by Steven Ertelt
May 3, 2006
Topeka, KS (LifeNews.com) — The Kansas state House added a measure to require teaching public high school students about abortion onto a state education funding bill. The House voted 74-49 to add the provision, which also includes teaching students about fetal development, to the bill.
Under the measure, teachers would show photos of unborn children to students, discuss the medical risks associated with having an abortion, and provide students information about the pain a baby feels during an abortion.
Pro-life groups support the measure saying it will help educate students, especially young women, about something they may confront.
Rep. Peggy Mast, a Republican, told AP her concern about teen health issues prompted her to add the abortion provision to the bill.
"Young women who go in for an abortion procedure aren’t really educated as far as the development of their baby," she said. "They’re going to find out eventually, somehow, and then they’re going to be traumatized."
In April, the state House added a similar amendment to a bill endorsed by Kansans for Life that would provide for more accurate and comprehensive reporting of abortion statistics. The House voted 77-48 then for the abortion teaching provision.
Rep. Jan Pauls sponsored that amendment, which also instructs schools teaching students about pregnancy to include information about fetal development. The materials must include pictures or drawings of the baby developing at four week stages form conception to birth.
"It’s important that when children are being taught sex ed, they be aware of what the fetus looks like," Pauls, a Democrat, said.
The amendment allows schools to implement the requirements at their discretion and says parents can opt to have their children not receive such instruction.
As passed by the Senate, the statistics bill originally required abortion facilities to gather more information about abortions after 22 weeks of pregnancy to report to the state. The new information would include details about any physical or mental handicaps the unborn baby had.
Kathy Ostrowski, a Kansans for Life representative, told AP the bill will help Kansans know whether laws restricting late-term abortions are being followed.