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MrsImperfect
Sweeping anti-abortion bill goes to Kansas gov.
April 6, 2013 at 3:15 AM
Friday, April 5, 2013, at the Statehouse, in Topeka, Kan.

By JOHN HANNAThe Associated PressTOPEKA, Kan. —

Kansas legislators gave final passage to a sweeping anti-abortion measure Friday night, sending Gov. Sam Brownback a bill that declares life begins "at fertilization" while blocking tax breaks for abortion providers and banning abortions performed solely because of the baby's sex.The House voted 90-30 for a compromise version of the bill reconciling differences between the two chambers, only hours after the Senate approved it, 28-10. The Republican governor is a strong abortion opponent, and supporters of the measure expect him to sign it into law so that the new restrictions take effect July 1.In addition to the bans on tax breaks and sex-selection abortions, the bill prohibits abortion providers from being involved in public school sex education classes and spells out in more detail what information doctors must provide to patients seeking abortions.The measure's language that life begins "at fertilization" had some abortion-rights supporters worrying that it could be used to legally harass providers. Abortion opponents call it a statement of principle and not an outright ban on terminating pregnancies."The human is a magnificent piece of work at all stages of development, wondrous in every regard, from the microscopic until full development," said Sen. Steve Fitzgerald, a Leavenworth Republican who supported the bill.Abortion opponents argue the full measure lessens the state's entanglement with terminating pregnancies, but abortion-rights advocates say it threatens access to abortion services.The declaration that life begins at fertilization is embodied in "personhood" measures in other states. Such measures are aimed at revising their constitutions to ban all abortions, and none have been enacted, though North Dakota voters will have one on the ballot in 2014.But Kansas lawmakers aren't trying to change the state constitution, and the measure notes that any rights suggested by the language are limited by decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court. It declared in its historic Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 that women have a right to obtain abortions in some circumstances, and has upheld that decision while allowing increasing restrictions by states.Thirteen states, including Missouri, have such language in their laws, according to the National Right to Life Committee.Sen. David Haley, a Kansas Democrat who opposed the bill, zeroed in on the statement, saying that supporters of the bill were pursuing a "Taliban-esque" course of letting religious views dictate policy limiting women's ability to make decisions about health care and whether they'll have children.And in the House, Rep. John Wilson, a Lawrence Democrat, complained that the bill was "about politics, not medicine.""It's the very definition of government intrusion in a woman's personal medical decisions," he said.Brownback has signed multiple anti-abortion measures into law, and the number of pregnancies terminated in the state has declined 11 percent since he took office in January 2011.The governor said he still has to review this year's bill thoroughly but added, "I am pro-life."This year's legislation is less restrictive than a new North Dakota law that bans abortions as early as the sixth week of pregnancy and a new Arkansas law prohibiting most abortions after the 12th week. But many abortion opponents still see it as a significant step."There is a clear statement from Kansas with respect to the judgment on the inherent value of human life," said Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee Chairwoman Mary Pilcher-Cook, a Shawnee Republican and leading advocate for the measure.The bill passed despite any solid data on how many sex-selection abortions are performed in Kansas. A 2008 study by two Columbia University economists suggested the practice of aborting female fetuses — widespread in some nations where parents traditionally prefer sons — is done in the U.S. on a limited basis.But legislators on both sides of the issue said the practice should be banned, however frequent it is.The bill also would require physicians to give women information that addresses breast cancer as a potential risk of abortion. Advocates on both sides acknowledge there's medical evidence that carrying a fetus to term can lower a woman's risk for breast cancer, but doctors convened by the National Cancer Institute a decade ago concluded that abortion does not raise the risk for developing the disease.The provisions dealing with tax breaks are designed to prevent the state from subsidizing abortions, even indirectly. For example, health care providers don't have the pay the state sales tax on items they purchase, but the bill would deny that break to abortion providers. Also, a woman could not include abortion costs if she deducts medical expenses on her income taxes."Every taxpayer will be able to know with certainty that their money is not being used for abortion," Pilcher-Cook said.But Jordan Goldberg, state advocacy counsel for the New York City-based Center for Reproductive Rights, called the tax provisions "appalling and discriminatory.""It's probably, if not definitely unconstitutional, and it's incredibly mean-spirited," she said.
___The anti-abortion legislation is HB 2253.___Associated Press Writer Maria Fisher in Kansas City, Mo., also contributed to this report. Follow John Hanna on Twitter at www.twitter.com/apjdhanna

Replies

  • RobinChristine
    April 6, 2013 at 3:29 AM

    This is great. Maybe abortions will be banned state by state. My hope is abortions become illegal once again because IMO abortion equates murder. Then the women and "professionals" who perform back alley abortions should be punished accordingly.

