Legal abortion is a safe way of ending a pregnancy. This is a decision you may make because you don’t want to be pregnant.
Who can have an abortion?
Abortion is legal in Kansas, regardless of your age (minors must have consent of a parent). In Kansas, the following restrictions on abortion are in effect:
- A patient must receive state-directed counseling that includes information designed to discourage her from having an abortion, and then wait 24 hours before the procedure is provided.
- Private insurance policies cover abortion only in cases of life endangerment, unless individuals purchase an optional rider at an additional cost.
- Health plans offered in the state’s health exchange under the Affordable Care Act can only cover abortion in cases of life endangerment.
- Abortion is covered in insurance policies for public employees only in cases of life endangerment.
- The parents of a minor must consent before an abortion is provided.
- Public funding is available for abortion only in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest.
- A patient must undergo an ultrasound before obtaining an abortion; the provider must offer the patient the option to view the image.
- An abortion may be performed at 20 or more weeks postfertilization (22 weeks after the last menstrual period) only in cases of life or severely compromised physical health. This law is based on the assertion, which is inconsistent with scientific evidence and has been rejected by the medical community, that a fetus can feel pain at that point in pregnancy.
- The state prohibits abortions performed for the purpose of sex selection.
When do I need to make my decision?
It’s important not to delay making your decision. Legal abortion is safer and easier the earlier it’s done in pregnancy. The majority of abortions are carried out before 13 weeks of pregnancy, and almost all of the rest are carried out before 20 weeks.
Abortion after 22 weeks of pregnancy isn’t common, but is legal in certain circumstances (for example, if it’s less likely to cause harm to your physical or mental health than continuing with the pregnancy or there’s a substantial risk of physical or mental disability if the baby was born).
Will anyone else be told about my abortion?
If you have an abortion, no matter what age you are, you have a right for that information to remain confidential. This means that information can’t be shared with anyone else without your agreement. If you have any worries about confidentiality discuss this with the doctor or nurse you speak to about your abortion.
All information, advice, and services are confidential, but healthcare professionals are obliged, with your knowledge, to involve social services if they suspect you, or another person, to be at significant risk of harm (for example, sexual, emotional or physical abuse).
What’s involved in an abortion?
For some people, deciding whether or not to have an abortion is easier if you know how an abortion is carried out. There are different abortion procedures, and the method used depends on how long you’ve been pregnant, your medical suitability and your preferences.