Kansas Abortion Providers Sue to Block New Intrusive Reporting Law

Kansas abortion providers have filed a legal challenge against House Bill 2749, a new law that mandates abortion providers to report patients’ reasons for seeking an abortion to the state.

House Bill 2749 requires each patient to specify the most important factor influencing their decision to have an abortion. The options include: interference with education, employment, or career; inability to provide for the child; having enough or too many children; abusive partner or husband; partner’s insistence on abortion; lack of support from family or others; pregnancy resulting from rape or incest; threats to the patient’s physical or mental health; or the child having a disability. Providers must report how many times each reason was given as the “most important” and how many times patients were asked but did not answer, if they decline. 

Requested by Kansans for Life, the law also demands detailed reporting on the patient’s age, marital status, state of residence, race, highest level of education completed, and more. This is a clear invasion of privacy and it is unclear why it is necessary for the government to collect this information or how it will be used. This type of interrogation of patients is simply an attempt to further shame and stigmatize reproductive healthcare. 

Despite Kansans’ overwhelming rejection of a proposed amendment to the Kansas Constitution in 2022, which would have removed the constitutional right to abortion, and Governor Laura Kelly’s veto of HB 2749, the Kansas Legislature passed the bill into law. It is set to take effect on July 1st.

The lawsuit filed by Kansas abortion providers argues that HB 2749 infringes upon Kansans’ fundamental right to make their own health care decisions and maintain bodily autonomy. The suit also challenges other Kansas abortion restrictions, such as state-mandated abortion counseling, which providers claim is medically inaccurate; a law requiring providers to inform patients about the possibility of reversing medication abortions; and a state-required 24-hour waiting period before accessing care.

The lawsuit contends that HB 2749 aims to harass, intimidate, and shame those seeking abortions, directly disregarding the will of Kansans, jeopardizing provider-patient relationships, and violating patients’ privacy.

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