Earlier this month, the Kansas Attorney General announced his plans to appeal a Shawnee County Judge’s ruling which blocked an anti-choice law in the state.
Lawyers representing Attorney General Derek Schmidt filed the notice asking to overturn the ruling. Schmidt’s lawyers did not say why the Attorney General was appealing, but did argue that the abortion procedure was “inhumane.” The suit is being filed on behalf of Doctors Herbert Hodes and Traci Nauser of Overland Park, a suburb of Kansas City. Their practice is only one of three providers of abortion in Kansas.
The law in question, SB95, was drafted by the National Right to Life Committee and took effect July 1. It outlaws a “dismemberment” abortion, which essentially bans any dilation and evacuation procedure; this procedure is used in most second-trimester abortions and in about 9 percent of all abortions performed in the state. Kansas was the first state to ban this type of abortion.
District Judge Larry Hendricks ruled the ban unconstitutional, citing that it puts an undue burden on women seeking abortions since the procedure is so common. Hendricks also said that the Kansas Constitution protects abortion rights as much as the U.S. Constitution. He put the law on hold until he hears a lawsuit filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights, which he said is “likely to prevail.”
SB95 prohibits patients from finding safe, effective, and medically-proven method of second trimester abortion. The law was originally signed over objections of local, state, and national medical experts and physicians.
“We are confident this court will see the harm this law would inflict upon Kansas women,” said Nancy Northup, President and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, “and block it before even one woman is denied the care that she and her doctor have decided is best.”
Media Resources: Feminist Newswire 04/08/15; The Topeka Capital-Journal 07/01/15; Center for Reproductive Rights 06/01/15