Abortion - I am strongly pro-life and am proud to have received a 100% rating from Kansans for Life during my time in the legislature. During the 2012 session the legislature passed and the Governor signed my Healthcare Rights of Conscience proposal. This bill updates Kansas law that has been on the books for 40 years protecting healthcare professionals from being coerced to perform abortion or sterilization procedures to which they morally object. This law protects the basic value that we should never force anyone to perform an action he or she believes to be wrong, unless there is a very strong reason, not merely to have the action performed, but to insist that even those who find it wrong must perform it.
During the 2011 session my bill (HB 2218) My bill to provide enhanced legal protection for late term unborn children who are capable of feeling pain became law. This common sense, bi-partisan legislation was supported by 94 of 125 House members, but was opposed by my opponent.
House Substitute for SB 36, which I also drafted, became law in 2011 as well. Among other things this bill strengthening Kansas law with respect to late term abortions performed on unborn babies capable of living outside the womb. Under this bill Kansas doctors who perform such abortions would be have been required to state the specific medical diagnosis justifying compliance of the existing legal standard limiting such abortions to cases of "substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the mother."
Also in 2011 my bill (HB 2218) placing basic health, safety and sanitation requirements on abortion clinics in Kansas passed and became law. This bill ensures that women who do have abortions in Kansas will have the benefit of the same health and welfare standards fund in many other states.
In 2009 my bill the "Woman's Right to Know and See Act" became law. Under this law women considering abortions now have greater access to information, including an opportunity to view a sonogram of their unborn child if they so choose. Women now receive a list of free sonogram locations and information regarding free counseling and services for medically challenging pregnancies and contacts for free perinatal hospice services.
During the 2007 legislative session I carried HB 2006, also known as Alexa's Law. This bill recognizes a separate crime where an unborn child is killed or injured by the criminal conduct of a third party. Currently 36 states have fetal homicide laws in effect. While these bills differ in their exact language they have a similar purpose of recognizing a distinct crime associated with death or injury to an unborn child. Nationally this issue gained much attention in the Laci Peterson case; in Kansas the June 2006 murder of Chelsea Brooks and the death of her unborn child has created a significant degree of public concern regarding the lack of "fetal homicide" legislation in Kansas. My leadership helped fend of hostile amendments on the House Floor as Alexa's law gained approval.
Human Cloning - I oppose the use of technology that creates and then destroys human embryos for the purpose of medical experimentation. Embryonic stem cell research is fraught with ethical problems and fails to deliver on its proponents promises of medical cures. For a quick overview of issues related to stem cell research please view this power point presentation: What is Stem Cell Research?
An excellent article exploring this seemingly complex issue can be found here.
For a more complete consideration of my views on this matter you can read a speech I delivered to the Blue Valley Rotary Club.
While embryonic stem cell research has failed to produce medical treatments, there has been great success in the area of non-embryonic stem cells. Indeed all current stem cell related medical treatments are the result of ethical non-embryonic research. I support making Kansas a world wide leader in non-embryonic stem cell research. In particular I support the establishment of a Non-Embryonic Adult Stem Cell Research Fund to advance successful and ethical research in the state of Kansas. Private donors would receive tax credits and the Bioscience Authority would award grants based on specific research requests dependent on the fund balance and the type of research. Lance also supports the establishment of a Kansas Umbilical Cord Bank Fund that will provide grants to help establish or expand private umbilical cord bank organizations. Umbilical Cords are among the best sources of non-embryonic stem cells. To be eligible, a bank must gather, collect and preserve umbilical cords and placentas only from live births. Umbilical cords also must be primarily distributed to recipients who are unrelated to the donors. Private donors would receive tax credits and the Bioscience Authority would award grants based on specific criteria.
In 2007, K-State Scientists recognized Rep. Kinzer for support of ethical umbilical cord matrix stem cell research. Read the release here.
End Of Life Issues - I believe that all life is precious. Sadly, in our day there are some for whom a concept of social utility has replaced the notion of inherent human dignity. The losers in this ethical sea change have been the elderly, the poor, the disabled and the unborn. I agree with former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop when he noted that"... we must be wary of those who are too willing to end the lives of the elderly and the ill. If we ever decide that a poor quality of life justifies ending that life, we have taken a step down a slippery slope that places all of us in danger. " For more information on my position on end of life issues please see my testimony regarding HB 2849.