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Kansas Senate Recommends Passage of 70-Page Omnibus, Joins the Ranks of States with Most Extreme Anti-Women’s Health Laws

Contacts

American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas and Western Missouri 
Holly Weatherford 913.269.9181

The Kansas National Organization for Women
Elise Higgins 785.249.5862

Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri 
Sheila Kostas 913.312.5100 x246

Trust Women
Sandra Criswell 916-218-5991


Published: 05.21.13| Updated: 04.01.13

STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                          
April 1, 2013             
                                                   
 

Kansas Senate Recommends Passage of 
70-Page Omnibus, Joins the Ranks of States with Most Extreme Anti-Women’s Health Laws

 
Overland Park, KS — Gary Brunk of the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas and Western Missouri, Elise Higgins of The Kansas National Organization for Women, Peter Brownlie of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, and Julie A. Burkhart of Trust Women announced their shared disappointment in the Kansas Senate’s recommended passage of HB 2253, this year’s omnibus abortion restriction bill. The four organizations, each advocating for reproductive rights and health care access, expressed their frustration with Kansas politicians and their evidential need to play doctor in the statehouse.  Today’s action on HB 2253 follows last week’s passage of SB 142, “Let Doctors Lie.” SB 142 is headed to the Governor’s desk and HB 2253 will likely be passed in final action tomorrow and sent to conference committee this week.
 
“Today’s action on HB 2253 and last week’s passage of SB 142, “Let Doctors Lie,” confirm that Kansas politicians are determined to play doctor in the statehouse rather than focus on their supposed area of expertise: government. Kansas politicians have no place in the doctor’s office, nor do they have any business legislating government intrusion into the private medical decisions of Kansans.
 
In addition to the fact that there are no exceptions in the tax provisions for life, rape, incest or health of the woman in HB 2253, the bill forces doctors to provide medically inaccurate information for political reasons. It is the very definition of government intrusion into a woman’s personal medical decisions and a violation of medical ethics because it is dangerously dismissive of a patient’s right to truthful information from her doctor.
 
These outrageous attacks lack compassion and show a complete disregard for women’s health. The public does not support these extreme restrictions on access to health care.”
 
BACKGROUND
 

HB 2253, the Omnibus Abortion Restriction bill, is a 70-page sweeping overhaul of the state’s abortion restriction statutes containing no fewer than 40 provisions. Among many problematic provisions, the bill:

  • creates additional government regulations of and intrusion into the doctor-patients relationship; 
  • requires physicians to provide medically inaccurate information to women;
  • effectively creates at least 12 new income and property taxes for Kansas families, many of which remain unclear; and
  • creates a tax penalty on Planned Parenthood and other charitable organizations while allowing no exceptions in the tax provisions for life, rape, incest or health of the woman. 
SB 142, “Let Doctors Lie”, jeopardizes the doctor/patient relationship, incentivizes the omission of critical medical information from conversations between doctors and patients, and will:
  • prohibit civil action for a claim of “wrongful life” or “wrongful birth”; and
  • allow for a medical practitioner to purposefully keep information about serious genetic or congenital abnormalities from women in an attempt to influence their decision making about their pregnancy.

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