Topeka Although she rejected other regulations for abortion clinics, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius signed a measure that will require doctors to preserve fetal tissue after some procedures to help pursue child rapists.
The new law, taking effect July 1, is known as the "Child Rape Protection Act," reflecting supporters' belief that it will help law enforcement officials.
But the measure was criticized by some of Sebelius' fellow abortion rights supporters as an unnecessary burden on clinics that could compromise patients' privacy.
Sebelius signed the measure on the same day she vetoed a bill imposing additional regulations on abortion clinics.
The new law will require doctors to preserve fetal tissue when performing an abortion on a girl under 14. The tissue will be sent to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation for DNA testing.
"The rape bill is just commonsense legislation," said Mary Kay Culp, executive director of Kansans for Life, the state's largest anti-abortion group. "Who could be against that?"
But Julie Burkhart, a lobbyist for the abortion rights group ProKanDo, said the measure would put an undue burden on a certain group of patients.
A patient's name and address, as well as the names and addresses of parents or guardians, will be forwarded to the KBI along with the tissue samples.
"We believe that it will be found to be unconstitutional," Burkhart said.
Other bills Sebelius signed:
- A law that makes it legal to carry a firearm anywhere in the state as long as it's unloaded and in an enclosed container, a victory for gun rights advocates. Taking effect July 1, the law says local governments can't impose more stringent controls.
- A law restricting access to some cold, flu and allergy medicines because they contain an ingredient commonly used to make methamphetamine. The new law will take effect by April 21.