VIDEO: Abortion bills debated, strip club bill stalled

Rebecca Zepick / State of the State KS

A series of bills limiting late term abortion services in Kansas heard debate in Topeka Thursday.

The bills would allow husbands or parents of minors to sue if they believed an abortion was illegal, would restrict abortion at 22 weeks, when some say a fetus can feel pain, and would make doctors and abortion facilities subject to more frequent and more detailed reporting requirements.

Supporters of the bill, like Kathy Ostrowski from Kansas for life,  say the laws are essential to protect life at all stages.

“Legislation that protects the life of the unborn grounds the way we legislate everything else. The right to life is imperative,” said Ostrowski.

Opponents say the proposed laws unnecessarily invade the lives of women who are facing difficult decisions at late stages of their pregnancy.

Kari Ann Rinker, from the National Organization of Women, said, “”The fetal pain bill, so called fetal pain bill, is especially troubling tome because the women that seek these later term abortions don’t do soon a whim.”

Debate on the abortion bills continues Friday where the final vote is expected to be close in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

In other State house news, a senate committee voted to stall a bill that would have put restriction on sexually oriented businesses Thursday.

Legislators were skeptical of claims that strip clubs increase crime rates across the state without data specific to Kansas being presented and believed local governments could control the clubs and stores.

Some opponents of the bill said they keep their clubs under video surveillance to ensure safety and keep employees and patrons in compliance with the law.

John Samples, the owner of Club Orleans, a strip club in Topeka said, “The fact that we have security cameras throughout the facility to make sure every body’s obeying the law and state statutes…and the fact that I watch them at home if I don’t happen to be there.”

Supporters of the bill said they were disappointed that legislators questioned the evidence about the impact of the clubs on the community.

Phillip Cosby, from the American Family Association said, “We gave them all the evidence we possibly could. And in 45 minutes, they digested it and made a call that it was a perception and not a reality.

Those in favor of the restrictions vowed to continue their fight at the State house in the future.