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Kansas Senate Passes Massive Anti-Choice Omnibus Bill

Robin Marty

Calling amendments to lessen the restrictive measures in the bill "hijinks," the state senate passed a 70-page omnibus bill onto the governor for approval.

A massive anti-choice bill has passed the Kansas senate and will now head to Republican Gov. Sam Brownback for signature. The bill would forbid claiming an abortion as a medical expense on taxes, ban individuals who work at clinics that offer abortions (or abortion referrals) from volunteering at local schools, promote the “interests” of fertilized eggs, and create “informed consent” materials claiming, among other medically dis-proven anti-science lies, that abortion causes breast cancer.

The 70-page bill is the same detailed, meticulous anti-abortion legislative screed that was blocked in 2012 among fears that forbidding the state’s medical residents from being trained in safe abortion care could result in the University of Kansas losing its medical accreditation. The legislature addressed that issue but left the rest of the bill mostly untouched; lawmakers refused any amendments from the senate.

Amendments that would have allowed rape victims to terminate a pregnancy after 20 weeks and would have removed the false claim that abortion causes breast cancer were firmly rejected by the state’s anti-choice senators. “These amendments are little gotcha amendments. I’m getting a little irritated at it,” Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce (R-Hutchinson) said, according to the Associated Press.

The bill will now head to house committee to reconcile minor changes in the senate version, but it is expected to pass easily. Brownback’s signature will likely come soon after. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lance Kinzer (R-Olathe) told AP reporter John Hanna that abortion providers have never received tax breaks in the state as far as he knows (which would be blocked under the bill), nor is he aware of a Planned Parenthood employee ever being invited into a school. However, he said, the bill is still vital because “enacting restrictions in law would at least prevent such situations in the future.”

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