On Friday night, Kansas lawmakers passed new legislation that takes a firm anti-abortion stance, declaring life begins at fertilization, and according to opponents, sends a message most similar to the position taken by the state of North Dakota.
The bill also blocks tax breaks for abortion providers and prohibits them from being involved in public school sex education classes. According to pro-choice advocates the declaration that life begins at fertilization is essentially a step towards banning all abortions. In 2014, voters in North Dakota will have the chance to ban all abortions.
What is perhaps most interesting about the recently passed bill is that while passed under the premise of limiting sex-selective abortions, the decision was made despite any solid data on how many sex-selective abortions are performed in Kansas.
Rep. John Wilson, a Democrat, complained that the bill was "about politics, not medicine."
"It's the very definition of government intrusion in a woman's personal medical decisions," he said.
Mary Pilcher-Cook, Republican and advocate for the new bill sees it as a positive. "There is a clear statement from Kansas with respect to the judgment on the inherent value of human life."
Jordan Goldberg, state advocacy counsel for the New York City-based Center for Reproductive Rights, called the tax provisions "appalling and discriminatory."
"It's probably, if not definitely unconstitutional, and it's incredibly mean-spirited," she said.