Kansas legislators continue fight over abortion following vote on constitutionality

Snow showers and drizzle fell early Thursday in the Topeka area but didn't result in major...
Snow showers and drizzle fell early Thursday in the Topeka area but didn't result in major traffic impacts.(Phil Anderson | File/WIBW)
Published: Jan. 22, 2023 at 4:01 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - As the 50th Anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision is marked, Kansas legislators continue the fight to restrict abortions following Kansans’ vote to keep abortion as a constitutional right.

Just ahead of the 50th Anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, Kansas House Democratic Leader Vic Miller highlighted his effort to defend women’s rights to their own bodies.

“We all witnessed the undeniable rejection of the anti-abortion constitutional amendment on August 2, from rural towns to urban centers,” Rep. Miller said. “Kansans could not have been more clear -- the government has no right to say what a woman does with her body. In November, Kansans showed up en masse yet again to overwhelmingly retain the Kansas State Supreme Court justices who proclaimed a woman’s right to bodily autonomy is protected by the Kansas Constitution.”

Miller then noted multiple pieces of legislation that had already been brought up this session to further restrict abortion.

“We have a simple job in the legislature -- represent our constituents. With nearly 600,000 Kansans choosing to protect the right to reproductive healthcare, there is no excuse for this negligent, harmful, and misogynistic legislation,” he concluded.

Senate Bill 5 was introduced on Jan. 9 by Senator Mark Steffen (R-Hutchinson) which would make it illegal to prescribe drugs intended to cause an abortion via telemedicine and restrict the governor’s power during a state of emergency to alter the law. It was referred to the Committee on Public Health and Welfare where it remains in discussion.

Senate Bill 65 was also introduced in January by the Committee on Federal and State Affairs. This would authorize cities and counties to enact local laws to regulate abortion. The local laws would be required to be as stringent if not more stringent than the statewide law.

No such legislation has been introduced in the House.