Topeka Anti-abortion advocates won unprecedented restrictions on abortion this past legislative session, but they want more.
The Kansas Coalition for Life on Tuesday announced a petition drive to urge Gov. Sam Brownback to call a special session of the Legislature to approve a bill that would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detectable, which can be as early as seven weeks.
Mark Gietzen, chairman of the Kansas Coalition for Life, said the proposal would ban 85 percent of abortions in the state.
Gietzen is working to get petitions with at least 15,000 signatures on Brownback’s desk. “As soon as the people of Kansas show our lawmakers that we want Heartbeat Legislation passed, there is no doubt in my mind that the current Legislature will do it … especially since 2012 is an election year for both the House and the Senate,” Gietzen said.
He noted that legislators and Brownback during the session that ended in May approved several major abortion bills that are now law.
This includes stricter regulations on clinics that provide abortions. The regulations have been put on hold by a federal judge. The Legislature and Brownback also approved bills that restrict private health insurance for most abortions, require doctors to obtain written consent from parents before terminating minors’ pregnancies, tighten restrictions on abortions after 21 weeks of pregnancy based on the medically disputed claim that fetuses can feel pain, and block federal family planning funds to Planned Parenthood clinics.
“We must forge ahead with the momentum gained and continue to attack,” Gietzen said.
No state has passed such “heartbeat” legislation, although the Ohio House of Representatives has approved it.