Kan. House Committee Approves Sweeping Abortion Bill

March 11, 2013 — The Kansas House Federal and State Affairs Committee on Thursday approved a broad antiabortion-rights bill (HB 2253) with several provisions aimed at restricting access to the procedure, the Lawrence Journal-World/Kansas City Kansan reports (Rothschild, Lawrence Journal-World/Kansas City Kansan, 3/8).

HB 2253 would rewrite state tax laws to prevent groups that provide abortions from receiving tax exemptions or credits that other not-for-profit groups and health care providers receive. The measure also would prohibit women who have received an abortion from claiming the medical procedure as a tax deduction.

The bill would specify what information doctors must provide women before an abortion, and it would bolster a state law that bans residents at the state's medical school from performing abortions on state time. In addition, the measure would declare that life begins "at fertilization" and that "unborn children have interests in life, health and well-being that should be protected" (Hanna, AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 3/7).

Sex Education Dispute

Much of the debate on Thursday focused on one of the bill's provisions that would prevent groups that provide abortions from providing sex education materials for public schools (Lawrence Journal-World, 3/8).

Kansans for Life Executive Director Mary Kay Culp claimed the groups promote abortion.

Peter Brownlie -- President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri -- said his organization only provides materials for sex education classes when they are requested by schools or teachers (AP/KSNT, 3/8).