TOPEKA, Kan. — Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly vetoed a bill on Friday that could have penalized doctors accused of not providing enough care to infants delivered during certain kinds of abortion procedures.
In a statement on her website, Kelly, a Democrat, called the legislation “misleading and unnecessary.”
The legislation could have subjected doctors to lawsuits and criminal charges in certain kinds of abortions and in circumstances when doctors induce labor to deliver a fetus that is expected to die within minutes or even seconds outside the womb. Kelly vetoed a similar bill in 2019.
“Federal law already protects newborns, and the procedure being described in this bill does not exist in Kansas in the era of modern medicine,” Kelly said Friday. “The intent of this bill is to interfere in medical decisions that should remain between doctors and their patients.”
Kansas’ Republican-controlled Legislature gave final passage to the bill earlier this month. The bill’s fate was uncertain in a legal and political climate that’s made Kansas an outlier on abortion policy among states with GOP-led legislatures.
The bill applied not only to “botched” or “unsuccessful” abortions but also when doctors induce labor to deliver a fetus that is expected to die within minutes or even seconds outside the womb, which often occurs because of a severe medical issue.
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