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Kansas legislature approves anti-abortion bill declaring life begins at fertilization

The Kansas legislature [official website] on Friday approved an anti-abortion bill [HB 2253, PDF; HB 2253 materials] that declares that life begins at fertilization, granting unborn children "all the rights, privileges and immunities available to other persons, citizens and residents" of the state. The bill prohibits the state from funding abortion services and from granting tax credit for any sales incurred for an abortion. The bill also prohibits abortion providers from participating in public school sex education classes and delineates what information must be provided to patients seeking abortions. The Kansas House voted 90-30, and the Kansas Senate voted 28-10 to approve the bill. The bill will become law and take effect July 1 if it is signed by Kansas Governor Sam Brownback [official website], who has supported anti-abortion legislation [JURIST report] in the past.

A number of states have passed restrictive abortion bills recently. Last week lawmakers in Alabama passed [JURIST report] the Women's Health and Safety Act [text, PDF] which imposes tough restrictions on abortion clinics and practitioners within the state. Last month the Arkansas legislature voted to override [JURIST report] Governor Mike Beebe's recent veto of the Arkansas Human Heartbeat Protection Act [Act 301, PDF], which bans abortions "of an unborn human individual whose heartbeat has been detected ... and is twelve (12) weeks or greater gestation." Days earlier Arkansas lawmakers voted to override the governor's veto [JURIST reports] of the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act [HB 1037, PDF], which bans most abortions in the state 20 weeks after conception.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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