Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signs sweeping anti-choice bill into law

Among other anti-choice provisions, the bill states that "life" begins at fertilization under Kansas law

Topics: Abortion, abortion rights, abortion care, Kansas, anti-choice, anti-choice laws, North Dakota, Arkansas, , ,

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signs sweeping anti-choice bill into law Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (Credit: AP)

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has signed a sweeping antiabortion omnibus bill into law, reaffirming the state’s current ban on abortion at 20 weeks (without exceptions for rape or serious fetal anomalies), blocking tax breaks for abortion providers, expanding “conscience protections” for anti-choice groups and writing into state law that life begins “at fertilization.”

It is, in effect, an antiabortion greatest-hits law.

At the bill’s signing ceremony, the arch-conservative governor applauded the Legislature for passing the measure with sweeping margins and announced:  ”All human life is sacred. It’s beautiful. With this, we continue to build this culture of life in our state.”

Sadly, states like Arkansas and North Dakota have moved the bar for judging antiabortion legislation so far to the right that Kansas’ 20-week ban seems “modest” when compared to North Dakota’s six-weeks and Arkansas’ 12 weeks. But make no mistake: The Kansas law is equally dangerous for women, and still violates the accepted definition of fetal viability as defined by Roe v. Wade.

Particularly worrisome for reproductive health advocates is the new law’s language defining life “at fertilization.” Critics like National Organization for Women lobbyist Elise Higgins argue that anti-choice groups could use the language to legally threaten and intimidate abortion care providers. “We’re disappointed but not surprised at the governor signing this overreaching legislation,” Higgins told the Associated Press.

Anti-choice advocates defended the language, saying that the new law might state that life begins “at fertilization,” but the language remains “limited by decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court protecting access to abortion.”



In addition to the medically inaccurate language defining life “at fertilization,” the new law also requires doctors to provide women with pseudoscience about “risks” associated with abortion. As the Associated Press reports: “The bill also would require physicians to give women information that addresses breast cancer as a potential risk of abortion” despite the fact that “doctors convened by the National Cancer Institute a decade ago concluded that abortion does not raise the risk for developing the disease.”

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Rose Jay via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Labrador Retriever

    These guys are happy because their little brains literally can't grasp the concept of global warming.

    Hysteria via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    German Shepherd

    This momma is happy to bring her little guy into the world, because she doesn't know that one day they'll both be dead.

    Christian Mueller via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Golden Retriever

    I bet these guys wouldn't be having so much fun if they knew the sun was going to explode one day.

    WilleeCole Photography via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Bulldog

    This dude thinks he's tough, but only because nobody ever told him about ISIS.

    Soloviova Liudmyla via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Beagle

    This little lady is dreaming about her next meal-- not Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

    Labrador Photo Video via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Yorkshire Terrier

    This trusting yorkie has never even heard the name "Bernie Madoff."

    Pavla via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Poodle

    She is smiling so widely because she is too stupid to understand what the Holocaust was.

    Aneta Pics via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Boxer

    Sure, frolic now, man. One day you're going to be euthanized and so is everyone you love.

    Dezi via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    French Bulldog

    He's on a casual afternoon stroll because he is unfamiliar with the concept of eternity.

    Jagodka via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Rottweiler

    Wouldn't it be nice if we could all be this care-free? But we can't because we are basically all indirectly responsible for slavery.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>