What’s the matter with Kansas? (Its medieval state government)

What's the matter with Kansas?

by digby

It's run by these people:

The massive anti-choice omnibus bill passed by the Kansas legislature this month has now been signed into law, according to the Associated Press.

HB 2253 will strip tax credits for those who want to write off medical expenses associated with abortions, continue the state’s ban on all abortions after 20 weeks, even in rape cases or cases of fetal anomalies, extend so-called “conscience protections” for those who say they are being forced to participate in actions that they “reasonably believe” might cause an abortion, provide patients with inaccurate medical information prior to terminating a pregnancy and even write into the constitution that “life” begins at the moment a sperm fertilizes and egg.

That’s exactly what Republican Governor Sam Brownback hoped to see. “All human life is sacred. It’s beautiful,” Brownback said at the bill signing ceremony. “With this, we continue to build this culture of life in our state.”

I'll give Brownback some credit. He is against the death penalty, which is unusual among these alleged life lovers.

The problem is that he values all human life tremendously, which is great, except for the human life that is a female of childbearing age. Although he has reluctantly agreed to allow abortion when the mother will die otherwise, his ongoing support for daft policies like this -- and repeated emphasis on "innocent" life undermines his position:

Brownback co-sponsored applying 14th amendment protections to pre-born fetuses

A bill to implement equal protection under the 14th article of amendment to the Constitution for the right of life of each born and preborn human person.

The Life at Conception Act - Declares that the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution is vested in each human being beginning at the moment of fertilization, cloning, and other moment at which an individual comes into being.

DEFINITIONS: For purposes of this Act: The terms 'human person' and 'human being' include each and every member of the species homo sapiens at all stages of life, including, but not limited to, the moment of fertilization, cloning, and other moment at which an individual member of the human species comes into being.

It's very hard to see how you can confer "personahood" and equal protection for fetuses under the constitution while still protecting the life of the woman who could die if she doesn't have an abortion. I'm going to guess that it would take, at the very least, the sort of legal appeals that this poor woman is undergoing in El Salvador right now.

Imagine the spectacle of a bunch of elders in black robes deciding from on high if a 22 year old woman or a zygote should be protected as a person under the constitution. It's medieval.

By the way, it's not as if Brownback is universally loved by Kansans:

Sam Brownback is one of the most unpopular Governors in the country. Only 37% of Kansas voters approve of him to 52% who disapprove. He meets with near universal disapproval from independents (22/66) and Democrats (14/81), but what really drives his numbers down is that even among Republicans just 55% approve of him to 30% who disapprove.

Unfortunately, the state is so Republican that it's unlikely a Democrat can unseat him.