Kansas Governor Vetoes Abortion Bill

Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius vetoed an anti-abortion bill on Monday. The measure would have imposed more restrictions on abortion providers, and would have allowed family members of patients to sue if they think a doctor had performed or was about to perform an illegal late-term abortion. The bill would have also endangered patient privacy, allowing prosecutors to access medical records in order to investigate reports of alleged violations of abortion law, according to the Wichita Eagle.

Julie Burkhart of ProKanDo, a leading state pro-choice group, said that the bill is so broad that it would allow any local prosecutor to prevent a woman from obtaining an abortion, reports the Associated Press.

“[The bill] allows a variety of individuals to seek a court order preventing a woman from obtaining an abortion, even where it may be necessary to save her life. I am concerned that the bill is likely unconstitutional or even worse, endangers the lives of women,” said Governor Sebelius in her veto message.

The measure passed two votes shy of the two-thirds majority required to override a veto in the Senate (25-13). According to the Kansas City Star, anti-abortion lawmakers expect an attempt to override the veto next week, when they return from the legislature’s annual spring break.


Kansas City Star 4/21/08; Wichita Eagle 4/22/08; Associated Press 4/22/08; Governor Sebelius statement 4/2/08

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