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Abortion veto override vote fails in the Senate

TOPEKA - An attempt to override the veto of a late-term abortion bill failed Thursday evening in the Senate.

The proposal, House substitute for Senate Bill 218, would have allowed women and their immediate family to sue doctors in civil court if they thought a late term abortion was performed illegally.

With a vote of 25-13, the measure did not receive the two-thirds majority of votes needed to override a veto.

The change to the law regulating abortions on pregnancies after the 21st week gave women a recourse if they thought the law had been broken if the district or county attorney in their area would not file the suit, said Sen. Mary Pilcher Cook, R-Shawnee, who made the motion.

The bill also would have required doctors performing late-term abortions to provide more detailed descriptions of why the procedures were necessary. The move was aimed at Wichita abortion provider Dr. George Tiller, one of the few physicians in the country who performs late-term abortions.

The veto was one of former Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius’ last actions before she stepped down to become Health and Human Services secretary.

The override attempt taken at about 7 p.m., one the chamber’s last action before leaving for the night. The bill is now dead.