The bill, which passed out of a Kansas House committee last week, includes everything from prohibiting public schools using sex-education instruction from Planned Parenthood to rewriting tax laws to prevent groups providing abortions from receiving tax exemptions or credits that go to other nonprofit groups or health care providers.
The bill also details additional “informed consent” requirements as well as additional restrictions against the state’s medical school performing abortions on “state time” and prevents any abortion provider from furnishing materials or instructors for sex education classes in public school.
Mary Kay Culp, executive director of Kansans for Life, the most influential anti-abortion group in Kansas, offered this daft example to justify the bill, arguing parents shouldn’t have to worry about their children being educated by groups like Planned Parenthood “so that they can learn where the local abortion clinic is.”
“It’s like if you let the driver’s ed come from the local Buick dealer down the street,” she said.
Seriously. Words fail.
A first draft of the bill written by anti-choice legislators was so broad that it would have prevented any abortion provider or their employees from volunteering at their children’s schools but that was apparently too much for even the anti-choice zealots in Kansas who managed to narrow the language on this point.
That doesn’t mean the anti-choicers are letting up though. For good measure the Kansas Republicans also included a provision that declares that life begins “at fertilization” and “unborn children have interests in life, health and well-being that should be protected.”
Kansas Republicans in the Senate are pushing their own anti-abortion agenda as well. They’ve already approved a bill making it a crime for doctors to perform abortions solely because a woman or her family doesn’t want a baby of a certain gender.
In addition to the restrictions coming out of the House, it’s shaping up to be a banner year in the battle over reproductive rights in Kansas. And while so far Kansas Republicans have not yet proposed a 12-week ban like the one that just became law in Arkansas, there’s still time. In fact, there’s plenty of reason to believe anti-choicers in the state are just warming up.
photo credit: jepoirrier