"We're in court because there are people who believe in abortion at any cost, and the legislation that we passed was reasonable," said Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, a Shawnee Republican who opposes abortion.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lance Kinzer, an Olathe Republican, said he and fellow abortion opponents will push for a proposed "conscience" act to supplement a law saying no person can be required to participate in an abortion. Previous versions declared that health care professionals can't be punished by their employers for refusing to participate in abortions or dispensing abortion-inducing drugs and "artificial" birth control.
He said the goal is to prevent health care providers, including hospitals and health care companies, from having to participate in actions they find morally objectionable. But Kari Ann Rinker, state coordinator for the Kansas chapter of the National Organization for Women, said such changes could hinder the dispensing of common contraceptives, such as birth control pills, allowing a provider's personal religious beliefs to "trump" medical decisions.
Kinzer also is promoting legislation to add to the state's general ban on taxpayer funded abortion by declaring that companies or groups can't get tax credits or deductions against abortion-related expenditures. Burkhart believes state officials would use such a law to discourage businesses, groups and individuals from contributing to abortion-rights causes or to punish them afterward.
Pilcher-Cook said she also wants to make sure that doctors give women seeking abortions a detailed description of each potential abortion procedure, including "what it does to the unborn child."
Rinker predicted a new round of anti-abortion measures represent "a whole bunch more lawsuits."
"It's our last refuge," he said.
Kansas Legislature: http://www.kslegislature.org
Kansans for Life: http://www.kfl.org
Kansas chapter, National Organization for Women: http://www.ksnow.org/
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