We can't promise any pictures on next week's legislative update, but, we wanted to share these. Several things happened this week that don't happen every week:
BRINGING IN THE COUCH FOR ULTRASOUNDS PERFORMED LIVE IN THE SENATE PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARE COMMITTEE ROOM.
Yes. This happened this past Wednesday, Jan 22nd on the 41st Anniversary of Roe v Wade in our State Capitol in Sen Pilcher-Cook's (R, Shawnee) Public Health and Welfare committee. Simply because, 'the committee deals a lot with the unborn, I think we should see what the unborn look like.' ...
CRISIS PREGNANCY CENTER VOLUNTEER SETS UP DEMONSTRATIVE DEVICES.
... and a large, flat screen TV has been wheeled in and is facing the committee members.
THE BLUE TARP OF MATERNAL PRIVACY
Brought to you by the CPCs of Kansas and Senator Pilcher-Cook.
At this point many people were confused when two coat racks were moved onto the front and back end of one side of the couch. Then, a blue tarp was hung on each side and it all came together. This blue plastic rain tarp hung in one of the most opulent buildings in Topeka for a demonstration of how important the unborn are. Perhaps there's an underlying metaphor here...?
FIRST ULTRASOUND COMMENCED
Two ultrasounds were actually performed- but somehow photographing women in this environment just didn't sit quite right with us, SO. You will have to take our word for it, or, the word of the Topeka-Capitol Journal.
Senator Haley (D, Kansas City) rightfully asked Senator Pilcher-Cook before the first ultrasound was demonstrated what the purpose of the demonstrations were. Sen Pilcher-Cook replied that they were 'to educate the committee on the unborn and show what an ultrasound reveals'. He said he had four children- and continued expressing what appeared to us as incredulity that Sen Pilcher-Cook would assume that the members of the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee had never seen an ultrasound. He stayed in the committee with his head in his hand. We watched in shock as undoubtedly one of the biggest gimmicks to have ever been performed in the Capitol played out right in front of us.
SENATOR PILCHER-COOK, CENTER. HER COLLEAGUES TRAILED IN LATER.
After the conclusion of the two sonograms Senator Pilcher-Cook casually stated she had a surrogacy bill to introduce. Her new bill is an outright ban on all surrogacy. It is essentially a copy and paste of the DC surrogacy ban and has the outrageous punitive damages of $10,000 in fines and or up to a year imprisonment. The bill is SB 302 and the hearings are scheduled for Monday, Jan 26 and Tuesday, Jan 27 at 1:30pm in 118-N. We are prepared and will share more on events regarding Pilcher-Cook's proposed surrogacy ban as they happen on our Twitter and Facebook and again next Monday on our next legislative update.
ULTRASOUNDS IN THE COMMITTEE ROOM: MEMBERS FILED COMPLAINTS WITH THE KANSAS BOARD OF HEALING ARTS
We asked our members on Wednesday to voice their concerns with the Kansas Board of Healing Arts. Members filed complaints against Cindy Patterson of the Wyandotte Pregnancy Clinic for performing live ultrasounds on the Public Health and Welfare Committee room floor.
WED JAN 22 PANEL DISCUSSION
41st Anniversary Roe v Wade Celebration
On the evening of the giant anti-choice day at the Capitol, the double ultrasounds and introduction of a bill that would ban all surrogacy in Kansas we made it a point to gather with our allies at a local clinic (which you can bet was surrounded by anti-choice protesters). Fortunately, a wonderful panel of Kansas feminists (left to right) lead the discussion:
Rep Barbara Bollier, Amber Versola (2011 Kansas NOW Lobbyist), Ryann Summerford (PPKM) and Elise Higgins (2013's Kansas NOW Lobbyist, now Manager of Governmental Affairs at PPKM).
WOMEN'S REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK
Authored by Rep Bollier, (R, Mission Hills)
Rep Bollier introduced House Concurrent Resolution 5023 into the Health & Human Services Committee on Jan 21st. It has been moved to (wait for it...) House Fed & State. So, we sent a legislative memo in support of Rep Bollier's resolution to each Representative serving on the House Federal and State Affairs committee in support of Rep Bollier's resolution. We will continue advocating for the adoption of Women's Reproductive Health Awareness Week. (Note: Rep Rothlisberg, of the 'women over 50 don't need gynecological services' quote serves on this committee.) We believe this resolution to be more than necessary.
THE FAMILY OF DR TILLER RECEIVES WICHITA'S 'HE MADE A DIFFERENCE' AWARD FRIDAY, JAN 24
Wichita NOW hosted and organized the honoring of Dr George Tiller for the annual "He/She Made a Difference" award banquet.
"Attitude is Everything" & "When the tough get going the tough go to Dairy Queen" were two of Dr. George Tiller's most popular Tiller-isms, his family reminisced. Liz Carson,Wichita NOW Chapter President, Vickie Stangl and their event committee raised monies to contribute to the Peggy Bowman Second Chance Fund and the Kansas NOW State Board. Wichita NOW members and the Tiller family shared in the wonderful memory of Dr. Tiller, Kansas hero- a man who went beyond just helping others and made it a point to help where help was hard to find.
Testimonies on: Surrogacy Ban Monday and Tuesday
"Religious Freedom with Respect to Marriage" on Tuesday
Watching for the introduction of amendments to 2013's HB 2253
Supporting Rep Clayton's Transparency and Accountability Act, HB 2438
Watching Friday's introductions very closely.
Have a strong, feminist week and be sure to check into our FB and Twitter regularly to follow daily Kansas NOW happenings!
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