Kansas House gives 1st round approval to abortion ‘reversal’ bill

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The House of Representatives chamber of the Kansas Statehouse is pictured July 23, 2014 in Topeka.

Story updated at 4:24 p.m. Monday

TOPEKA — The Kansas House gave first-round approval Monday to a bill that would require medical facilities and doctors to inform women that some medically induced abortions could be “reversed” if a doctor intervenes.

Opponents of the bill say the “reversal” method is scientifically unproven and disputed in medical circles, while supporters contend women should be made aware of the option.

The bill passed by a voice vote after more than two hours of debate. After a final vote Tuesday, it’s expected to head to the Senate, The Kansas City Star reported .

Medical abortions involve women taking Mifepristone, generally called RU-486, followed by a medication called Misoprostol. The bill approved Monday would require women be told that an abortion can be stopped after the first medicine is taken if a doctor administers a dose of progesterone.

Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly, a strong supporter of abortion rights, was skeptical about the bill.

“I’m not sure that’s based on science,” she said during a news conference Monday.

The bill claims “it may be possible to reverse its intended effect if the second pill or tablet has not been taken or administered. If you change your mind and wish to try to continue the pregnancy, you can get immediate help by accessing available resources.”

“I want you to understand clearly this is a pro-women’s health bill, said Rep. John Eplee, R-Atchison, a physician who introduced the measure in committee. “We’re not putting a gun to their head, we’re not forcing them to have this procedure. We’re giving them an option.”

However, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in 2017 disputed the usefulness of the procedure.

“Claims regarding abortion ‘reversal’ treatment are not based on science and do not meet clinical standards,” the group said. “Unfounded legislative mandates represent dangerous political interference and compromise patient care and safety.”

Democratic opponents of the bill repeatedly referred to the medical group’s statement and questioned whether the process detailed in the bill is safe.

“I think this really inserts politics into a private discussion between physician and patients and complicates that and interferes with that relationship,” said Rep. Eileen Horn, D-Lawrence.

If passed, any private office, surgical outpatient clinic, hospital or other facility that fails to post a sign about the reversal process could be fined up to $10,000. If a medical abortion is provided without the notification, the woman, the father of the unborn child, or the grandparent of a minor undergoing the abortion could sue for damages.


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