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Ultrasounds before abortion in Kansas

TOPEKA, Kan. — Gov. Kathleen Sebelius signed a bill Friday to ensure that women and girls seeking abortions in Kansas are allowed to see ultrasound images or hear their fetus’ heartbeat before the procedure.

The bill, which takes effect July 1, amends a state law requiring doctors to obtain a patient’s informed consent before performing an abortion. The measure requires abortion providers who use ultrasound or monitor fetal heartbeats to give their patients access to the images or sound at least 30 minutes before an abortion.

Spokeswoman Beth Martino said Sebelius concluded that the bill had no constitutional flaws, didn’t jeopardize patient privacy and did not block access to health services. The governor has in the past vetoed legislation sought by anti-abortion groups.

Sebelius said in a statement that residents want politicians to move beyond such divisive legislative debates and tackle issues such as improving health care and controlling health care costs.

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