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Morning Sun
  • Gov. Parkinson vetoes changes to abortion law

  •  On Thursday, Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson vetoed a bill that would have changed the state’s laws on late-term abortions.

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  •  On Thursday, Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson vetoed a bill that would have changed the state’s laws on late-term abortions.
    The bill would have prevented a late-term abortion provider from setting up a practice in Kansas as well as allowing patients or family members to sue doctors if they have proof that an abortion violated state law.
    In addition, doctors would also have to report more details to the state about any abortions performed after the 21st week of a pregnancy and involving fetuses considered viable, or able to survive outside the womb.
    The veto came just two days after Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman signed two late-term abortion measures into law. One bars any abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, which is meant to shut down one of the few late-term abortion providers in the country. Dr. LeRoy Carhart, who was considered a friend of Dr. George Tiller, the Wichita-based abortion provider who was killed in May 2009, had expressed interest in reopening Tiller’s Wichita practice.
    The other measure requires doctors or other health professionals to assess whether women have risk factors that could lead to mental or physical problems after an abortion.
    “This legislation improves upon actions taken last year to give the Secretary of the Department of Commerce more discretion as to when and how state resources are spent to provide economic development incentives,” Parkinson said in a statement. “I respect the considerable work and efforts of many to make these improvements, they are needed and appreciated. However, there are elements within this legislation with which I have concerns, including increasing the budget for Kansas, Inc. by $250,000 each year.”
    Kansas lawmakers approved the abortion legislation just prior to taking their spring recess, but appeared to lack the two-thirds majority to override the veto. Both the House and Senate return to session on April 28.
    The Associated Press contributed to this report.
    Matthew Clark can be reached at matthew.clark@morningsun.net or at 620-231-2600, Ext. 140.
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