Wed July 6, 2011
Several Kansas Abortion Laws Now in Effect
By Elana Gordon
OVERLAND PARK, Ks. – As the battle over new state abortion regulations moves to federal court, other recently approved laws pertaining to abortion are now kicking in. And as KCUR's Elana Gordon reports, the laws affect how remaining abortion services are accessed in Kansas.
Starting July 1, private health insurance companies can no longer offer elective abortion coverage in Kansas. Women can still get the coverage, but will have to purchase separate insurance riders.
Also in effect this month, anyone under the age of 18 must now obtain notarized consent from both parents in order to have an abortion. There are some exceptions for single-parents and unusual marriage situations.
Finally, another law tightens restrictions on abortions after the 21st week of pregnancy.
Mary Kay Culp, with the anti-abortion group, Kansans for Life, says the recent wave of abortion-related laws in Kansas have been a long-time coming.
"The legislation hasn't changed much," says Culp. "The fact that we have a governor that would sign it has changed everything."
Since taking office, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has called on lawmakers to create a 'culture of life.'
Previous democratic governors in Kansas have vetoed similar measures. Critics of the new laws contend they restrict access to vital health care.
Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.
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