Kansas Bill Would Allow Pregnant Women to Claim Child Support

pregnant woman and ultrasound fetus

A Republican-led bill in Kansas would acknowledge the personhood of unborn babies and allow pregnant women to claim child support for medical and pregnancy-related expenses after the date of conception. 

The bill, called Senate Bill 425, would change a state statute to include unborn children under the legal definition of child, the Kansas Reflector reported Monday. 

According to the report:

Any embryo “in utero, at any stage of gestation,” starting from the moment of fertilization, would be considered an unborn child. Courts would be required to add medical and pregnancy-related expenses to the list of factors they consider when adopting rules for child support. The legislation also specifies these expenses cannot include any costs related to “elective abortions.”

Kansas State Sen. Renee Erickson (R) introduced the bill, which was heard on Monday in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Pro-life groups expressed support for the bill during the hearing, according to the report. 

“We believe that every life is valuable and that every woman should be surrounded by a system of support during her pregnancy,” said Brittany Jones, director of policy and engagement for the anti-abortion organization Kansas Family Voice.

A spokeswoman for Kansans for Life, Mackenzie Haddix, said the bill could lead to fewer abortions by offering pregnant women financial assistance. 

“Overall, no woman should ever feel that abortion is her only option,” Haddix said.

Abortion activists oppose the bill, slamming it as an attempt to sneak “fetal personhood” into state law.

“This is a tactic that is used to make it easier to enact anti-abortion laws down the road,” said Taylor Morton of Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes. “It is in direct opposition to broad public support for abortion access in Kansas. Furthermore, you know, the lack of clarity in this bill really makes it unworkable.”

Kansas is notably one of the few states in the region that allows abortion through 22 weeks of pregnancy or when a mother’s life is in danger. In August 2022, Kansans rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that would have allowed lawmakers to outlaw abortions.


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