Kansas Lawmakers Approve New Abortion Rule Stipulating Font Size

Kansas lawmakers have approved a measure requiring abortion providers in the state to provide detailed information on doctors’ histories—using 12-point Times New Roman font. The measure takes an informed-consent law already in place a step further by requiring abortion providers to include a doctor’s disciplinary record, malpractice lawsuits, state of residency and medical school, in addition to the doctor’s credentials and start date at the abortion provider’s clinic. Currently, the mandatory informed-consent forms include information on the risks associated with an abortion, as well as basic information on the doctor performing the procedure. With fewer than 10 doctors performing abortions in the state, critics of the bill describe it as an attempt to deter abortion. Sen. Lynn Rogers, a Wichita Democrat, described the requirement as “harassment” of doctors. Critics also say the font requirement is not as innocent as it seems, as many women undergoing abortions print out the required forms themselves, meaning they run the risk of getting turned away if they use the wrong font or font size under the new measure. Supporters of the legislation say the font requirement is simply meant to ensure the forms are readable, though the legislature itself uses only 10-point font, according to the Associated Press. The bill is now on its way to Republican Gov. Sam Brownback to be signed into law.