Legislature puts tighter restrictions on abortion

By John Milburn

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, March 29 2011 6:45 p.m. MDT

Critics of the fetal pain bill contend that it relies on bad science. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has said it knows of no legitimate evidence showing a fetus can experience pain. The group said certain hormones developing in the final trimester must be present for a fetus to feel pain.

"This bill is based on false information that is not documented in the medical literature," said Rep. Barbara Bollier, a Mission Hills Republican and retired anesthesiologist. "I would be embarrassed for us as state to make a law that is based on untruth and not documented medical fact."

But Rep. Lance Kinzer, an Olathe Republican, read a list of references to medical journals citing research that suggesting that the fetus can feel pain by 20 weeks.

"The reality is, there's ample evidence," he said. "The medical evidence is compelling. It is well documented."

The consent bill changes Kansas law which now requires that a doctor notify one parent before performing a minor on an abortion. The bill would require the doctor to obtain consent from both parents — in writing and notarized. However, it would allow a minor to go to court to avoid the requirement.

According to the National Council of State Legislatures, 24 states have parental consent laws. Two, Mississippi and North Dakota, require consent from both parents. Courts have blocked three additional states from enforcing their consent laws.

AP Political Writer John Hanna also contributed to this report.

Fetal pain measure is HB 2218. Parental consent bill is HB 2035. Clinic regulation bill is House Sub for SB 36.

Online:

Kansas Legislature: http://www.kslegislature.org

Kansans for Life: http://www.kfl.org/

Planned Parenthood: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/kansas-mid-missouri/

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