TOPEKA (KSNT)— Kansas lawmakers have officially passed a bill, providing emergency care for infants born alive after a failed abortion.
The Kansas House voted 86-36 to concur with amendments to a Senate-passed bill on Tuesday. The bill heads to Governor Laura Kelly’s desk.
“The Senate changes were to remove two words, which was when the baby is transported to the hospital it said, ‘and admitted’… we removed those two words so the baby will be transported to the hospital and decisions will be made at that time,” said Rep. Brenda Landwehr, R-Wichita, who motioned to concur with Senate changes to the bill.
House Bill 2313 establishes legal protections for infants that are ‘born alive’ after an attempted abortion, requiring doctors to provide the same level of care as any newborn. The bill would also create criminal penalties and legal consequences for doctors that fail to provide immediate care.
The Senate passed the bill 31-9 last month, just one week after the House approved the bill.
The proposal sparked the first abortion debate in the Kansas Legislature, since voters decided to uphold abortion rights in a historic Primary vote last year.
Representative Susan Ruiz, a Democrat from Shawnee stood in opposition to the motion on Tuesday.
“Regardless of the intent of the delivery, if the infant is born alive and only has minutes to live… the mother, the father, the family… have the right to ask for palliative care and embrace the infant until it is no longer breathing,” Ruiz said. “Instead, the bill continues to require that the health providers secure transportation and immediately transport to a hospital.”
In response, Landwehr noted that parents would most likely have held the baby within the time it would take for an ambulance to arrive at a non-surgical center.
The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk.