Kansas Legislature Introduces New Anti-Abortion Bill Punishing Healthcare Providers

Topeka, Kansas – New anti-abortion legislation has been introduced in the Kansas Legislature that could result in legal consequences for healthcare providers performing abortion services. House Bill 2515, introduced by Republican Representative Brett Fairchild to the Committee on Federal and State Affairs on January 17, aims to amend the “Born-Alive Infants Protection Act” that became law last year. This act provides legal protections for infants who survive an abortion. Governor Laura Kelly previously vetoed it, stating that it interferes with medical decisions between doctors and patients.

The proposed amendment to the act includes the establishment of a civil cause of action against healthcare providers who harm a child during an attempted abortion. It also requires reports to be submitted to the Secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) if children are born alive following an abortion. These reports must include information on the gestational age of the child, medical actions taken to preserve the child’s life, whether the child survived the abortion procedure or died, and the child’s medical conditions. Failure to submit the required report within 30 days could result in a civil fine of up to $500 for medical care facilities.

This new legislation comes after another bill seeking to establish a near-total abortion ban in Kansas was reintroduced on January 10. Sponsored by five Republican representatives and sent to the Committee on Health and Human Services, this bill follows the rejection of the “Value Them Both” amendment in a statewide vote in 2022. The amendment would have granted lawmakers the power to enact new regulations on abortion procedures.

It is important to note that Kansans overwhelmingly voted against the “Value Them Both” amendment, with 62.2% voting against it. The amendment received only 37.8% of the “Yes” votes. This rejection demonstrates a strong public sentiment against additional regulations on abortion procedures.

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– Matthew Self