Pro-choice groups urge Brownback to not sign abortion bill

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - Gov. Sam Brownback said on Tuesday he will likely sign an abortion bill that sits on his desk, despite pleas from several groups not to do so.

Groups like Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union, Kansas NOW and the Mainstream Coalition piled 1,600 petitions on Brownback's desk.

On Tuesday morning, the pro-choice groups made a specific trip to his office to ask him not to sign House Bill 2253.

"We're confident that the people of Kansas did not elect this government to enact extreme restrictions on women's health care choices," said Elise Higgins of the Kansas National Organization for Women.

The bill declares life begins "at fertilization." It is the same principal 13 states, including Missouri, have already declared.
       
Supporters said the declaration will not stop abortion providers from offering the same services, but it will likely give the state more discretion on which organizations the state funds.
        
Supporters know a conservative administration could favor more conservative groups.

"What may help is if funding adoption agencies or giving money to the Department of Family Services - that can help us or our clients and they may have more resources they can cling on to," Kathy Boas, an Overland Park based unplanned pregnancy counselor, said.

The bill also blocks tax breaks for abortion providers, bans abortions based on the sex of the fetus, requires doctors to tell patients a supposed link between abortion and breast cancer and keeps public schools from using sex education materials from organizations linked to abortion services.
        
Opponents want the governor to veto the bill because they said they suspect it could be a precursor of an effort to stop abortions altogether in the state of Kansas.
      
Brownback said the petitions are unlikely to sway him from supporting the bill.

"I'm pro-life. I have been since I was in public office, so I anticipate I probably will," Brownback said.

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