Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has signed into law a pro-life piece of legislation considered by many to be sweeping in its restriction of abortion.
Brownback signed the bill Friday, which among other things, blocks tax breaks for abortion providers and stops them from being involved in public school sex education classes.
The bill, known as House Bill 2253, includes language that defines life as beginning at fertilization and was passed overwhelmingly by Kansas' Republican-controlled House and Senate.
"On and after July 1, 2013, the laws of this state shall be interpreted and construed to acknowledge on behalf of the unborn child at every stage of development, all the rights, privileges and immunities available to other persons, citizens and residents of this state, subject only to the constitution of the United States, and decisional interpretations thereof by the United States supreme court and specific provisions to the," reads HB 2253 in part.
Also called the "Pro-Life Protections Act," HB 2253 was drafted by State Representative Lance Kinzer (R-Olathe).
"These measures represent a significant step forward in our ongoing effort to advance thoughtful and targeted legislation that both defends innocent human life and protects women who are so often exploited by the abortion industry," said Kinzer in a statement.
Not everyone supported HB 2253. In an editorial published in the Kansas City Star, the paper denounced the bill as "cruel overreach."
"By removing the option of abortion, legislators are imposing their will and beliefs on people in desperate situations," reads the editorial.
"Kinzer's thinking is arrogant and harmful. Why would a talented young doctor want to practice in a state that requires physicians to perpetuate a discredited scare tactic?"
HB 2253 was introduced on Wednesday, Feb. 6 and referred to the House Committee on Federal and State Affairs the following day.
After a lengthy amendment process, HB 2253 was brought before the House and passed in a vote of 92 yeas to 31 nays on Wednesday, March 20. It would be referred to the Senate Committee on Public Health and Welfare the following day.
After another lengthy round of proposed amendments, the bill would be approved by the Senate in a vote of 29 yeas to 11 nays on Tuesday, April 2.
"We are grateful to Governor Brownback for his strong leadership and dedication to promoting a culture of life in Kansas," said Kansas For Life in a statement.