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  • Writer's pictureRachel Mipro, Kansas Reflector

Kansas providers challenge new ‘abortion survey’ law in court

Updated: Jun 6

Planned Parenthood Great Plains on Monday announced a lawsuit over an "abortion reasons" law, calling it medically unnecessary and stigmatizing. (Rachel Mipro/Kansas Reflector)


By Rachel Mipro, Kansas Reflector


TOPEKA — Kansas abortion providers have challenged an abortion survey law less than a month after lawmakers overrode Gov. Laura Kelly’s veto.  


Emily Wales, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Plains, said the law is meant to shame abortion seekers in a Monday announcement of the challenge. 


“Kansans want their medical decisions to be their own, and we will not shame or stigmatize patients to satisfy the cruel whims of anti-abortion politicians,” Wales said. “This bill was never intended to improve the health of Kansans; it was meant to shame reproductive care and force patients to answer deeply personal questions that accomplish nothing beyond trauma and judgment.” 


House Bill 2749 requires medical care facilities and providers to report women’s reasons for their abortions. Kelly vetoed the bill, but the House overrode her 84-41 and the Senate completed the veto override with a 27-10 vote.


Under HB 2749, abortion seekers will have to answer a series of questions before undergoing the procedure, including questions asking them if they have been raped, if they have an abusive partner, and if the pregnancy is the result of incest.


The law also requires a report that includes the patients’ age, marital status, home state, race, education level, whether the patient received financial or social services from a nonprofit geared toward helping pregnant women, whether they experienced domestic violence the previous year, whether they live in a stable and affordable home, whether the patient was ever a reported victim of abuse and the abortion method.


The Center for Reproductive Rights and Planned Parenthood are asking the court to add this challenge to an ongoing case. The groups, along with other reproductive rights groups, first filed a lawsuit in June with the Center for Reproductive Rights to ask for an injunction on several abortion requirements set out in the “Women’s Right to Know Act,” a patchwork of legislation enacted over the past two decades that uses medically inaccurate information to dictate abortion restrictions.


Since the overturn of Roe v. Wade in 2022, Kansas has become one of the few states left in the region that protects reproductive rights. As more travelers have come into the state seeking abortions, Republican lawmakers have attempted to chip away at these protections or add red tape. 


Lawmakers supporting the “abortion reasons” bill said this information was necessary to gain a sense of the abortion landscape in the state, although the state already releases a comprehensive annual abortion report. The bill was first introduced by Rep. Ron Bryce, R-Coffeyville, on behalf of the anti-abortion group Kansans for Life.


During Senate debate about the law, lawmakers shared their feelings on abortion. Sen. Mark Steffen, a Hutchinson Republican, said abortion would lead to a life of “regret and emptiness” 

“Every abortion kills an innocent child,” Steffen said. “That’s a fact. Every abortion kills an innocent child.”


KFL celebrated the veto override of the law, along with several other pieces of abortion legislation, in an April 29 news release.


“Each of these proposals will help address a truth that the vast majority of Kansans believe: that too many women feel abortion is their only choice,” said Jeanne Gawdun, KFL director of government relations. 


Following the abortion providers’ lawsuit filing in June, a Johnson County district judge in October blocked a law requiring abortion providers to tell patients it might be possible to reverse a medication abortion. This supposed “abortion reversal” is based on junk science and has been known to cause hemorrhaging. 


He also blocked a mandate that anti-abortion information be given to patients in printed form, in specific typeface, font size and color, at least 24 hours in advance of an abortion, along with a section that required providers post inaccurate information on their websites and in clinics that abortions could increase risk of breast cancer and premature birth in the future — a claim not supported by scientific research. The state has appealed over the decision.


“The decision to have an abortion is deeply personal—no one should be forced to tell the government why they are making that decision,” said Alice Wang, staff attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights. “It’s frankly frightening that the state of Kansas is attempting to collect this type of private information, and unclear how it will be used.”


This article was reprinted with permission from the Kansas Reflector. The Kansas Reflector is a non-profit online news organization serving Kansas. For more information on the organization, go to its website at www.kansasreflector.com.

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