Flanked by anti-choice advocates and large photos of human fetuses, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback on Tuesday signed into law the nation's first ban on an abortion procedure often considered the safest termination option for some pregnant women.
The new law, which takes effect on July 1, bans the dilation and evacuation (known as D and E) procedure commonly used during a pregnancy's second trimester, and thus effectively bans abortion as early as 14 weeks post-fertilization. According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, D and E is the safest means of performing an abortion after that time.
The legislation, which the Republican governor signed during a closed meeting with anti-choice lobbyists, was drafted by the national anti-choice group the National Right to Life Committee and specifically terms the method as "dismemberment abortion." RH Reality Check notes that such language is "key" to NRLC's strategy, which is to "pack the bills with graphic, medically inaccurate language describing the D and E procedure."
In a statement, Laura McQuade, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, said the organization is "disappointed but not surprised" by the signing of SB95, "which was written not by physicians and medical experts, but by a national interest group bent on banning abortion across the country."
McQuade added that "Kansas is now not only the sole state with this atrocious law; it also now has more restrictions on abortion than any state in the US."
Similar legislation is currently under consideration in other Republican-dominated states including Oklahoma, Missouri, and South Carolina, with bills pending in Missouri and South Carolina. Critics of the rule say it is another signal of the GOP's increasing "War on Women."