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Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D).YouTube screenshot

(Live Action) — Kansas Governor Laura Kelly vetoed a bill Friday that would have allowed child support payments to apply to preborn children.

Senate Bill 425 would have amended a state statute to make “unborn children” part of the legal definition of a child, thereby mandating courts to consider medical and pregnancy-related expenses when determining child support obligations. Abortion advocates rallied against the measure on the basis that it gave the designation of personhood to preborn children, believing it to be a way to open the door to more pro-life laws. Lawmakers passed the measure with a vote of 82-38 in the House and 25-12 in the Senate.

Kelly, whom the AP notes is a “strong supporter of abortion rights,” partially attributed her veto to the fact that a pro-life constitutional amendment which would have protected preborn children was rejected by voters in 2022.

“This divisive legislation has broad and sweeping implications that undermine the will of the majority of Kansans who voted overwhelmingly in 2022 to protect the constitutional rights of women to make decisions about pregnancy,” Kelly said in a statement. “This is another blatant attempt by extreme politicians in the Legislature to take more control over women and their families’ personal, private medical decisions.”

READ: Pro-life men in South Dakota are praying the Rosary to fight back against pro-abortion amendment

Mackenzie Haddix, spokesperson for Kansans for Life, previously suggested that the bill’s financial support would have helped mothers choose life for their children rather than abortion, saying, “Ultimately, it’s crucial that no woman feels compelled to resort to abortion as her sole choice.”

House Speaker Dan Hawkins, Majority Leader Chris Croft, and Speaker Pro Tempore Blake Carpenter issued a statement responding to the veto. “Women facing an unexpected pregnancy need support long before the baby is born. Between doctor’s appointment copays, sonograms, and other costs, prenatal expenses can get very pricey for women to handle simply on their own,” they said. “The Governor’s veto of this bill has failed Kansas women by dismissing financial accountability for the father.”

According to the Associated Press, lawmakers have already ended their season, which means they can’t override Kelly’s veto unless they do so during a special session the governor has said she will call to reduce taxes.

Reprinted with permission from Live Action.