A Kansas House committee had advanced a bill that would bar what the legislation calls “dismemberment abortion.” It would ban a process where instruments are used to grab and remove a fetus in pieces.
Abortion opponents say the procedure is gruesome and should be eliminated.
The committee approved the bill, but they spent most of their time debating an amendment that would have barred far more abortions. Democratic Representative John Wilson says the bill outlaws what could be the safest abortion option for a woman, so he proposed banning most abortions when a fetal heartbeat can be detected.
“If we are removing the safety of this legal, regulated medical procedure, then I believe it’s in the state’s best interest to just completely eliminate the procedure itself,” says Wilson.
Opponents of Wilson’s amendment say he was trying to sabotage the bill. His proposal failed on a voice vote.
The full Kansas House will now consider the bill.
The chair of the committee, Republican Representative Steve Brunk, says he plans to eventually pursue legislation that would bar most abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected. He urged the committee to reject Wilson's amendment and wait for a stand-alone bill.