Opponents criticize latest abortion bill in Kansas Legislature

? Last year, five bills limiting abortion services and affordable contraception were passed by the Kansas Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Sam Brownback.

On Wednesday, a House committee started consideration of the first abortion bill of the current session that opponents say will create more limitations.

House Bill 2598 will require physicians to tell women that the risk of breast cancer is increased by abortion. It would also give a woman the opportunity to hear the fetal heartbeat before she consents to an abortion.

Additionally, the bill says that schools cannot contract with abortion service providers for sexual education.

Supporters of the bill, such as Kathy Ostrowski, the legislative director for Kansans for Life, said states have the right to promote childbirth.

“It actually helps put in protections for the babies and puts in protection for the parents,” Ostrowski said. “It helps parents understand the fetal development, to understand the risks (of abortions) … “

A coalition of nonprofit organizations, such as Mainstream Coalition, Planned Parenthood and Trust Women, criticized the measure.

Trust Women’s Virginia Phillips said the bill would infringe on women’s rights.

“This bill is an intrusive, far-reaching piece of legislation,” Phillips said. “It dictates what people can and cannot do.”

Hearings on the measure will continue today and Friday.