• Republican lawmakers in Kansas denounce New York abortion law

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  • Republican lawmakers in Kansas on Monday denounced legislation passed last month in New York that allows women whose health is at risk to undergo an abortion after 24 weeks of pregnancy.
    They planned to introduce a symbolic resolution condemning the "unthinkable" practice.
    Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, R-Shawnee, said the New York law is harmful to women who should be protected from those who would use and abuse her at a time when she is especially vulnerable.
    Late-term abortion, she said, is indistinguishable from infanticide.
    "It's a brutal exercise of raw power over a human life, and it is an appalling violation of justice," Pilcher-Cook said. "This is clearly an abuse of civil rights, and New York is now steeped in depravity because of this law."
    Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, said Kansas would be the first state to condemn New York's action.
    "We've done a lot to change the law and make Kansas a better place to live and support women who are pregnant unexpectedly," Wagle said. "We condemn unequivocally the nature of the celebration of the state of New York, where they celebrate infanticide."
    Kansas used to be one of the three states that allowed late-term abortions, Wagle said. She lamented the work of a well-known doctor, without naming him, who held a lot of sway in the Statehouse.
    Wichita doctor George Tiller was shot and killed outside his church in 2009.
    None of the 30 lawmakers attending Monday's news conference responded to a question about whether they were concerned their message would be heard by someone who might be inspired to carry out violence against doctors who provide abortions.
    It also wasn't clear why they chose to respond to New York's law and not the laws of other states, and they declined to address legislation that could pass in Kansas this year.
    "Human life is sacred," Pilcher-Cook said. "It is not based on some subjective opinion. It is an objective fact that human life is sacred and has intrinsic value. And when leaders in some states are standing for horrendous acts against human beings, it's up to all elected leaders to stand up and say that this is wrong."
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