Anti-abortion group seeks further abortion restrictions

Emboldened by the anti-abortion agenda of Gov. Sam Brownback and the Kansas Legislature, an anti-abortion group said Tuesday it will start a petition drive to have a special legislative session to enact a measure banning 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 he would like to get 15,000 petition signatures urging passage of “Heartbeat Legislation,” before asking Brownback to call a special session of the Legislature to enact it. Gietzen said the proposal would ban 85 percent of abortions.

“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.

No state has passed such a proposal, although the Ohio House of Representatives has approved it.