Summary of Current (and Most Recent) Abortion and Personhood Laws
- Kansas prohibits or restricts abortion in various ways, including:
- Prohibiting abortion both after viability and after 22 weeks, unless necessary to save life of the pregnant woman or prevent major damage to bodily function.
- Imposing additional restrictions on certain abortion techniques and on abortions based on the sex of the fetus. Kan. Stat. Ann. §§ 65-6703; -6721; -6724; -6743; -6726.
- Kansas codified a legislative declaration that life begins at fertilization and accords the same rights to unborn children beginning at fertilization as are available to other residents of the state, subject to other State laws and the constitutions of the U.S. and Kansas. Kan. Stat. Ann. § 65-6732.
Potential impact of the law on and references to IVF and reproductive medicine if any
- It does not appear that current abortion restrictions in Kansas will apply to IVF or other reproductive medicine services outside the context of a pregnancy.
- A legislative declaration that life begins “at fertilization” and stating that the laws of Kansas 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” could theoretically be interpreted to impact IVF and ART procedures by imposing restrictions on the disposition of embryos. Kan. Stat. Ann. § 65-6732. However, there is currently a carve-out provision in Kansas law for disposition of products of in vitro fertilization before implantation. Kan. Stat. Ann. § 65-6702.
- Current law relating to rights of children conceived through ART includes a provision stating that “the technique of heterologous artificial insemination may be performed in this state” with consent of married couple wanting to conceive children. Kan. Stat. Ann. § 23-2301.
- Current law in Kansas includes a provision stating that the “disposition of the product of in vitro fertilization prior to implantation” is lawful in the state. Kan. Stat. Ann. § 65-6702.
- “Abortion” is defined as “the use or prescription of any instrument, medicine, drug or any other substance or device to terminate the pregnancy of a woman known to be pregnant with an intention other than to increase the probability of a live birth, to preserve the life or health of the child after live birth, or to remove a dead unborn child who died as the result of natural causes in utero, accidental trauma or a criminal assault on the pregnant woman or her unborn child, and which causes the premature termination of the pregnancy.” Kan. Stat. Ann. §65-6701.
- “Pregnant” or “pregnancy” means “that female reproductive condition of having an unborn child in the mother’s body.” Kan. Stat. Ann. §65-6701; See also § 65-6723
- In a legislative declaration that life begins at fertilization, “fertilization” means “the fusion of a human spermatozoon with a human ovum” and “unborn child” means “all unborn children or the offspring of human beings from the moment of fertilization until birth at every stage of biological development.” Kan. Stat. Ann. § 65-6732.
- The Kansas law setting forth required information to be provided prior to performing an abortion defines “human being” as “an individual living member of the species of homo sapiens, including the unborn human being during the entire embryonic and fetal ages from fertilization to full gestation.” Kan. Stat. Ann. § 65-6709.
Penalties for violations of the applicable abortion restrictions
- A person who violates the state’s abortion restrictions may be subject to civil and criminal penalties. Kan. Stat. Ann. §§ 65-6703; -6721; -6724; -6746.
- Any physician who intentionally, knowingly or recklessly fails to provide information required prior to abortion is “guilty of unprofessional conduct.” Kan. Stat. Ann. § 65-6712.