A bill effectively banning late-term abortions in Kansas has been signed into law by Gov. Sam Brownback. The bill bans abortions after 22 weeks gestation except where necessary to save the mother from death or serious injury, based on the controversial belief that fetuses can feel pain, Politico reports. Similar laws have been passed by state legislatures in Idaho and Oklahoma, and are being considered in about a dozen other states. Brownback also signed a bill requiring minors to obtain the consent of both parents before having an abortion.
Brownback, a Republican, hailed the bills as a "mainstream, bipartisan and common sense approach to a divisive issue," but pro-choice groups said they were dismayed by the legislation. "We are disappointed the Kansas Legislature and Gov. Brownback are putting the health and safety of Kansas women and families at risk for purposes of political posturing," said the president of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri. "Neither bill does anything to reduce the number of abortions in Kansas."