the two parts of his brain. A specialist diagnosed the baby with agenesis of the corpus callosum. What allows the brain to function as a whole was simply absent. But that wasn’t all. Part of the baby’s brain had failed to develop. Where the typical human brain presents a lovely, rounded symmetry, our baby had small, globular splotches. In effect, our baby was also missing one side of his brain. Living in a major city with one of the best children’s hospitals in the country, my husband and I had access to some of the best radiologists, neurologists, and geneticists not just in this city or in the country, but in the world. We asked every question we could. The answers were far from easy to hear, but they were clear. There would be no miracle cure. His body had no capacity to repair this anomaly, and medical science could not solve this tragic situation. This condition could not have been detected earlier in my pregnancy. Only the brain scan could have found it. The prognosis was unbearable. No one could look at those MRI images and not know, instantly, that something was terribly wrong. If the baby survived the pregnancy, which was not certain, his condition would require surgeries to remove more of what little brain matter he had, to diminish what would otherwise be a state of near-constant seizures. I am here today to speak out against the so-called Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. Its very premise—that it prevents pain—is a lie. If this bill had been passed before my pregnancy, I would have had to carry to term and give birth to a baby whom the doctors concurred had no chance of a life and would have experienced near-constant pain. If he had survived the pregnancy—which was not certain—he might never have left the hospital. My daughter’s life, too, would have been irrevocably hurt by an almost always-absent parent. The decision I made to have an abortion at almost 22 weeks was made out of love and to spare my son’s pain and suffering. I am horrified to think that the doctors who compassionately but objectively explained to us the prognosis and our options for medical treatment, and the doctor who helped us terminate the pregnancy, would be prosecuted as criminals under this law for providing basic, safe medical care and expertise. This bill does not represent the best interests of anyone, especially families like mine. What happened to me during pregnancy can happen to any woman, regardless of her health, race, ethnicity, economic status, or where she lives. This proposed law is downright cruel, as it would inflict pain on the families, the women, and the babies it purports to protect. It’s in honor of my son that I’m here today, speaking on his behalf. I am also fighting for women like me, to have the right to access safe, legal, high-quality abortion care when we need to beyond 20 weeks—especially for those women who could never imagine they’d have to make this choice. Women across this country need to be able to make this very private decision with their partners, their doctors, and trusted counselors. I urge you not to pass this harmful legislation.

Mrs. Zink story is just one … there are others … but why is Congress getting involved ?

John Kline preaches that he advocates putting patients, and their health, first, and protecting the important doctor-patient relationship … yet, here, Mr. Kline is inserting Washington into family medical decisions.

Mac Hall

give2attain June 16, 2013 at 12:00 am

I was thinking today that I should have amended my statement to read “but after ~14 weeks somebody had better be at a high risk of dying or a severe disability had best be present if an abortion is occuring…” Guess I should have. My condolences on your loss. Having 3 daughters I can imagine how terrible what you survived would be.

Now back to the topic. Here are a few questions:
1. Just curious, how old were you when this occured?
2. Would you support 20+ week abortions in cases of rape & incest? Should “society / Congress” have any say in this? Why or why not?
3. Would you allow the Mother / Doctor to kill a 1 month old infant because it had the same condition that your fetus did? Why or why not? How is this different?
4. You sound like a loving and compassionate Mother. Do you think women should have the right to use abortion as a form of birth control? (ie abort a healthy fetus)

Remember: I am pro-choice and anti-abortion. I really wish women would make another choice, however my Libertarian leanings say it is their right, responsibility and burden. And by the way, for the same reason I am pro-physcian assisted suicide.

Congress is trying to legislate morality… For better or worse… What would you rather have them working on?

Mac Hall June 16, 2013 at 10:48 am

Hi Give2Attain,

Thanks for reading my comment and adding your thoughts.

First, the story listed is not my story … it was from the testimony given at the first hearing on H.R. 1979 … it was Christy Zink’s life story. Yet, as we have seen with John Kline’s student loan committee hearings, the testimonies from those that do not favor passage of the bill are ignored. (Heck, at least Moriah Miles has a picture with Kline to prove that he met her — but that’s another post).

Let me go to the last question because that really addresses the crux of the problem — “Congress is trying to legislate morality… For better or worse… What would you rather have them working on?”
Look at the bills that John Kline has co-sponsored … some of the abortion related bills were previously listed (and that list is not complete) … then look at the legislation that he supports such as:
H.R.124 : To redesignate the Department of the Navy as the Department of the Navy and Marine Corps.
H.R.318 : To authorize a Wall of Remembrance as part of the Korean War Veterans Memorial and to allow certain private contributions to fund that Wall of Remembrance.
H.R.324 : To grant the Congressional Gold Medal, collectively, to the First Special Service Force, in recognition of its superior service during World War II.
H.R.627 : National Park Service 100th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act
Post Offices
H.R.43 : To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 14 Red River Avenue North in Cold Spring, Minnesota, as the “Officer Tommy Decker Memorial Post Office”.
H.R.2251 : To designate the United States courthouse located at 118 South Mill Street, in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, as the “Edward J. Devitt United States Courthouse”.

What has Congress accomplished so far this term ? 14 new laws … including the “critical” Freedom to Fish Act and to specify the size of the precious-metal blanks that will be used in the production of the National Baseball Hall of Fame commemorative coins … and the worthless “No Budget, No Pay Act” (there is still no budget and Congress is still getting paid.)
BTW, the “Freedom to Fish Act” should not be confused with the Kline sponsored H.R.322 : Hunting, Fishing, and Recreational Shooting Protection Act which is related to EPA regulations.

Do you think they should be pushing these bills or JOBS ???
I thought that was what Congress said they were going to focus on. Chairman Kline has sponsored two bills that IMO relate to job creation (not tax breaks … like cigar, brewers, hearing aids, footwear, medical device want for their products.)
The one is Keystone pipeline … and as those that support State’s Rights and local control must have a concern that Lyon County NE Board of Supervisors voted 7-0 last month to oppose the pipeline. Regardless of whether you favor or oppose the pipeline, the reality is that no President would sign a law that Congress “forces” him to sign – thus the House is wasting its time … yet in reality, Keystone will create/maintain a relatively small number of jobs but this has become a talking point issue.

The other JOBS-related legislation that Chairman Kline sponsored is the SKILLS Act … a revamp of his failed Workforce Improvement Act of 2012 that the House Republicans refused to vote on last term. The new bill is so partisan that it has sat DOA in the Senate for months.

Chairman Kline and the House Republicans have an agenda … pushing non-relevant issues and highly-partisan legislation rather than finding a compromise and taking action. Remember the budget has not been passed because House Republicans refuse to name a House-Senate Conference Committee. I blame the “party first mentality” which is more evident in the House as the Senate has made more movement on immigration reform, gun laws, the Farm bill, etc.

OK, let’s turn to the question of “life” … first, let’s remember the Supreme Court’s statement in 1973 Roe-v-Wade decision: “We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciples of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus….”
The choices range from conception (day 1), implantation (day 6-7), detectable heartbeat (approximately week 6), detectable brain activity (approximately week 8), quickening (when the mother can feel the fetus moving), development of the cerebral cortex (at the end of the first trimester), viability outside the mother’s body (possibly as early as 24 weeks with medical support), when the head is visible during labor, and when the baby takes its first breath.

When do we recognize “life” and “death” ?
For tax/census purposes, we recognize it based on the presence or absence of breath … thus can you say that “life” is the presence of breath ? Therefore “life” is marked when the baby takes its first breath.

These are difficult questions … personal questions … a person’s religion can have an impact … worldwide laws vary range from allowing a pregnant woman to abort the fetus only if the pregnancy threatens her life or health; to some countries where can abort if the woman is financially unable to raise the child.
Accepting this data, it appears that 88-92% of all abortions happen during the first trimester, prior to the 13th week of gestation … well within your statement — “14 weeks somebody had better be at a high risk of dying or a severe disability had best be present if an abortion is occurring” ….
And with only 1.3% of abortions being performed after 20 weeks, it suggests that the health of the fetus and Mother are at risk as opposed to making a late personal choice.

The decision to have an abortion is deeply personal.
As is the decision regarding “living will” instructions. If you have ever experienced a family being forced to make the decision to “pull the plug” (thus creating the absence of breath situation), you know that it is painful on them … yet, we do not call them “murderers”.

My personal concern regarding the legislative actions being proposed by Congress and various State Legislatures is that “backdoor clinics” will return as they were prior to Roe-v-Wade … those that have the money will be fine, but consider the data that young unmarried women are most likely to seek an abortion, it will impact many lives.

Mac Hall

give2attain June 16, 2013 at 3:52 pm

Quotes may help clarify things next time.

So you think they should use their time spending and taxing more…. Surprise…

I think you skipped some of my questions. I cross posted at G2A, we will see if my readers have anything to add.

Mac Hall June 14, 2013 at 5:32 pm

John Kline (R-MN-02) is a co-sponsor of H.R. 23 Sanctity of Human Life Act which includes a section that will allow a rapist to sue his victim in order to stop her from getting an abortion, specifically if she were trying to get an abortion in a state that allows them while she lives in a state that does not. Once the baby is born, his parental rights are affirmed.

Mr. Kline is also a sponsor of :
H.R.7 : No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act
H.R.61 : Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act
H.R.217 : Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act
H.R.447 : Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA) of 2013
H.R.732 : Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act
H.R.940 : Health Care Conscience Rights Act
H.R.1091 : Life at Conception Act

BTW … the Kline Agenda also features
H.R.494 : Small BREW Act
H.R.1918 : Brewers Excise and Economic Relief Act of 2013
H.R.792 : Traditional Cigar Manufacturing and Small Business Jobs Preservation Act of 2013
,,, after all, he cannot just focus on abortion … and he is a Member of the Washington DC Congressional Cigar Association.

That’s the Kline Agenda …. working on issues important to him.

give2attain June 14, 2013 at 7:47 pm

Did you really have enough comment problems to justify moderating comments?

give2attain June 14, 2013 at 7:48 pm

Well now I know it is triggered by adding reference links. Interesting.

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