May 11, 2012 — A Kansas bill (H Sub SB 313) that would cut off alleged indirect subsidies to abortion providers has been sent back to committee amid concerns that it would jeopardize the accreditation of the University of Kansas Medical Center, the AP/STLToday reports (AP/STLToday, 5/10). Friday is the last day of the legislative session.
The legislation would prohibit residents from deducting abortion-related expenses as a medical cost on their income taxes and ban tax breaks for abortion providers, such as sales tax exemptions that are normally permitted for not-for-profit organizations. Another provision in the bill would require women seeking abortion care to be notified that the procedure could lead to breast cancer -- a claim that the National Cancer Institute has refuted.
The bill also would make it illegal for state employees -- including medical residents at the University of Kansas -- to provide abortion care on state time or property. Lawmakers added a one-year exception that would allow medical residents to perform the procedure off-site, but officials at the school want a permanent exemption because of concerns that the restrictions would jeopardize accreditation of the school's obstetrics and gynecology program (Women's Health Policy Report, 5/8).
After the House approved the bill earlier this week, Senate President Steve Morris (R) had the option of bypassing committee consideration and motioning for a floor vote. However, Morris said he was concerned about the provision regarding state employees and sent the bill to the Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee (AP/STLToday, 5/10).
Repro Health Watch — an exciting new edition of the Women’s Health Policy Report — compiles and distributes media coverage of proposed and enacted state laws and ballot initiatives affecting women's access to comprehensive reproductive health care, as well as litigation in response to those provisions.