The Kansas House of Representatives has approved legislation that would allow those who harm a pregnant woman to be charged with injuring the fetus as well. The House vote of 97-27 came three weeks after the Senate also voted to support the bill, which changes the legal definition of a person to include an unborn fetus. This legislation could be the first step in further limiting Kansas women’s abortion rights. According to ProKanDo, a pro-choice Kansas political action committee, a comparable South Carolina law has been used only three times to prosecute violent criminals and over 70 times to prosecute women who suffered stillbirths.
Furthermore, the recently passed bill would nullify existing Motherhood Protection Laws in Kansas, which already protect pregnant women who are victims of violence.
The bill now heads to Governor Kathleen Sebelius’s (D) desk. She has not indicated whether she will sign or veto the bill.