US District Judge Kathryn Vratil refused on Sunday to block pieces of a Kansas law restricting abortion access.
Under Vratil’s decision, abortion providers must offer the state provided contested information about fetal development, including fetal pain, on their websites. This decision overruled a decision by Kansas Judge Rebecca Crotty that the provision compelling providers to post such information on their websites was a violation of free speech.
The provision was part of a far-reaching law restricting abortion access that Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed in early April. Provisions in the law include a 24 hour waiting period for women seeking abortions, requiring abortion providers to supply women with a list of abortion alternatives, and restricting abortion providers from receiving tax credits.
The law also includes a statement that life begins at fertilization. The provision establishes an official state opinion that prohibits direct or indirect support of abortion by the state of Kansas. The provision also means if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned, Kansas could argue that abortion is immediately banned in the state based on this law.
The original case was brought by Planned Parenthood on behalf of one of their clinics in Kansas. A second case from two Kansas doctors is currently pending.
Media Resources: Associated Press 6/30/13; Reuters 6/29/13; Feminist Newswire 4/8/2013, 4/2/13