Kansas Republicans advance bill requiring abortion providers to state reason for patient’s procedure

March 27, 2024

The Republican-controlled Kansas state Legislature passed a bill Tuesday requiring abortion providers to ask patients the reason for their procedure and report the information to the state, a move critics say creates an unnecessary hurdle for patients to receive reproductive care.

The state Senate passed the bill in a 27-13 party-line vote on Tuesday, after the Kansas House voted to advance it earlier this month. Gov. Laura Kelly (D), an abortion rights supporter, is expected to veto the measure, though it appears to have enough support for her veto to be overridden.

The law comes after Kansans passed a constitutional right to abortion access in 2022 in a major win for abortion rights activists, despite opposition among the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature.

The Kansas vote was the first in the country after the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision that summer, which sparked a wave of abortion rights votes in response to the fall of federal protections.

The new bill requires providers to ask patients a series of 11 questions about their reasoning for receiving an abortion, including questions about not being able to afford a child, career implications, family situation, or other reasons. The patient would not be required to answer, and the responses would be reported to the state.

GOP lawmakers said the effort doesn’t go against the spirit of the 2022 vote but merely provides lawmakers with better data to make decisions on abortion care.

Providers would also record a patient’s age, race, marital status, education and other demographic data with a “confidential code” that allows it to stay anonymous.