Brownback signs late-term abortion ban
TOPEKA, Kansas, April 13, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Pro-life Gov. Sam Brownback has signed into law two bills that reform abortion regulations and ban late-term abortions on the basis of fetal pain.
Brownback signed into law HB 2218, the Pain-capable Unborn Child Protection Act, and HB 2035, the Accuracy in Abortion Reporting & Parental Rights Act.
“These bills establish that Kansas, in the heart of America, is a culture-of-life state – and we’re not going back,” said Brownback before signing the bills Tuesday.
The bills were authored by Rep. Lance Kinzer (R-Olathe), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, who had previously noted that the bills represented decades of efforts to get pro-life legislation enacted in the state of Kansas.
For years, the Kansas legislature has passed pro-life legislation, only to have it dashed by vetoes from pro-abortion governors, such as Kathleen Sebelius.
“It’s a tremendous day,” Rep. Kinzer said Tuesday. “It’s been a long road for the pro-life movement in Kansas to get to this stage — not just a matter of years but going back decades, quite frankly.”
HB 2218 would ban abortion after 20 weeks gestation (post-fertilization), and mirrors a Nebraska law based on fetal pain. The law is based on substantial medical evidence indicating that an unborn child feels pain at that age. It provides an exception to abortion only in cases when the mother in danger of death or “substantial and irreversible” physical harm to a major bodily function.
The second of the two bills, HB 2035, significantly tightens up Kansas’s abortion laws, beginning with requiring volunteer staff and employees who work at both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations that serve pregnant teenagers, to report child sexual abuse.
The law also requires abortion clinics to provide women with literature explaining that “abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique living human being.”
Under the law the statutory definition of abortion is also expanded beyond surgical abortion to include “the use or prescription of any instrument, medicine, drug or any other substance or device to terminate the pregnancy.”
In cases where an abortionist has performed an illegal late-term abortion, the law grants the power to sue to women and their spouses or guardians.
Finally, in addition to other changes, the law upgrades the parental notice law to a parental consent law, which requires the agreement of both married parents to a minor’s abortion. For those minors with divorced or unmarried parents, the consent of the parent with primary custody is considered sufficient.