Today the Kansas House passed an extreme, unnecessary and burdensome expansion to the already existing Kansas "conscience refusal" statute. House Substitute for SB 62 seeks to amend an existing Kansas statute changing its clear language relating to pregnancy termination and replacing it with vague language that encourages subjective interpretations allowing for "an effect which the person reasonably believes may result in the termination of a pregnancy".
The intent of House Substitute for SB 62 is clear: it is to expand conscience refusals to include common forms of contraception, including the pill, IUD's, and even emergency contraception. This legislation could even be applied to women in need of emergency contraception after surviving a sexual assault.
House Substitute for SB 62 would allow birth control conscience refusals for individuals, as well as entire institutions. This legislation is part of the continuing contraception discrimination that is taking place all over the nation in the name of "religious freedom."
The existing Kansas conscience refusal laws remain beyond sufficient to protect the rights of individual Kansans to express their "religious freedom". To be clear, the pursuit of this expansion to existing Kansas law is a direct assault on women who use birth control. It would allow complete strangers the opportunity to force their personal faith on any chosen woman, completely ignoring her individual conscience.
HB 2523 is an attack on the individual dignity of women and is sought as a vehicle for shaming and condemning sexual active women. It allows various avenues for individuals to interfere with patient/physician relationships, allowing them to act as medical "gatekeepers".
The original bill was HB 2523- It has been given a new substitute bill number due to this bill being a "gut and go."
"Gut-and-go" is a legislative tactic where a bill is stripped (gutted) of its content, which is then replaced with the contents of an entirely different piece of legislation. In this case the language of H Sub SB 62, a bill regarding asset seizure and forfeiture, was stripped and replaced with the contents of HB 2523.
The "gut-and-go" tactic subverts the legislative practice of fair and open debate in favor of an expedited "up-and-down" vote on the floor of the Senate. Now that the Kansas House has passed H Sub SB 62, the Senate will vote to concur or not concur with the new language contained in the bill. If the Senate votes to concur, then bill will go straight to Governor Brownback's desk to be signed into law.
So we need you to make your call to your Senator today! ASK THEM NOT TO CONCUR WITH HOUSE SUB FOR SB 62!
The current statute is clear on reasons for an exception. The language contained in this bill is so vague, it would allow anyone to refuse to prescribe contraception, based on a "reasonable belief". It would even allow employers, such as Catholic hospitals in our state, to refuse to allow physicians or pharmacists to refer a woman to another physician who will prescribe contraception. This is outrageous!
"Religious freedom" does NOT mean doctors and pharmacists should be allowed to decide if they approve of my private sex life. I strongly urge you to VOTE NOT TO CONCUR!