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65-6701. Definitions. As used in K.S.A. 65-6701 through 65-6721, and amendments thereto:

(a) (1) "Abortion" means the use or prescription of any instrument, medicine, drug or any other means to terminate the pregnancy of a woman knowing that such termination will, with reasonable likelihood, result in the death of the unborn child.

(2) Such use or prescription is not an "abortion" if done with the intent to:

(A) Preserve the life or health of the unborn child;

(B) increase the probability of a live birth;

(C) remove a dead unborn child who died as the result of natural causes in utero, accidental trauma or a criminal assault on the pregnant woman or the unborn child; or

(D) remove an ectopic pregnancy.

(3) "Abortion" does not include the prescription, dispensing, administration, sale or use of any method of contraception.

(b) "Bodily function" means physical functions only. The term "bodily function" does not include mental or emotional functions.

(c) "Counselor" means a person who is: (1) Licensed to practice medicine and surgery; (2) licensed to practice professional or practical nursing; (3) the following persons licensed to practice behavioral sciences: Licensed psychologists, licensed master's level psychologists, licensed clinical psychotherapists, licensed social workers, licensed specialist clinical social workers, licensed marriage and family therapists, licensed clinical marriage and family therapists, licensed professional counselors, licensed clinical professional counselors; (4) a licensed physician assistant; or (5) a currently ordained member of the clergy or religious authority of any religious denomination or society. Counselor does not include the physician who performs or induces the abortion or a physician or other person who assists in performing or inducing the abortion.

(d) "Department" means the department of health and environment.

(e) "Fertilization" means the fusion of a human spermatozoon with a human ovum.

(f) "Gestational age" means the time that has elapsed since the first day of the woman's last menstrual period.

(g) "Medical emergency" means a condition that, in reasonable medical judgment, so complicates the medical condition of the pregnant woman as to necessitate the immediate abortion of such woman's pregnancy to avert the death of the woman or for which a delay necessary to comply with the applicable statutory requirements will create serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function. No condition shall be deemed a medical emergency if based on a claim or diagnosis that such woman will engage in conduct that would result in such woman's death or in substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.

(h) "Minor" means a person less than 18 years of age.

(i) "Physician" means a person licensed to practice medicine and surgery in this state.

(j) "Pregnant" or "pregnancy" means that female reproductive condition of having an unborn child in the mother's body.

(k) "Qualified person" means an agent of the physician who is a psychologist, licensed social worker, licensed professional counselor, licensed marriage and family therapist, licensed master's level psychologist, licensed clinical psychotherapist, registered nurse or physician.

(l) "Unemancipated minor" means any minor who has never been: (1) Married; or (2) freed, by court order or otherwise, from the care, custody and control of the minor's parents.

(m) "Viable" means that stage of fetal development when it is the physician's judgment according to accepted obstetrical or neonatal standards of care and practice applied by physicians in the same or similar circumstances that there is a reasonable probability that the life of the child can be continued indefinitely outside the mother's womb with natural or artificial life-supportive measures.

History: L. 1992, ch. 183, § 1; L. 1997, ch. 190, § 26; L. 2000, ch. 162, § 25; L. 2011, ch. 44, § 3; L. 2013, ch. 119, § 12; L. 2014, ch. 87, § 3; L. 2023, ch. 88, § 4; July 1.

Cross References to Related Sections:

Partial birth abortion, see 65-6721.

Fetal organs or tissue, sale or transportation of, see 65-67a01 et seq.

Abortion clinic licensure, see 65-4a01 et seq.

Abortion facility licensure, see 65-4a01 et seq.

Law Review and Bar Journal References:

"A Primer on Posthumous Conception and Related Issues of Assisted Reproduction," Michelle L. Brenwald and Kay Redeker, 38 W.L.J. 599 (1999).

Attorney General's Opinions:

Medical treatment for ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage or fetal demise is not an abortion. 2022-7.


1. Whether trial court erred by construing K.S.A. 65-6705 more restrictively than legislature intended examined; judicial procedure discussed. In re Doe, 19 Kan App. 2d 204, 209, 866 P.2d 1069 (1994).

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