Kansas Unborn Child Protection From Dismemberment Abortion Act (SB 95)
This law was last updated on Mar 15, 2017
SB 95 prohibits a person from performing, or attempting to perform, a “dismemberment abortion” unless:
- It is necessary to preserve the life of the pregnant woman; or
- A continuation of the pregnancy will cause a substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman.
The law states that no condition shall be deemed to exist if it is based on a claim or diagnosis that the woman will engage in conduct that would result in her death or in substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.
The law defines “dismemberment abortion” to mean the following:
[W]ith the purpose of causing the death of an unborn child, knowingly dismembering a living unborn child and extracting such unborn child one piece at a time from the uterus through the use of clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors or similar instruments that, through the convergence of two rigid levers, slice, crush or grasp a portion of the unborn child’s body in order to cut or rip it off.
The law provides that no woman nor anyone acting under the direction of a physician (nurse, technician, secretary, receptionist or other employee or agent) is liable for performing or attempting to perform a “dismemberment abortion.”
The law provides for civil and criminal penalties.
This law targets a procedure known as dilation and evacuation (D and E), which is frequently used during second-trimester abortions. According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, an abortion using suction aspiration can be performed up to 14 weeks’ gestation, but after 14 weeks the D and E procedure must be used to perform an abortion. As such, dilation and evacuation bans, depending upon their language, may ban all surgical abortion past 14 weeks’ gestation. (Source.)
According to the Topeka Capital-Journal, this law will ban abortion providers from using the procedure that is used in 8 percent of all abortions, about 600 annually, performed in the state.
This law is based on model legislation designed by the National Right to Life Committee.
SB 95 passed the Senate on February 20, the House on March 25, and was signed into law by Gov. Brownback on April 7, 2015.
Companion bill to HB 2187.
The Center for Reproductive Rights filed a lawsuit challenging the law. Shawnee County District Court Judge Larry Hendricks blocked the law pending resolution of the lawsuit. (See Hodes & Nauser v. Schmidt.)
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