By Stephen Mayer, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
TOPEKA, KS (KCTV/AP) -
Kansas legislators are preparing for final votes on a sweeping anti-abortion bill that blocks tax breaks for providers and outlaws abortions solely because of the baby's sex.
Senate leaders scheduled a vote for Friday on the measure. If senators approve it, as expected, it would go to the House, where passage would send the bill to Gov. Sam Brownback.
The Republican governor, a staunch anti-abortion opponent, has indicated he would assign virtually any measure that restricts abortions in Kansas.
The final 70-page version reconciles differences between the House and Senate.
The bill also prohibits abortion providers from being involved in public school sex education classes and spells out in more detail what information doctors must provide to patients seeking abortions.
The measure declares that life begins "at fertilization." Abortion opponents see the language as a statement of principle, but some critics worry it could have practical implications.
Rep. Lance Kinzer, a Republican from Olathe, is shepherding the bill, which would create dozens of changes to the state's regulations of abortions. Some provisions are generating more attention.
A woman who uses her health saving account funds for an abortion would have to notify her employer if the law passes.
The Kansas chapter of the National Organization for Women opposes the bill.
"Women should be able to decide if they become parents with their families and their doctors, and not with the Kansas Legislature's input," said Elise Higgins of the Kansas chapter of NOW.
Others see wisdom in the bill.
Donna Kelsey of the Wyandotte Pregnancy Clinic, an abortion clinic alternative, said her clinic gets up to 40 calls daily. She said a big factor is that public schools aren't sending the right message. She said children are put on the wrong path at an early age.
"The education they are getting is not a positive abstinence (one) regarding your sexuality," Kelsey said. "It's here is the permission to do this and here's how you do it."
Copyright2013 KCTV (MeredithCorp.) and the Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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