On Friday, April 6, Kansas legislators passed a sweeping anti-abortion measure (HB 2253) declaring that life begins “at fertilization”. The bill would also block tax-breaks for abortion providers and ban abortions performed solely due to the baby’s sex.
If signed into law by abortion opponent, Governor Sam Brownback, the restrictions would take effect on July 1.
Brownback took office in January 2011 and called on legislators to create “a culture of life.”
The bill would also prohibit abortion providers from being involved in public school sex education classes. It also spells out in more detail what information doctors must provide to abortion seeking patients. “Information” such as the heightened risk of breast cancer in women who have abortions, “information” that was concluded by the National Cancer Institute a decade ago to be false. But, given that life will be considered as starting “at fertilization”, that would seem to make abortion virtually unattainable considering a woman typically doesn’t seek an abortion until an egg has been fertilized. That’s how pregnancy works.
House Representative John Wilson (D) stated the bill was “about politics, not medicine” and is “the very definition of government intrusion in a woman’s personal medical decisions.”
Senator David Haley (D) called supporters of the bill “Taliban-esque” as they are letting their religious views dictate policy and limiting women’s ability to make their own health care decisions.
These “personhood” measures are becoming more and more widespread. Thirteen other states have similar language in their laws and all are aimed at revising their constitutions to ban all abortions – North Dakota being the first to bring it to the ballot box in 2014.
Legislators on both sides agree that the practice of abortion based on sex-selection should be banned, and while a widespread practice in other countries, it is very rare in the United States. Unfortunately, language like this distracts from the underlying issue that will “open the door to extreme interpretation of other laws. It provides something that future bill sponsors would point to, and say, ‘This is already Kansas law,’” according to Talcott Camp, deputy director of the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project.
President of anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, Troy Newman gushed, “For me, this is just delightful. It opens up so many avenues.”
Legislating the misinformation of women, denying them the right to choose, denying them the right to safe health care, and penalizing doctors.
Right. “Just delightful.”