Kansas' anti-abortion laws have already cost the state nearly $1 million

The state has spent nearly $913,000 since 2011 defending its draconian abortion restrictions

By Katie McDonough

Published October 15, 2013 1:06PM (EDT)

                    (Gerry Broome/AP)
(Gerry Broome/AP)

Kansas has already spent nearly $1 million defending anti-abortion laws enacted by the state over the last three years, and that already staggering number will likely continue to grow.

As the Associated Press reports, $126,000 in legal fees stem from two lawsuits filed just this summer.

Among the restrictions being challenged in state and federal lawsuits is a requirement that abortion providers post medically inaccurate information about fetal development and abortion on their websites with the added disclaimer that the information is "accurate and objective." For example, the new requirement mandates providers inform their patients that a "fetus can feel pain after 20 weeks," even though this claim has been refuted by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and other medical experts. Under the same provision, doctors are also required to tell women that abortion puts them at "greater risk for breast cancer," despite the fact that this is a medically unsubstantiated claim that has been refuted by the National Cancer Institute.

Another restriction being challenged, as Salon has previously noted, is a troubling provision to  redefine what constitutes a medical emergency so that pregnant women experiencing life-threatening complications -- including hemorrhaging, infection and ruptured ectopic pregnancies -- would be forced to wait at least 24 hours before obtaining an emergency abortion.

Peter Brownlie, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri called out the Republican-dominated Legislature for its "political posturing" on abortion and the toll the new restrictions have taken on the state's fiscal health.

"It's a travesty that Kansans are spending $913,000 on things that don't benefit the state in anyway," Brownlie told the Associated Press.



Katie McDonough

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.

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