Kansas Governor Signs Nation’s 1st Ban on Abortion Procedure

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback has signed legislation making Kansas the first state to ban a common second-trimester abortion procedure that critics describe as dismembering a fetus.

Brownback signed the measure Tuesday in a private ceremony at the governor’s residence. A photo posted by his office on Twitter shows him flanked by anti-abortion leaders and large photos of fetuses.

The new law, which takes effect July 1, bans the dilation and evacuation procedure, and redefines the method as “dismemberment abortion.”

The method is commonly used in second-trimester abortions nationwide and in about 9 percent of the abortions in Kansas. Abortion-rights supporters say the method is sometimes the safest for a woman terminating her pregnancy.

The National Right to Life Committee drafted the measure. Similar measures are being considered in other states.