One more step was taken against abortion in Kansas on Wednesday. House Bill 2254 asserts that life begins at fertilization and is poised to pass the state Senate quickly and be signed by Governor Sam Brownback . The bill would also change availability of sex education from abortion providers.
The bill, which passed in the House of Representatives with a vote of 92 to 31, states that “unborn children have interests in life, health and well-being that should be protected.” In addition to changing the state’s views on when life begins, this bill would also vastly decrease the reach of sex education in Kansas. This bill would prohibit organizations like Planned Parenthood from distributing materials on sex education in schools, as well as make any organization that gives abortions unable to give sex education classes.
This bill would not only affect sex education availability, but there would be no tax breaks allowed for abortion providers, and no tax money allocated to medical students working at state school facilities where abortions are performed.
An issue that played a significant role in this bill’s passing thus far is that of fetal pain. Supporters of the bill believe fetuses are able to feel pain and stress, a notion that frustrates retired anesthesiologist and Representative, Barbara Bollier, who stands in opposition of the bill. Bollier expressed her disappointment in those representatives who have not been to medical school but believe they know better than a doctor on this topic of fetal pain
These new, strict, sweeping measures are no surprise in Kansas, as the state has been gradually cracking down on a woman’s right to choose, especially over the past two years. In that time, Kansas has passed a law requiring a parent's or guardian's written approval for all minors getting abortions, as well as tightening limits on late-term abortions. The state has also passed health and safety regulations for abortion providers that are currently being challenged in court.
This bill will most likely be passed by the state Senate, and quickly, while Governor Brownback has stated that he would sign any anti-abortion bill that he comes across.
Legislatures like this have pro-choice groups worried, as this trend of chipping away at Roe v. Wade continues in more conservative states. Though when it comes to this bill, Planned Parenthood sees little they can do about it considering how fast it is moving towards the governor’s desk.