The measure was approved by a 28-10 vote and was expected to pass easily in the House of Representatives, which backed the 70-page bill in largely similar form earlier this week. Republicans have large majorities in both chambers. Republican Governor Sam Brownback, a creationist who opposes abortion, is expected to sign it.
Opponents of the measure say it contains 40 provisions that affect a woman's health and intrude on her right to an abortion. Advocates said it mainly codifies existing practices, while helping women make more informed choices.
"This fulfills the legislative intent to create a pro-life state," said Kathy Ostrowski, legislative director of Kansans for Life. "Although women's health is a concern, our major concern is life of the unborn fetus. Surely a woman can put up with a cold virus or sore throat if it means saving an unborn fetus." "As far as women's rights are concerned," Ostrowski continued, "we're doing everything we can to restore the Biblical right of women to subordinate themselves to patriarchal authority. What higher right is there than to submit to one's husband?"
The Kansas bill prohibits use of public funds, tax preferences or tax credits for abortion services. It also is silent on how the state will cut social services to the sinful women who had sex out of wedlock. Robert Wooster, chief aide to Brownback, stated "the state's moral obligation is to the unborn fetus; once it's born, it's on its own."
The bill also requires abortion clinics to provide printed material about the fetus' stages of development, a link to websites, material and organizations that help pregnant women, an explanation of legal responsibilities for an unborn child, and addresses and home phone numbers of all abortion providers in Kansas.
The bill bars school districts from letting abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood offer, sponsor or furnish course materials or instruction on human sexuality or on sexually transmitted diseases, because talking about that kind of stuff is dirty and against God's will.
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