A bill requiring physicians to tell patients about a medication that can reverse an abortion has been transmitted to Kansas Governor Laura Kelly after being approved by the state’s legislature.
The policy was hotly contested by Democrats, who argue the bill violates already established abortion rights, and pro-abortion activists, who question the legitimacy of the medication.
If enacted, the law will mandate women who take mifepristone to abort a pregnancy to be informed that the procedure can reversible if they have not taken the second pill of the two-dose prescription. Mifepristone and one other medication are used in the majority of abortions in Kansas, per The Wichita Eagle. Half of all abortions in America are done with prescription medication.
Mifepristone stops the body from producing progesterone, the hormone required for a fetus to grow.
The bill will also require “facilities that provide abortion drugs … to display a notice with information about the abortion pill reversal treatment and contact information for providers,” per Life News.
The state Senate passed HB 2439 on a 26-11 vote after the House passed on an 80-38 vote.
Republicans say the reversal pill warning is a reasonable restriction and is therefore permissible under the abortion rights law. Defending the measure during a debate last week, state Representative Susan Humphries said women who seek abortions “need to be knowledgeable about what can happen.”
“Women have the right to know this type of information and it is being kept from them,” Humphries said on the House floor during a debate on April 4.
Critics of the bill denied the scientific legitimacy of information regarding reversing an abortion.
“Our Kansans deserve medically accurate information, not state-mandated deception,” said Representative Melissa Oropeza. “Kansas deserves providers who are free to stick to fact-based health care and are not forced to spread scientific myths.”
According to the American Pregnancy Association, an abortion pill reversal procedure can only occur within the first 24 hours after the first dose of mifepristone is taken. Abortion reversals involve taking progesterone to counteract the effect of the abortion pill.
The Abortion Pill Reversal Network says initial studies of the treatment indicated a 64% – 68% success rate but that success is not guaranteed.
Governor Kelly vetoed a similar measure passed by the legislature in 2019. At the time, the legislature missed the ability to override the veto by one vote.
The governor is expected to veto HB 2439.
The Kansas legislature also transferred House Bill 2313 to Kelly’s desk. The bill, passed by a veto-proof majority, requires medical providers to perform life-saving care to any babies born alive during an abortion. A “handful” Democrats joined Republicans in the House and Senate to back the bill, per The Topeka Capital-Journal.
“A child who survives an abortion deserves no less than to be transferred to a hospital where any further evaluation can take place,” testified Jeanne Gawdun, a lobbyist for Kansans for Life, in March. “The bill also includes penalties for violations, including overt acts intended to kill the child who is born alive, and creates a civil cause of action. Sadly there are many cases across the country of infants born alive and left to die, or intentionally killed.”