- (Photo: AP / Charlie Riedel)
Kansas Governor and former United States Senator Sam Brownback wrote "JESUS+MARY" on his talking points for a major pro-life bill that he signed into law on Friday.
He had written "JESUS+MARY" at the top of the page and "a culture of life" scribbled farther down on the front page, according to The Associated Press.
The major pro-life bill, House Bill 2253 or the "Pro-Life Protections Act," has been hailed by supporters and opponents alike as a sweeping piece of anti-abortion legislation.
Among its 70 pages of provisions, the PLP Act bars tax breaks for abortion providers and blocks them from participating in public school sex education classes. The recently signed law also includes language stating that human life begins at conception.
"On and after July 1, 2013, the laws of this state shall be interpreted and construed to acknowledge on behalf of the unborn child at every stage of development, all the rights, privileges and immunities available to other persons, citizens and residents of this state, subject only to the constitution of the United States, and decisional interpretations thereof by the United States supreme court," reads HB 2253.
In a statement, Brownback said, "All human life is sacred. It's beautiful … With this, we continue to build this culture of life in our state."
The law had its share of vocal opponents, as Gary Brunk of the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas and Western Missouri, Elise Higgins of The Kansas National Organization for Women, Peter Brownlie of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, and Julie A. Burkhart of Trust Women issued a joint statement denouncing it as "a blatant political move."
"Providing medically inaccurate information does not benefit the health or safety of Kansans. The bill is designed to create distrust between a woman and her doctor," reads the joint statement.
The PLP Act was introduced in February by State Representative Lance Kinzer (R-Olathe). After going through an amending process, on Friday, April 5, it was approved by a vote of 28 to 10 in the Senate and passed with a vote of 90 to 30 in the House hours later.
"These measures represent a significant step forward in our ongoing effort to advance thoughtful and targeted legislation that both defends innocent human life and protects women who are so often exploited by the abortion industry," said Kinzer in a statement.
Kansas is one of many states considering or passing pro-life legislation and restrictions on abortion access. In Virginia, the Board of Health recently gave final approval of increased regulations of the Commonwealth's abortion clinics. In late March, Governor Jack Dalrymple of North Dakota signed into law a bill that bans abortions once a fetus' heartbeat is detected.
Correction: Wednesday, April 24, 2013:
An article on Tuesday, April 23, 2013, about Kansas Governor Sam Brownback having "JESUS+Mary" written on a copy of a pro-life bill incorrectly stated that the notes were on a copy of House Bill 2253. According to his communications director, Brownback's notes were on a copy of talking points rather than the bill.