Senate Gives First-Round Approval For Bill Restricting Gender-Based Abortions

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – A bill restricting abortions based on an unborn child's gender won first-round approval in the Senate late Tuesday. The bill would prohibit doctors from ending a pregnancy solely because a woman doesn't want a baby of a certain gender.

Republican senators made the case to impose criminal penalties on doctors who perform sex-selection abortions. The bill would allow doctors who perform gender-based abortions to be sued by the would-be mother, father, or her legal guardian. A provider's first conviction would be a misdemeanor, while the second or subsequent convictions would be treated as felonies. Under the senate's legislation the woman on whom the abortion was performed could not be prosecuted.

Opponents say it does not protect physicians against women who might lie. Democratic senators offered two amendments that would increase protections for doctors, but both were rejected.

Supporters say the bill aligns with other pro-life measures proposed for the state.

The senate is expected to give final approval Wednesday and send it to the House.