Kansas House fails to override abortion bill veto

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas legislature fell two votes short in its attempt to override Gov. Laura Kelly’s veto of a controversial abortion law.

(WIBW/Shawn Wheat)

Just hours after the Senate narrowly reached the two-thirds majority needed for an override, 27-13, the lower chamber tallied only 83 of the 84 votes needed, making the final vote, 82-43.

At least one Republican who voted for the bill, went against the override.

“I don’t believe that the legislature should be in the medical practice, medical business, especially on an unproven process,” said Rep. Jan Kessinger, (R-Overland Park).

Leadership is trying to convince Kessinger to change his vote before a motion reconsider on Thursday. He says he won't.

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The bill requires abortion providers to tell patients about a disputed treatment to stop a medication abortion after it’s been started. Kelly called it an unwarranted intrusion between patients and their doctors.

“It’s best for women as they undergo this procedure to have information that is valid, that is truthful, that helps them make up their mind about the procedure,” said Sen. Susan Wagle, (R-Wichita).

“This is unnecessary legislation that would interfere with the relationship between women and their physicians. It forces health care providers to adhere to a government mandate not adequately supported by medical science. I’m pleased the legislature sustained my veto,” Kelly said in a statement shortly after the vote.

Abortion opponents say such measures ensure that women harboring doubts about ending their pregnancies will learn that they can stop a medication abortion after the first of two pills. Abortion-rights supporters say such mandates force doctors to present patients with dubious information.

Arkansas, Arizona, Idaho, Utah, South Dakota, North Dakota and Kentucky all have similar laws.