Abortion bill derailed in Kansas Senate

TOPEKA | A bill that would use the state tax code to restrict abortion has hit a roadblock in the Kansas Senate.

Senate President Steve Morris, a Hugoton Republican, sent the bill to a committee for further review with only a couple days left in the legislative session.

Morris was specifically concerned about how the bill would affect the accreditation of the University of Kansas Medical Center.

The bill would have barred state employees, including residents at the University of Kansas Hospital, from performing abortions on state property or state time.

KU sought an exemption from the law because it was concerned that it would jeopardize the accreditation of its obstetrics and gynecology program. However, it was only granted a one-year reprieve from the law.

"It is prudent for the Senate to have more time to consider the proposal," Morris said in a statement.

"I have consistently voted pro-life,” Morris said. “While I will always fight for pro-life values, we must also protect the accreditation of our flagship medical center.”

Patterned after a similar bill in Congress, the the bill would have prohibited taxpayers from deducting money spent on an abortion or for supplemental health insurance to cover the procedure.

It would prevent employers from deducting any money they contribute to a health plan for supplemental insurance coverage of an abortion. It also would ban corporations from taking a tax credit for contributions they make to Planned Parenthood, which provides abortion services in Kansas.

The bill also would apply sales taxes to any drugs used to perform or induce an abortion.

The measure expands efforts seen in Kansas and across the country to cut off direct public funding to family-planning providers that also offer abortion. This is new because it uses the tax code to go after that funding.

The bill passed the House earlier this week on 88-13 vote.