Friday, February 03, 2006

I Think I Know What's the Matter with Kansas

The answer is Attorney General Phill Kline. Saletan has a whole collection on this Crusader for Decency:

You may remember Kline from such earlier pro-life Movies of the Week as Phill Kline Subpoenas 90 Women's Abortion Records on Child-Rape-Fighting Pretext, as well as Phill Kline Files Suit To Terminate State Funding of Abortions for Medicaid Beneficiaries. The Kansas Supreme Court will issue a decision in the former suit tomorrow. A judge dismissed the latter suit last week, which attempted to define the instant of conception as the beginning of life—to bolster his argument that abortion violates the right to life under the state constitution, despite the clear constitutional rule announced in Roe v. Wade.

But striving for the 2006 pro-life trifecta, Kline is also embroiled in a lawsuit over the mandatory reporting of all teen snogging in Kansas. The trial, which opened on Monday in federal district court, surrounds Kline's 2003 advisory opinion on the state's mandatory reporting law. While Kansas is one of 12 states in which sex under a certain age—16, 17, or 18—is always presumed illegal, regardless of consent or the age difference between the partners, Kline's written interpretation of Kansas' reporting law makes it the only state requiring that doctors, nurses, counselors, and all other care providers report—as abuse—any sexual interaction between teens under 16. Failure to report is a misdemeanor. Under Kline's view, professionals must report even when the sex is consensual, committed with partners their age, and where there is no suspicion of injury. The plaintiffs who filed suit—a group of doctors, nurses, and counselors—contend that under Kline's policy, even evidence of teen necking must be reported.

This could mean finally putting a stop to the wanton actions of such teen harlots as Betty, Veronica, and Sandra Dee.

In their complaint, the health care providers, represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights, urge that while they support the reporting of all suspected sexual abuse of minors, the reporting of all nonabusive consensual sexual activity threatens their confidential relationships and would have a chilling effect on teen efforts to seek healthcare—including lifesaving HIV testing, birth control, and counseling. The attorney general's office argues that there is a legitimate state interest in stopping child abuse.

Abortion aside, it is this kind of shit that I fear with a Roe overturn. People like Phill Kline are doing their damnedest to erase every person's privacy that they can, with all the harnessed powers of Big Government to attack doctors and teens alike. As the right riles up everyone by proposing anti-gay Constitutional Amendments, I'm waiting for that hero (or heroine) to stride out from the left and propose a Constitutional Amendment establishing the Right to Privacy. People like Phill Kline are convincing me that we need it, and it could be three times the galvanizing force gay marriage is.