Kansas set to enact life-starts-’at fertilization’ abortion law

KANSAS CITY, Kan.,  (Reuters) – Kansas is set to enact one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation which defines life as beginning “at fertilization” and imposes a host of new regulations. The Kansas House of Representatives passed the bill 90-30 on Friday night, a few hours after the Senate backed it on a 28-10 vote. Strongly anti-abortion Republican Governor Sam Brownback is expected to sign it into law. Republicans hold strong majorities in both houses.

In addition to the provision specifying when life begins, the bill prevents employees of abortion clinics from providing sex education in schools, bans tax credits for abortion services and requires clinics to give details to women about fetal development and abortion health risks. It also bans abortions based solely on the gender of the fetus.

The Kansas bill comes on the heels of anti-abortion measures passing in states across the country, including one in Arkansas banning abortions in the 12th week of pregnancy and a law in North Dakota that sets the limit at six weeks.

The Kansas language stating that life begins “at fertilization” is modeled on a 1989 ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court, said Kathy Ostrowski, legislative director of Kansans for Life, anti-abortion group.

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