Under Gov. Sam Brownback, efforts to further curb abortion in Kansas have been a matter of routine during each legislative session. But the latest law stands out for being the first in the nation to ban something anti-abortion activists call “dismemberment abortions,” a common abortion procedure in the second trimester of pregnancy. Calling Kansas now “ground zero in the war to criminalize all abortions,” a New York Times editorial said the law’s language aimed for “maximum shock value” and that “lawmakers have imposed their own moral judgments and restricted or criminalized decisions doctors make in caring for their patients.” A Los Angeles Times editorial reminded Kansas and Oklahoma, which passed a similar bill, that “the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that women have a constitutional right to an abortion up to the time that the fetus becomes viable outside the womb, which is about 24 weeks – the end of the second trimester,” concluding that however proponents of these bans describe the procedure “their efforts represent nothing more than another attack on access to legal and safe abortions.” Last week legislators learned that the Attorney General’s Office could need $450,000 for litigation related to the law through fiscal 2017. – Rhonda Holman
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