Kan. House Passes Antiabortion Bill That Alters Tax Laws, Restricts State Employees

May 8, 2012 — The Kansas House on Monday passed a bill (H Sub SB 313) by an 88-31 vote that would alter tax laws to bar indirect contributions to abortion providers and possibly jeopardize the accreditation of the University of Kansas Medical Center's obstetrics and gynecology program, the AP/Washington Examiner reports.

The legislation would prohibit residents from deducting abortion-related expenses as a medical cost on their income taxes and ban tax breaks for abortion providers, such as sales tax exemptions that are normally permitted for not-for-profit organizations.

The bill also would make it illegal for state employees -- including medical residents at the University of Kansas -- to provide abortion care on state time or property. Lawmakers added a one-year exception that would allow medical residents to perform the procedure off-site, but officials at the school want a permanent exemption because of concerns that the restrictions would jeopardize accreditation of the school's obstetrics and gynecology program (AP/Washington Examiner, 5/7).

Another provision in the bill would require women seeking abortion care to be notified that the procedure could lead to breast cancer -- a claim that the National Cancer Institute has refuted. During debate over the bill, state Rep. Sean Gatewood (D) suggested that including the false information could hurt the University of Kansas Cancer Center's years-long effort to receive a NCI designation.

Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri said in a statement that the bill would force physicians to "provide medically inaccurate misinformation" (Hanna, AP/Wichita Eagle, 5/5).

The bill now heads to the Senate, which has not reviewed the legislation and will adjourn for the year on Friday (AP/Washington Examiner, 5/7).