Topeka, Kansas — A sweeping abortion bill that recently passed the Kansas House of Representatives also cleared the state Senate Friday night, and now heads to the desk of Governor Sam Brownback for signing.
In a vote of 90-30, Kansas senators approved the legislation, which among other regulations, declares that life begins at conception.
“The legislature hereby finds and declares the following: (1) The life of each human being begins at fertilization; (2) unborn children have interests in life, health and well-being that should be protected; and (3) the parents of unborn children have protectable interests in the life, health and well-being of the unborn children of such parents,” the bill outlines.
In addition to making a direct assertion on when life begins, the measure restrains the state abortion industry in a number of ways. One of the restrictions prohibits abortionists from receiving tax breaks. Another bars doctors-in-training at the state medical school from performing abortions on state time. A third requires that all abortionists notify women of the risks associated with having an abortion, as well a the facts about fetal development. Sex-selection abortions are also prohibited by the legislation.
Furthermore, the bill prohibits organizations that perform abortions from teaching in sexual education classes in public schools.
“No school district shall permit any person or entity to offer, sponsor or otherwise furnish in any manner any course materials or instruction relating to human sexuality or sexually transmitted diseases if such person or entity is an abortion services provider, or an employee, agent or volunteer of an abortion services provider,” it outlines.
“This fulfills the legislative intent to create a pro-life state,” Kansans for Life director Kathy Ostrowski told reporters.
Senator David Haley, however, stated that the passage of the bill was a “Taliban-esque” move, in that religion was influencing law in the state.
In recent weeks, North Dakota and Arkansas have also passed some of the strongest laws in the nation restricting abortion. Governor Jack Dalrymple recently signed the Heartbeat Bill into law in North Dakota, barring any abortionist from ending the life of a child when a heartbeat is detected. If the abortionist performs the abortion despite the existence of a heartbeat, he or she would face felony charges, and could spend up to five years in prison and/or pay up to $5,000 in fines. The mother would not face any criminal charges.
“The images and heartbeat from the womb provide strong and overwhelming evidence of — at the very least — potential life,” said Senator Spencer Berry, a sponsor of the bill. “And we have been instructed by the Supreme Court to protect that very potential.”
Likewise, the Human Heartbeat Protection Act was made law in Arkansas after legislators voted to override the veto of Democratic Governor Mike Beebe.
“[I]f there’s a heartbeat, there’s life, and we’re going to stand up for this law, regardless of who opposes it,” stated Senator Jason Rupert.
Governor Brownback, a Roman Catholic, said that he will sign any pro-life bill into law that reaches his desk.