GOP Trying To Make Kansas The Most Extreme Anti-Abortion State With Fetal Heartbeat Bill

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Kansas Republicans are piling on the anti-abortion legislation in 2013. Earlier this month, the Kansas Republicans pushed a large measure that would enact a slew of abortion restrictions on clinics and women. The same Republicans also rejected exceptions for women and children who are raped. And now Republicans in Kansas want to take their anti-abortion extremism even further.

A Kansas House panel is considering HB 2324, a fetal heartbeat bill that could ban abortion as early as six weeks after conception. The bill has 32 sponsors, the overwhelming majority of which are men. Only three women sponsor the measure.

The bill would prohibit abortion after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, which can be detected as early as the sixth week of pregnancy. If such a bill were to become law, it could require pregnant women who want an abortion to undergo a forced transvaginal ultrasound, a type of detection device that is inserted into the vagina, the only way to detect a heartbeat that early in a pregnancy. To put it bluntly, women would be raped by the state to determine if their pregnancies can be aborted or not.

Not only is such a bill a total violation of privacy and a threat to reproductive freedom, it’s blatantly unconstitutional as well. The Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade that women have the right to choose an abortion and that states can only restrict the procedure at the 23rd or 24th week of pregnancy. Later rulings have consistently upheld Roe v. Wade, providing a level of legal precedence that clearly favors a woman’s right to choose. As such, states’ attempts to restrict or ban abortion before week 23 or 24 inflict pain and stress on women, strip them of their rights, and cost taxpayers millions of dollars to defend laws that are destined to be struck down by federal courts.

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Republican controlled states have been trying to one-up each other in an effort to be the most extreme anti-abortion state in the nation. North Dakota introduced a fetal heartbeat bill last month. Arkansas Republicans are also pushing for a fetal heartbeat bill introduced before the ink was even dry on the 12-week abortion ban enacted days earlier. Personhood measures are being pushed in North Dakota and Mississippi. And even North Carolina is trying to restrict abortion by passing measures designed to force abortion clinics to close. If Kansas Republicans have their way, other states will be challenged to pass even more extreme anti-abortion laws, leaving women subject to the wills of conservative men who want to force them to be reproductive slaves.