Government & Politics

Kansas Legislature passes bill requiring women to get more information before abortion

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Physicians in Kansas probably will soon have to give women more information before an abortion.

The Kansas Senate passed a bill on a 25-15 vote Tuesday that will require women receive additional information at least 24 hours before an abortion.

“I think this is a bill that will help women make the right choice or an informed decision,” said Sen. Rob Olson, an Olathe Republican.

The legislation specifies that those details need to be provided to women on white paper, in black ink, printed in 12 point Times New Roman font.

The bill has already passed the House and now heads to Gov. Sam Brownback, who is staunchly anti-abortion.

The changes require patients to be briefed on what year physicians received their medical degrees, whether they have malpractice insurance and whether the state’s Board of Healing Arts has taken disciplinary action against them.

The form would also detail certain employment information, clinical privileges and include whether the physician is a resident of Kansas.

Those who opposed the bill said Tuesday that they believe the changes could lead the state to court if the legislation becomes law.

Other lawmakers have also taken issue with the fact that the bill requires the information for abortions but would not call for the same information prior to other medical procedures.

“This bill is simply harassment,” said Sen. Lynn Rogers, a Wichita Democrat.

“It’s discriminatory,” Sen. Barbara Bollier, a Mission Hills Republican, said before the debate.

Other Republicans fiercely stood by the bill, including Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook.

“Women don’t leave abortion clinics whistling and jumping up and down,” said Pilcher-Cook, a Shawnee Republican. “... They are in a very vulnerable state because the nature of abortion is ugly and is evil because it kills a human being.”

An effort by opponents of the legislation to send the bill back to committee, which some lawmakers feared would kill the bill’s chances of passing, failed earlier in the debate.

Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes released a statement after the vote saying the organization “denounces the Kansas Legislature’s Senate Bill 83, a policy that is unconstitutional, redundant, and medically unnecessary.”

Kansans for Life legislative director Kathy Ostrowski said in testimony earlier this year that the added information needed to be made available so women could “achieve a truly informed decision.”

Hunter Woodall: 785-354-1388, @HunterMw

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