Mary Pilcher-Cook

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Mary Pilcher-Cook
Member of the Kansas Senate
from the 10th district
In office
2009 – Present
Personal details
Born (1954-12-23) December 23, 1954 (age 64)
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Don Cook
ResidenceShawnee, Kansas

Mary Pilcher-Cook (born December 23, 1954) is a Republican member of the Kansas Senate, representing the 10th District since 2009.[1] She was a representative on the Kansas House of Representatives from 2000 to 2002 and from 2004 to 2006. She was elected to the Kansas Senate 2008 and re-elected in 2012 and 2016. Her term expires in 2021.

Beginning January 14, 2013, she chaired the Public Health and Welfare Committee until February 12, 2016, when she was removed from her chair for a violation of Senate rules, said Senate President Susan Wagle. [1] She is considered one of the most vocal opponents of abortion in the Kansas legislature.[2]

She lives in Shawnee, with her husband, Don Cook.

Committee assignments[edit]

Pilcher-Cook serves on these legislative committees:[3]

  • Commerce
  • Tax
  • Judiciary
  • Public Health and Welfare



In the 2012 Republican primary, Pilcher-Cook defeated Tom Wertz by a 64 to 36 percent margin.[4] On November 6, 2012, Mary Pilcher-Cook was re-elected to Senate District 10, defeating Democrat Mark J. Greene by a vote of 21,637 to 17,713, a 58 to 42 percent margin.[5][6][7]


The 2008 Republican Primary, Mary Pilcher-Cook defeated State School Board Member Sue Gamble by a 57 to 43 percent margin.[8] On November 4, 2008, Mary Pilcher-Cook was elected to Senate District 10, defeating Democrat Pete Roman by a vote of 19,050 to 13,600, a 54.9 to 45.1 percent margin.[9]

Political positions[edit]

Mary Pilcher-Cook is a conservative Republican, known for her pro-life stance, her efforts to fight ObamaCare, and other fiscally and socially conservative stances.

On the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, in 2014, she arranged for a sonogram to take place in the Kansas Statehouse during a meeting of the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee. The ultrasound procedure was performed on two women by Cindy Patterson, a sonographer with Wyandotte Pregnancy Clinic, a crisis pregnancy center that pro-life counseling to women considering abortion.[10]

In January 2014, she introduced Senate Bill 302, which would have made surrogate motherhood a misdemeanor. Under the bill, anyone involved in hiring, or working as, a surrogate could be charged with a misdemeanor, punishable with up to a $10,000 fine and a year in the county jail.[11] The law eventually died in committee.

In 2014, Pilcher-Cook introduced passage of sex education bill after one of her a parent objected to a poster which was placed in a middle school health classroom listing several sex acts. The bill would have required districts to collect signed consent forms from parents if they wanted their child to learn about sexual education.[12]

In 2015, she introduced Senate Bill 56, which would remove legal protections from teachers who showed material that was deemed harmful to minors.[13] The bill quickly became controversial, as opponents claimed the bill was overreaching and would stifle freedom of expression.[14] On 25 February 2015, the bill passed the Senate an amended version of the bill on a 26-14 vote.

In 2011 and 2012, Pilcher-Cook worked towards passage of the Kansas Health Care Freedom Amendment, which would have amended the Kansas Constitution, which failed by one vote due to resistance by the Republican leadership.[15] However, a bill simply placing the same language in statute, called the "Kansas Health Care Freedom Act", was later adopted and was signed into law by Governor Sam Brownback.[16]


External links[edit]