Kansas Senate bills would restrict telemed abortions, let local leaders determine abortion laws


Legislation introduced by pro-life politicians in Kansas would give lower levels of government greater power over the issue of abortion. Senate Bill 65, introduced by State Sen. Chase Blasi, would allow individual cities and counties to enact their own pro-life laws, provided that these laws are stricter than state laws.

Under the legislation, abortion regulations stricter than state law would be allowed to take place, though only within the boundaries of that particular area. Statewide laws would be overruled, with the “more stringent local regulation” taking priority.

Additionally, Senate Bill 5 was introduced by State Sen. Mark Steffen, and it would protect women from telemedicine abortions; the governor would not be allowed to lift these regulations during a state of emergency.

House Minority Leader Vic Miller responded to the legislation by arguing that the failure of the Value Them Both amendment shows that Kansans don’t support pro-life laws. “These facts are why it is so profoundly insulting to the vast majority of Kansans who voted ‘NO’ that Republicans in the Kansas Senate have introduced multiple pieces of legislation to ban abortion,” he said in a statement. “We have a simple job in the Legislature — represent our constituents. With nearly 600,000 Kansans choosing to protect the right to reproductive health care, there is no excuse for this negligent, harmful, and misogynistic legislation.”

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But the Value Them Both amendment would have removed abortion as a constitutional right; it would not have banned abortion but would have allowed legislators an opportunity to pass measures protecting preborn children. The amendment was defeated, but reports indicate that it this was in large part due to massive out-of-state donations, including from pro-abortion billionaires, and vast amounts of misinformation. The abortion industry quickly mobilized and made it appear as if a “yes” vote would make abortion illegal within the state, which was false.

Meanwhile, the Kansas Department of Health reported that the number of abortions committed in 2021 had increased from 2020. Neighboring states seem intent on protecting life, but Kansas remains the outlier.

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