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New anti-abortion laws go into effect in Kansas despite governor's veto

Kansas Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly vetoed the new abortion restrictions, but she was overridden by the Republican-controlled state legislature.
Abortion Kansas
Posted at 10:31 AM, Jul 01, 2024

New restrictions intended to dissuade pregnant women from obtaining an abortion went into effect Monday in Kansas.

One new law requires the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to release a bi-annual report that details the reasons women in the state get abortions. Unless it's a medical emergency, health care providers must now ask women to choose the most important factor from a list of reasons they're seeking to have the procedure done.

Another law taking effect in the state makes it a felony to coerce pregnant women into getting an abortion. Those found in violation of the new law face a minimum $500 fee and 30 days in jail.

Related story: Which states could have abortion on the ballot in 2024?

Kansas Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly vetoed the new abortion restrictions, but she was overridden by the Republican-controlled state legislature. In a statement, Kelly said she refuses to sign anything into law that "goes against the will of the majority of Kansans."

In 2022, the majority of Kansas voters voted to protect abortion rights under the state's constitution, rejecting a GOP-led effort to tighten restrictions. At the time, it marked the first test of voter sentiment on the issue after the Supreme Court's reversal of Roe v. Wade.

Two years later, the national picture on abortion access is inconsistent, disjointed and teetering on the precipice of the coming election. The Center for Reproductive Rights found 17 states currently have total bans on abortion or bans after six weeks of pregnancy, before many women know they're pregnant. Another eight states restrict it earlier than viability.

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