A bill setting font and type size requirements for additional information women would receive when considering an abortion is headed to Gov. Sam Brownback.
Brownback has never vetoed an abortion bill.
The Senate passed Senate Bill 83 in a 25-15 vote after the House passed it 84-38 last week.
The bill would require that women seeking an abortion receive information about when physicians received their medical degrees, when they started working at a clinic, whether they have malpractice insurance, whether they have faced disciplinary action, whether they have clinical privileges in a nearby hospital and whether they live in Kansas.
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The bill specifies that the information is to be printed in black ink in 12-point Times New Roman font on white paper.
Supporters and opponents of the bill split over whether the requirements are necessary. Those who back the measure said the bill would provide women with more information in a clearer manner.
“I think this is a bill that will help women make the right choice or an informed decision when they’re getting ready to have this procedure,” said Sen. Rob Olson, R-Olathe, who carried the bill.
Opponents said the legislation won’t benefit women’s health.
“I don’t like abortion, but this bill is simply harassment,” said Sen. Lynn Rogers, D-Wichita.
At times, senators engaged in a larger debate about abortion. Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, R-Shawnee, spoke in support of the bill, saying the “nature of abortion is ugly and evil because it kills a human being.”
Sen. Dinah Sykes, R-Lenexa, tried unsuccessfully to send the bill back to a conference committee for more negotiation. She said she is pro-life but that the information should be available for additional procedures and medical professionals, such as ob-gyns.
“I think these are good requirements. But I think this, at the very least, should be required of all those who work with the reproductive health of women,” Sykes said.
SB 83 is the primary abortion-related legislation considered by the Legislature this year.
An earlier version of the bill overwhelmingly passed in the House, but a similar bill was never voted on by the full Senate. Key Republicans from both chambers agreed earlier this month to try to pass the bill again with the specification that the information provided before an abortion must also be put on white paper.
Planned Parenthood has not ruled out litigation against SB 83. In March, a spokeswoman said the organization was keeping its options open. Last week, Rep. Dennis Highberger, D-Lawrence, said he expects it will cost the state money to defend the new bill in court.
On Tuesday, Planned Parenthood called the bill “bad policy, bad priorities.”
Kansans for Life legislative director Kathy Ostrowski has said the added information should be available so women can “achieve a truly informed decision.”
Lawsuits have targeted other abortion-related legislation passed by Kansas lawmakers in recent years. The Kansas Supreme Court heard arguments in March over a 2015 law that prohibits a type of second-trimester abortion.
Sen. Barbara Bollier, R-Mission Hills, who opposed SB 83, suggested Kansas will face litigation if the bill becomes law.
“Have we figured out how much it’s going to cost the state when we get sued again?” Bollier said.
Contributing: Hunter Woodall of the Kansas City Star
How they voted
Here’s how south-central Kansas lawmakers voted on SB 83, which requires women seeking abortions to be given more information about the doctor in 12-point type on white paper.
Democrats: Both area Democrats voted no.
Republicans: All area Republicans voted yes.