By Stephen Koranda, Kansas Public Radio
TOPEKA, Ks. – The Kansas Senate has approved a bill restricting abortions after the 21st week of pregnancy. Supporters of the bill say that is when a fetus can feel pain. The legislation has already passed the House and should soon be sent to Governor Sam Brownback. Senator Terry Bruce, a Hutchinson Republican, brought the bill to the Senate floor.
"We are saying that the state believes we have the compelling interest to protect a child from harm when they can feel that pain," Bruce said.
Opponents of the bill dispute the fetal pain claim. They say there is conflicting evidence on whether a fetus can feel pain at that stage of development. The bill allows an abortion after the 21st week of pregnancy only if the mother's life is in danger or she faces substantial and permanent harm to "a major bodily function."