Kansas lawmakers have officially passed what could be considered the nations most restrictive anti-abortion bill, following two hours of emotional, heated debate.
The bill, which is 69 pages long, was passed on Friday by Kansas’s Republican-controlled Kansas House of Representatives.
While the bill’s passing does not guarantee it will be enacted, the passing is one of three hoops it must go through to become law.
The next battle will take place in the Senate and, if it passes that body, it will go to the desk of Republican Governor Sam Brownback, who told the Huffington Post in February that he plans to sign the bill, despite not reading it yet.
The bill, among other things, would prohibit Kansas taxpayers from including abortion-related expenses in their personal deductions for medical care. It would also block abortion providers from receiving tax breaks.
Peter Brownlie, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri stated about the bill that:
“Kansans expect our legislators to address school financing, the Governor’s Medicaid overhaul, redistricting, and the budget and unemployment crisis – not legislate medicine. Kansans expect those legislators who promised ‘no new taxes’ to keep their word – not raise sales and income taxes for thousands of women and families. Kansans expect our elected officials to stop putting politics before women’s health.”
Huffington Post reports that other provisions include a sales tax on abortions, establishing a personhood stance for when life begins, limiting late-term abortions, prohibiting state employees from performing abortions during the workday, and mandating that doctors tell women that abortions can cause breast cancer, along with other state-approved health issues.
The bill will also allow doctors to withhold medical information from a patient, if that information might lead her to have an abortion. By doing to, if prevents medical professionals to face a medical malpractice suit if withholding that information hurts the health of the mother or child. If the woman dies, the only lawsuit the doctor would face is a wrongful death suit.
Rep. Barbara Bollier (R-Mission Hills), a retired physician, has broken away from the Republican party on this bill, and become a leader in the charge against the bill’s passing. She explains that:
“I cannot support this bill because of these issues related to health care. We are not providing women with all of the information related to pregnancy. There are serious questions about the tax code that have not been addressed. I realize this body will pass this bill. I find that disappointing for the women of Kansas.”
Check out more information about the Kansas anti-abortion bill here: