Kansas latest state to pass anti-abortion bill, Brownback approval expected

Kansas legislators passed a sweeping anti-abortion bill Friday night that bans certain abortions, eliminates tax breaks for abortion providers and defines life as beginning "at fertilization."

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Republican Gov. Sam Brownback is expected to sign the bill into law, with restrictions taking effect on July 1, according to the Associated Press.

The bill bans abortions based on the fetus's gender, and prohibits Planned Parenthood from offering sex education materials in public schools. It also eliminates certain tax exemptions for healthcare providers that offer abortions.

It defines life as beginning at fertilization, but does not ban abortion from that point.

The bill passed with a large majority in both the Kansas state House and Senate. Though Brownback has said he has yet to review the bill, he's signed a number of anti-abortion measures in recent years.

Kansas is the latest state to pass laws restricting abortion rights. Arkansas passed a law in early March banning most abortions after the 12th week of pregnancy, and North Dakota became the nation's most restrictive state on abortion rights last month when it passed a law banning abortions if a fetal heartbeat can be detected, as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.

Both Arkansas and North Dakota are girding for legal battles over the new laws, which abortion-rights advocates say are an assault on rights established by the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case.