Women’s Health Dealt Severe Blow, Kansas Legislature Slams Through Sweeping Anti-Abortion Bill

Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook (KS-R) speaks to Rep. John Rubin (KS-R) regarding passage of new abortion bill @NYDailyNews

Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook (KS-R) speaks to Rep. John Rubin (KS-R) regarding passage of new abortion bill @NYDailyNews

In March, the Governor of North Dakota signed the most extreme anti-abortion law in the nation. Now, not to be outdone, Kansas Republicans have just pushed their own extreme anti-abortion legislation through the state legislature.

The sweeping measure, known as HB 2253, bars abortion providers from getting tax breaks, bans women from claiming abortion procedures on their taxes, defines life as beginning at fertilization, prohibits abortion provider employees from participating in or providing material to sex education courses, and forces doctors to lie to women that abortion causes breast cancer.

According to the Huffington Post:

The House voted 90-30 for a compromise version of the bill reconciling differences between the two chambers, only hours after the Senate approved it, 28-10. The Republican governor is a strong abortion opponent, and supporters of the measure expect him to sign it into law so that the new restrictions take effect July 1.

So, as of July 1st, women across the state of Kansas will once again lose reproductive freedom because of the ‘small government’ agenda of the Republican Party. Even rape victims aren’t immune from the measures in the bill. Republicans in the state Senate flatly rejected exceptions for women who are raped and even mocked them in the process.

The most dangerous piece of this bill is the declaration that life begins at conception, which most likely lays the groundwork for a future ban of all abortions and some forms of contraception. Similar declarations have been placed on the ballot in Colorado and Mississippi and both were rejected by the people. North Dakota voters will have to vote on a personhood measure in their state in 2014. Kansas Republicans didn’t even give voters the opportunity to consider such a declaration; they just slammed it down their throats. The GOP claims it is simply a declaration and will not lead to banning abortion like the similar measures in other states, but conservatives have urged Kansas to gradually strip women of their reproductive rights. That means this declaration is another step towards their ultimate goal.

Women in Kansas have had their rights viciously assaulted by Republican lawmakers for years now. The GOP has pushed and passed a bill banning abortion at 22 weeks, and bills allowing doctors and pharmacists to deny women reproductive health services. The next step women have to worry about may be a fetal heartbeat bill that would ban abortion as early as six weeks after conception. That could mean mandated transvaginal ultrasounds, which are the only way to find a heartbeat at six weeks. And since Republicans dominate the state Senate, the House, and the governor’s mansion, it’s only a matter of time before such measures become law in Kansas as well.

It’s becoming so bad for women in Kansas, that it’s hard to see why they don’t leave the state in droves to live in places where reproductive rights are protected. If Kansas Republicans continue their ruthless war on women, that scenario may become reality, as it is clear the sexist, male-dominated GOP has zero compassion for the rights of the fairer sex.