Reproductive Rights Update: Kansas

Last year I answered Thomas Frank's question, What's the matter with Kansas?, with: the politicians. That hasn't changed.

Back in February I first posted about the gigantic--sixty-nine pages--abortion bill Kansas was considering. By a tax committee. Just the other day I posted a bit of an update on that bill, as Kansas University's accreditation is being called into question because of language in the bill. So the tax committee revived looking at it.

Last night the tax committee passed the bill. It will go to the House, where it is expected to pass. To recap a bit about the bill (not a comprehensive list):
Exempt doctors from malpractice suits for withholding information to prevent an abortion
Yes, that's right. Doctors who "withhold information to prevent an abortion" cannot be sued. A doctor who does not tell people that the fetus has severe issues, who does not give them the ability to make the choice themselves to go forward with a pregnancy or not, who does not give them the ability to prepare to parent a potentially medically-fragile/special needs child, cannot be sued for doing so.

Also, a person would not be able to sue a doctor for malpractice if they end up maimed or otherwise harmed by continuing a pregnancy. The only recourse is a civil suit if a person dies because of the pregnancy.
Eliminate tax credits for abortion providers
Eliminate tax deductions for the purchase of abortion-related health insurance
Both of these measures--which is ostensibly why a fucking tax committee was even considering this legislation--effectively create a tax on abortion services. It creates a(nother) economic hurdle.
Require women be told about scientifically questionable link between abortion and breast cancer
"Scientifically questionable" is a euphemism for "complete and utter lie" in this case. There is no link between abortion and breast cancer.

One requirement that a person be forced to listen to a fetal heartbeat, assuming there even is one, has been demoted to "optional". The aspect that concerned KU is a part that states "no state employee" can perform an abortion. Residency students at KU are considered state employees. Allegedly they are trying to write in some sort of workaround so the university doesn't lose accreditation over it.

As of last December, the state spent nearly $400K on private attorneys over six months to defend itself in court from where it (also last year) defunded Planned Parenthood (and other small clinics) and enacted TRAP laws that shut down clinics. In regards to those TRAP laws: in Kansas, there are two separate offices that oversee licensing and regulation of hospitals and clinics. The Health Dept. oversees hospitals and surgical centers (which Planned Parenthood falls under). The state Board of Healing Arts, however, oversees other clinics. The Board is also what licenses doctors. Sam Brownback appointed Rick Macias, an attorney who has been affiliated with Operation Rescue, to head the Board. In the same legislation, it also required that "all records shall be available at the facility for inspection" by health dept. officials. All records.

Governor Brownback has stated that, just as in 2011, he will sign any anti-abortion legislation that comes to his desk.

Saying Kansas is an extremely hostile state would be an understatement. Kansas is the state other anti-autonomy states hope to be.

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