Brownback signs sweeping anti-abortion bill

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Brownback signs sweeping anti-abortion bill
TOPEKA — Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed sweeping anti-abortion legislation Friday, giving his state a new law to block tax breaks for abortion providers, ban sex-selection abortions and declare that life begins “at fertilization.”
Many provisions take effect in July, although the tax changes are effective for 2014.

“All human life is sacred. It’s beautiful,” Brownback said. “With this, we continue to build this culture of life in our state.”

The measure is not as restrictive as laws enacted this year in North Dakota and Arkansas to ban abortions even early in pregnancy, but abortion rights supporters believe it will significantly restrict access to abortion services.

The “at fertilization” language worries some abortion rights supporters, who say it could be used to legally harass providers with lawsuits, but abortion opponents call it a statement of principle and not an outright ban on terminating pregnancies.

The law specifically notes that any rights suggested by the language are limited by U.S. Supreme Court decisions.

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