  • Arroree
    by Arroree
    April 6, 2013 at 3:53 AM

    Think we could get a version of this that's actually broken into paragraphs?

  • AuntieL333
    April 6, 2013 at 5:51 AM

    I have news for some of you who think that by banning abortions we will end abortion, nothing can be further from the truth. What it will do is cause a lot of women to die needlessly by forcing them back into the hands of butchers playing doctors or try to do something about it herself. I do not understand people who want no exceptions to a ban and frankly the whole issue has become very pale, stale and male. Some on the far-right won't be happy until they push thru legislation stating that life begins at the erection.

  • romalove
    April 6, 2013 at 5:53 AM

    I can't wait until women are forced to prove their miscarriages are just that and not abortions.

    SMH over the meanness and stupidity of some.

  • radioheid
    April 6, 2013 at 8:13 AM

     Ohio already does this, in a sense. All fetal death after 12 weeks must be registered. I know this because I had to take my twin sister to the hospital when she miscarried at 13 weeks, and she had to sign papers, and then sign additional papers stating that she didn't want some freaky pro-life group to bury the blood clots she passed.

    Quoting romalove:

    I can't wait until women are forced to prove their miscarriages are just that and not abortions.

    SMH over the meanness and stupidity of some.

     

  • NWP
    by NWP
    April 6, 2013 at 8:50 AM

    Good grief.

    Quoting radioheid:

     Ohio already does this, in a sense. All fetal death after 12 weeks must be registered. I know this because I had to take my twin sister to the hospital when she miscarried at 13 weeks, and she had to sign papers, and then sign additional papers stating that she didn't want some freaky pro-life group to bury the blood clots she passed.

    Quoting romalove:

    I can't wait until women are forced to prove their miscarriages are just that and not abortions.

    SMH over the meanness and stupidity of some.

     


  • NWP
    by NWP
    April 6, 2013 at 8:52 AM

    The people that support this kind of ban know very well what will happen, but believe that those evil immoral women who would seek an illegal unsafe abortion are going to get what death and maiming they deserve. Many on this board have even said so.

    They feel this way until it happens to their daughter, or sister, or other loved one....Folks have forgotten that Roe vs Wade was created to end the death and maiming of women and girls in the first place.

    Quoting AuntieL333:

    I have news for some of you who think that by banning abortions we will end abortion, nothing can be further from the truth. What it will do is cause a lot of women to die needlessly by forcing them back into the hands of butchers playing doctors or try to do something about it herself. I do not understand people who want no exceptions to a ban and frankly the whole issue has become very pale, stale and male. Some on the far-right won't be happy until they push thru legislation stating that life begins at the erection.


  • lilblu399
    April 6, 2013 at 8:53 AM
    Horray for small government! While they are forcing health choices on women, will they have more medical coverage for these incubators, will there be more money for the incubators to eat or does the government not reach that far, they just stop at the uterus?
  • AdrianneHill
    April 6, 2013 at 9:21 AM
    It makes me sad that women are seen as so stupid and selfish that they don't deserve a choice.
    I'm waiting for a time when men aren't allowed to whack off because it's the waste of half a potential most precious baby.
  • lazycervix
    April 6, 2013 at 9:31 AM

    LOL and women who have a period and did not conseve that month would be charged with murder to because there went the other half. So might as well outlaw birthcontrol to as some of those *Like my IUD* are considered abortive and not like regular birthcontrol. 

    Quoting AdrianneHill:

    It makes me sad that women are seen as so stupid and selfish that they don't deserve a choice.
    I'm waiting for a time when men aren't allowed to whack off because it's the waste of half a potential most precious baby.


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