Update On Kansas Madness

As an update to Jessica’s post yesterday on Kansas Attorney General’s demand for the medical records of ninety women who have received abortions, I thought I’d delve a bit deeper into this nonsense.
Attorney General Phil Kline was actually permitted by a district judge in October to see these private files, but two medical clinics in Kansas have brought the case to the Supreme Court, reports ABC News. The clinics say that Kline demanded complete and unedited medical records of women who sought abortions at least 22 weeks into their pregnancies, as well as girls 15 years and under who sought abortions.
No hearing has been scheduled for the clinics’ appeal, but if the higher courts don’t intervene, women who have obtained abortions may have government agents at their door. There may even be a gag order that prevents the clinics from even telling these women that their records are being exposed. So not only will they be stripped of their privacy rights, but won’t even know about it?? The fact that this guy even has a shot at this makes me feel like I’m in the fucking twilight zone.
An opponent of abortion, Kline also attempted to make it a requirement for health care professionals to report underage sexual activity. Luckily a federal judge blocked him, but the case is yet to be resolved. Kline commented on Thursday, “I have a duty to investigate and prosecute child rape and other crimes in order to protect Kansas children.”
Child rape? Kansas law prohibits teenagers under 16 to engage in sexual activity, but associating “underage sexual activity” with “child rape” is a bit of a stretch. I also don’t doubt that one of these “other crimes” is late-term abortion.
Additionally, the fact that he is demanding their personal information, such as names, details of their sex history, and psychological profiles makes it a bit obvious what the agenda is here. Not only is this a gross violation of patients’ rights, but a blatant strategy to attack reproductive rights.

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7 Comments

  1. Posted February 25, 2005 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    This is the most horrifying and sickening thing i have heard in a while. Why is the government so concerned with getting into our pants.
    I was 14 when I first became sexually active. I am fine today. I knew what I was doing when I was doing it. To even assign a term such a child rape to what I participated in makes my stomach turn.
    If anything it will lessen the true meaning of the word rape and pervert it.
    It’s so fucking sad that it’s believed teenagers have no control over their sexual decisions.
    So now our sex lives, according to kline, are up to his judgement?
    I fail to see how ANY american can support such a blatant and obvious perversion and destruction of FREEDOM. Isnt that what we are killing in iraq for? Isnt that what we claim we love and value?

  2. Kassidy
    Posted February 25, 2005 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Besides being a gross violation of privacy, is anyone else questioning the fact that there is a law in Kansas prohibiting sexual activity if you are under the age of 16? I find that disturbing in its own right.

  3. Crys
    Posted February 25, 2005 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    The no sexual activity under 16 thing is also a reflection of the belief that kids (read: young women) are having sex with adults (read: adult men). This is their way of trying to thwart the ‘lolita’ temptress from ‘seducing’older guys. it’s such a fucked up philosophy. kelz got it right, teenagers have no control over their sexual lives.
    as for kline, are there any groups protesting him in kansas, or any legal movements against him? i would hope that their is a very public outcry over his actions.
    i think both points (no sex under 16 & the access to medical records) exemplify the lack of embodiment that is granted to women & young girls in our society. we are not allowed to control ourselves, no matter how hard we try.

  4. Thomas
    Posted February 25, 2005 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Kassidy:
    (I’m already guessing this is going to hijack the thread, but) I have given a lot of thought to the Kansas statutory rape statute.
    It bothers me to interfere with young women’s sexual development by criminalizing the conduct of partners they choose. However: (1) statutory rape laws, which take consent out of the equasion, make it easier to prosecute the forcible rape of a child by an adult; and (2) protect teens from the consequences of choices that they may not yet have the maturity to fully appreciate.
    I think, on balance, the need to protect young women from sexual exploitation by older men, which is common and generally tremendously harmful, outweighs the loss to these women of the freedom to choose much older partners.
    The balance shifts, though, when talking about age- appropriate sexual exploration. Lots of women have positive sexual experiences in their mid-teens with similar-aged partners — many more, I’d say, than do with older men. So on balance, I think criminalizing consensual sexual contact between two teens harms young women too much to condone.
    [Now I really wish Voxper was around, this would make his head explode]
    I also think that the gender-neutral nature of the Kansas statute, while optimal for adult-on-teen situations, is a bad idea for similar-aged pairings. On balance (and not without exceptions, but overwhelmingly) sexual assault among teens is male teens assaulting female teens. Criminalizing both sides of a heterosexual teen-teen encounter serves the same function as the Air Force’s drinking rules — it discourages rape survivors from coming forward out of fear that they will be prosecuted, not for false allegations, but simply for the encounter!
    My policy solution is so practical that it is already the law in many states: a “Romeo and Juliet” statute that excepts from criminal sanctions consensual sexual encounters between partners who are close in age (say, four years).

  5. tfreridge
    Posted February 27, 2005 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Everything you say makes sense, Thomas, except the part about age appropriate sexual exploration. It used to be the norm to marry young woman off in order to prevent exploration(the family honor and all that). While women are physically more mature that men at that age, the emotional and psychological baggage that comes with teen sexual exploration, can be have long term detrimental effects. In minority cultures this is even more pronounced.
    The MTV generation(born after 1980) is even more casual about sex than my own(x-er). The facts are that a sexualy active teen is so much more at risk for number of things. Pregnancy, STD’s, Rape, Depression, and Suicide. Drug and Alchohol use is the biggest contributing factor to being sexually active. That says something right there.
    We have an obligation as a society to teach our young men and women discipline and to protect them from themselves and from predators regardless of their immature feelings on the subject.

  6. Thomas
    Posted February 28, 2005 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Tfrefidge:
    First, I would like to see teens having less PV intercourse and more outercourse — all the consequences are reduced, including emotional, and it’s easier for women to come to understand their bodies that way.
    Second, I don’t think historically societies have married off young people to keep them from sexual exploration. Historically, young people are married off at the age of reproductive maturity (hence, rites of passage at 13 or so) for economic and population reasons.
    Third, the prevalence of intoxicants is a much larger point than just teen sex. It is itself a bad thing, and a pox on our society. The use of intoxicants proximate to sexual activity is not something that tells us the sexual conduct is bad. It tells us we’re a nation of drunks.
    Certainly, intoxication impairs judgment — the judgment needed to set boundaries, use protection and communicate. But again, that’s an intoxicant problem, not a sex problem.
    Finally, is it your claim that sex among teens, by itself, leads to social pathology?

  7. Betsy Markum
    Posted May 22, 2006 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    I can’t believe it, my co-worker just bought a car for $11685. Isn’t that crazy!

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