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Kansas lawmakers pass sweeping anti-abortion legislation

Kansas lawmakers approved sweeping anti-abortion legislation on Friday that says life begins at fertilization, forbids abortion based on gender and bans Planned Parenthood from providing sex education in schools.



In addition, the measure requires women to learn about fetal development before having an abortion.

The measure now goes to the desk of Republican Gov. Sam Brownback, who opposes abortion, and is expected to sign it.

The House passed the bill 90-30, The Associated Press reported. The Senate approved it by a 28-10 vote, according to Reuters.

Republicans have large majorities in both houses.

"This fulfills the legislative intent to create a pro-life state," Kathy Ostrowski, legislative director of Kansans for Life, told Reuters before the House vote.

Thirteen states, including Missouri, have similar language to the Kansas bill in their laws, the AP reported, citing the National Right to Life Committee.

The Kansas legislation is the latest in a push by national abortion opponents for new restrictions on the procedure. Those limits are seen as a direct challenge to the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade ruling in 1973 that legalized abortion.

Late last month, North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple signed the nation’s strictest anti-abortion measures into law. One statute bans abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy.

An Arkansas law approved over Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe’s veto prohibits most abortions after about 12 weeks of pregnancy.

Abortion rights groups say they will challenge the new abortion laws in court.

Though the Kansas bill defines life as beginning at fertilization, it does not ban abortion from that point.

Reuters contributed to this report.