Kansas Governor Vetoes Abortion Regulation Bill

Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson (D) vetoed a bill Thursday that would have altered the definition of a viable fetus and require medical documentation for a late-term abortion. Parkinson followed in the footsteps of former Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius, whose position he took in 2009, reported The Kansas Capitol-Journal. Sebelius had vetoed a similar bill before she resigned to become Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. According to The Capitol-Journal, Governor Parkinson stated, as part of his veto message, that he supports “Kansas’ current law concerning abortion,” which “was passed more than a decade ago and strikes a reasonable balance on a very difficult issue.” USA Today reports that Kansas law states a fetus is considered viable, or capable of surviving outside the womb, 21 weeks into pregnancy. Furthermore, the law states that an abortion is legal “as long as [the] fetus is not viable…and mother’s informed consent [is] obtained.” The law also states that “abortion of [a] viable fetus [is] permitted if [a] 2nd M.D. certifies that abortion is necessary to preserve life of mother or [if the] fetus has severe, life-threatening deformity or abnormality.” Governor Parkinson told The Capitol-Journal, “My view is that all abortions are tragedies, which is why I would encourage women who have unwanted pregnancies to consult with their partners, families, doctors and spiritual advisers. I would not encourage women to consult with state legislators, as this is a private decision and should not be dictated by public officials.” A two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate would be required for a veto override, reported USA Today.


The Kansas Capitol-Journal 4/16/10; USA Today 4/15/10; Kansas Abortion Law Chart

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