Meredith Richey of Perry has filed as a Republican to challenge incumbent Sen. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence.
According to the Secretary of State's website, Richey filed on Thursday, Oct. 15, but did not provide any type of phone number or email address.
Francisco was first elected to the 2nd District Senate seat in 2004 when she defeated Republican Mark Buhler, who had been appointed to replace Sandy Praeger who'd been elected insurance commissioner two years earlier. She won her last re-election bid in 2012, 65-35 percent, over Republican Ronald B. Ellis.
The 2nd District includes most of Lawrence and northern Douglas County, as well as most of Jefferson County to the north.
Two years ago, Gov. Sam Brownback signed into law a bill that prohibits private insurance companies from offering coverage for abortions in their general plans except when a woman's life is in danger.
Under the law, Kansas residents or employers who want abortion coverage must buy supplemental policies, known as riders.
But Sen. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence, said she tried to purchase such an optional rider under the state health insurance plan, but it was not available.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment confirmed that the state health insurance plan does not offer that coverage as an optional rider.
Francisco, a supporter of abortion rights, said, "I was going to encourage women to do it because the more women of my age who sign up, the cheaper it is going to be for everybody, so then you just make it something that people can afford." Francisco is 62.
The American Civil Liberties Union had challenged that law, saying that women's medical needs should be covered in their insurance policies. Supporters of the law said people who oppose abortion shouldn't be forced to pay for such coverage in general health plan.
The ACLU dropped its lawsuit earlier this year after a federal judge had ruled that the group had failed to prove that the Legislature's motivation in passing the law was to make it more difficult to get abortions.