The Kansas House of Representatives passed a bill this weekend to slightly lessen Kansas women’s access to abortion care. The bill, which was introduced this year in response to a court order that blocked a 2011 anti-abortion bill from being implemented, passed in the House 109-2 and will now go to the governor.
HB 2228 alters the requirement for a woman seeking a drug-induced abortion, requiring a physician to be present for the first administration of the drug, but not for the second dose of the drug. Previous legislation required that the woman return to the doctor’s office or stay at the office to wait for the second dose, which is administered hours later. This requirement placed a disproportionate burden on working and low-income women, who would have to arrange multiple trips to the doctors or spend up to 12 hours at the appointment.
Rep. Steve Brunk (R-Wichita), who carried the bill, hopes this minor alteration will alleviate certain burdens for women seeking abortion care, specifically the concern that the drug causes cramps and vaginal bleeding, for which most women would prefer to be in private. “This helps the woman so she can just go home,” said Brunk. “She doesn’t have to hang around for 12 hours.”
Opposition to the bill came from Reps. Annie Kuether (D-Topeka) and Carolyn Bridges (D-Wichita), who said they opposed the bill as “a matter of principle,” and that “When a woman needs to have an abortion, it’s a legal procedure, and I don’t think we ought to be messing with it.”
Media Resources: Kansas Legislature 6/1/15; Kansas.com 5/30/15;