Wednesday, August 24, 2005

I bet Dorothy wishes she stayed in Oz

via Lauren. Phil Kline, who is AG for a state that legalizes statutory rape via marriage, has sued the state to make abortion illegal regardless of the circumstances (even if the fetus is not viable post delivery and the mother's life is endangered by the pregnancy) [emphasis added]
The attorney general of Kansas filed a lawsuit last week against Governor Kathleen Sebelius, arguing that use of state money to finance abortions violates the state constitution. Medicaid currently pays for abortions resulting from rape, incest, or when the pregnancy poses a threat to the mother's life. Kansas' constitution, however, protects individuals' "inalienable natural rights," among which are "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." In his lawsuit, AG Phill Kline says using Medicaid to pay for abortions is contrary to those protections, and he also requests that the court agree that life begins at conception. A spokesperson for the Kansas attorney general says Kline is simply doing what the state legislature instructed him to do in 2002 when the State House voted to ask the courts to determine the legality of state funding for abortions. Kline's lawsuit has the backing of pro-life state representative Lance Kinzer and the group Kansas Right to Life. [Jody Brown]
In all fairness, I thought it best to read the Constitution of the State of Kansas and noticed something about the rights in Section 1 referenced by Kline
All men are possessed of equal and inalienable natural rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
By men, is the constitution stating only male human beings or using the term to refer to the generic man as meaning person? This can actually get quite complex because nowhere in Kansas' Constitution does it refer to life during gestation. When determining the age of a citizen for the purposes establishing rights and privileges determined by age, we calculate that age from date of birth (and for someone to achieve that age, the birth would have to be a live birth), not date of conception, implantation or any other period during gestation. The constitution was amended in 1975, shortly after the controversial Roe v Wade decision. Considering the debate at that time, why did they not add a caveat to define a zygote as a human being from the moment of conception then?

If they were to grant personhood starting at conception, with a full complement of rights under Section 1 of the Kansas Constitution, they will run into many cases in which there are two beings with conflicting rights, especially as a zygote/embryo/fetus is uniquely disadvantaged by the inability to support its own physiological processes necessary for development to a point in which it could, under normal circumstances do so. To make matters worse, unlike a living baby that is a physical independent being that can be cared for by any capable being, a zygote/embryo and the majority of fetuses are fully reliant on the physical body of another person to develop to the point it has the chance of a live birth (and only 1 specific person is capable of providing use of her body for that purpose). This pits the rights of people that would theoretically have equal rights under Section 1 against each other. To subjugate a woman and forcibly require use of her body against her wishes, while violating her rights under Section 1 of the constitution, is a violation of her rights under Section 6
There shall be no slavery in this state; and no involuntary servitude, except for the punishment of crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted
I guess the taxpayers of Kansas don't mind paying for Kline to continue in his political grandstanding (or, as Blue suggests, his early campaigning for the next Governor's race). Of course based on King George's assertion that women are assured rights under a new Iraqi Constitution that derives civil law from Sharia, we can put what the Bushevicks consider rights for women to be in perspective. Yes women will have some rights in Iraq but they will not even be close to equal those of men; why anyone is suprised that's OK by BushCo is beyond me - women's rights under Sharia are exactly what the Repubevangelicals are trying to ensure for women here in the US.

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