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Federal Lawsuit Fights KS Reporting Law

The Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), on behalf of the Kansas clinic Aid for Women, filed a federal lawsuit last week seeking an injunction to the state’s new Reporting Act requiring health care workers to report all sexually active teenagers under age 16.

Claiming the law’s intent is to protect against child abuse, Kansas state attorney general Phil Kline, in an opinion dated June 18, said the law was justified in reporting teens, even if the sex was consensual and with peers, because underage sex is illegal in the state. However, Center for Reproductive Rights attorney Bonnie Scott Jones, citing a 2002 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, said violating the privacy of sexually active teens would cause “[f]ewer adolescents [to] seek the reproductive and sexual health care that is crucial to decreasing unwanted pregnancies, abortions and sexually transmitted diseases,” according to a CRR press release. CRR is representing five physicians, three social workers, two nurses, a psychologist and a sex educator against Sedgwick County District Attorney Nola Foulston in Aid for Women v. Foulston.

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Sources:

Lawrence Journal-World 10/8/03; Wichita Eagle 10/8/03; Center for Reproductive Rights 10/6/03; WIBW.com