What's the matter with Kansas?

Phill Kline

Kansas AG Phill Kline is at it again. Not only does he want to violate patient privacy and demand the medical records (including any anecdotal evidence of sluttiness they may include) of women who obtain abortions—in an effort to prosecute child molesters, of course—but now he wants to take away abortion funding for rape victims while he’s at it. I guess he figures if he can’t shame women after abortions, be can do his damnedest to make sure they go broke trying to pay for one:

A Kansas judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by state Attorney General Phill Kline for the state legislature concerning taxpayer funded abortions in cases of rape or incest. The judge dismissed the suit against pro-abortion Gov. Kathleen Sebelius saying she couldn't be held accountable.

Shawnee County Judge David Bruns ruled that federal law requires the state to pay for abortions in such cases under the state's Medicaid program.

Notice that Lifenews characterizes Gov. Sebelius as “pro-abortion” rather than pro-choice. Because, as you know, we women are just waiting in the wings to wantonly kill babies whenever we get the chance. In fact, I’m going to join Pharmacists for Life and demand that women stop taking birth control, that way they can get knocked up more frequently, and I’ve got more babies to murder. But I digress…

According to the Kansas City Star, the state of Kansas spent a little less than $2,000 in Medicaid funds for abortions last year. Sebelius contends that refusing to pay for abortions would jeopardize the $1.32 billion Kansas receives from the federal government for Medicaid funding. Surely our fiscally-aware rightwing friends would see that preventing the seven abortions Kansas paid for last year is hardly worth the loss of that much federal funding.

But beyond that, the federal guidelines are just good law. No woman should be forced to carry to term a pregnancy that is the result of a sexual assault, or one that would put her own life at risk. Please tell me the compelling state interest in encouraging more unwanted babies to be born. I’ll help you out—there is none. Kline is fairly consistent, and representative, of his anti-choice brethren—his intent isn’t to prevent abortions and save lives. He doesn’t particularly care if there are more happy little bouncing babies in the world. People like Kline have one interest—they want to control women’s sexuality, and by extension, their lives. That’s why he’s going after medical records for 15-year-old would-be mommies. He’s not going to prosecute child molesters; his aim is to inform women that their right privacy will not be tolerated. If you want to slut it up ladies, remember that he’s watching. And when the decision to terminate a pregnancy is already fraught with uncertainty and the threat of exposure by anti-choice groups who are not above garbage picking for names and addresses, the knowledge that the government is going to get their grubby little fingers into your medical records is more than enough to give women pause.

This issue is no different. Kline isn’t concerned about taxpayers funding abortions despite their own moral qualms on the issue. He’s concerned about women getting a free pass, and controlling their reproduction without having to pay for it (financially, socially) at all. The next time you hear one of these reactionary, rightwing fuckwits bloviating about saving the babies, stop and listen to the subtext. Then look around for any evidence that the speaker has done one damn thing to better the lives of women and children. It’s easy to say that you want babies to be born, but it takes a better kind of person to make sure that their world is worth living in.

Edited to add that Arjet did a much better (and more passionate) job of discussing the real anti-choice agenda on his blog yesterday. Go read it.


annamaria at 10:55 AM

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