Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Abortion rights supporters will ask Brownback to reject bills, but he is likely to sign them into law

By SCOTT ROTHSCHILD, The Lawrence Journal-World

Supporters of a woman’s right to have an abortion will deliver petitions today to Gov. Sam Brownback, urging him to veto bills on abortion, but Brownback will most likely sign the measures into law.

Brownback spokeswoman Sara Arif said Monday that the governor hasn’t read the bills yet but plans to do so. “He is a pro-life governor and anticipates signing them,” Arif said.

Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union, Kansas NOW and the MainStream Coalition have scheduled a news conference in opposition to the latest abortion measures that were approved last week by the Legislature by large margins.

House Bill 2253 is a wide-ranging proposal that declares that life begins at fertilization and that blocks tax breaks for abortion providers and tax deductions for medical expenses for an abortion.

The bill also requires that physicians provide women information about breast cancer as a potential risk of abortion. The National Cancer Institute has concluded that abortion doesn’t increase the risk of cancer.

And the measure includes a ban on sex-selection abortions, even though no evidence has been presented that this happens in Kansas.

Another measure headed to the governor, Senate Bill 142, would prevent parents of a child born with birth defects from suing their doctor under a “wrongful birth” claim.

Kansans for Life described the bill as “civil rights for the unborn,” but abortion rights advocates said the proposal would allow a doctor to not tell a woman that her fetus has a severe defect because of the doctor’s concern over a potential abortion.

Since becoming governor, Brownback has signed into law several bills sought by anti-abortion advocates. Some of these laws continue to be challenged in court.