TOPEKA – The House gave its initial approval to a bill aimed at strengthening the state’s late-term abortion reporting rules.
The proposal requires doctors performing late-term abortions to provide more detailed explanations for why the procedures were necessary on forms that are sent to Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
Abortion opponents have said that doctors currently state the pregnancy could cause “sustainable and irreversible harm” to a woman’s major bodily function. Doctors are simply repeating the law and not explaining why the procedure was necessary.
“The primary point of this bill is to deal with lack of information in KDHE reports that justify late-term abortions,” said Rep. Lance Kinzer, R-Olathe, the bill’s sponsor.
House substitute for Senate Bill 218 also would allow a woman or certain members of her family to file civil lawsuits against an abortion provider they suspected had violated the law. The law would apply to the father if he is married to the woman and to her parents if she is under 18 when the suspected violations occurred.
Additionally, the measure would change the state’s language on partial birth abortions to reflect language used at the federal level.
The bill passed on a voice vote. It is the second time this year the House has approved such a proposal. The prior bill cleared the chamber with a strong majority but did not progress in the Senate.
By placing the language in a Senate bill, supporters ensure it does not have to have a committee hearing. Once it goes to the Senate, the measure is likely to go to a conference committee, where six lawmakers from the House and Senate will negotiate a compromise.
“KFL applauds this bill which will end late-term phony reporting and partial birth abortions done for “mental health” reasons,” said Kathy Ostrowski State Legislative Director for Kansans for Life. “The Senate needs to act quickly to ensure this bill becomes law.”
Late last week, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius signed another bill, dubbed the Woman’s Right to Know and See Act, into law. The proposal required that women receiving an abortion be allowed to hear the fetal heart beat or see images from an ultrasound.