Advocates Sue to Block Radical Abortion Ban in Kansas

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Advocates Sue to Block Radical Abortion Ban in Kansas

Jessica Mason Pieklo

Reproductive rights advocates filed a lawsuit Monday in Kansas state court challenging a law that bans the most commonly used method of ending pregnancy in the second trimester.

Reproductive rights advocates filed a lawsuit Monday in Kansas state court challenging a law that bans the most commonly used method of ending pregnancy in the second trimester.

SB 95 is set to take effect on July 1 and bans dilation and evacuation (D and E) abortions, named “dismemberment abortions” by anti-choice activists. SB 95 is based on legislation drafted by the radically anti-choice National Right to Life Committee.

While the Kansas law is the first of its kind, Oklahoma’s GOP passed a similar version this spring while similar bills have been introduced in Missouri and South Carolina, where Republicans dominate state legislatures.

The lawsuit, filed by attorneys from the Center for Reproductive Rights on behalf of of a father-daughter team of board certified OB-GYNs with 40 years of combined experience, seeks to block SB 95 before it takes effect in July.

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Janet Crepps, Genevieve Scott, and Zoe Levine of the Center for Reproductive Rights filed today’s suit in Shawnee County Court in Topeka on behalf of Herbert Hodes and Traci Nauser of Overland Park. Their practice is one of three providers of abortion care in Kansas.

“This is yet another in a relentless barrage of attacks to block women’s access to constitutionally protected abortion services,” Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement following filing of the lawsuit. “The ultimate goal of those behind this law is to criminalize abortion services, one by one, until women are left with absolutely no safe or legal options.”

Laura McQuad, CEO and president of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, said the legal battle against Kansas’ anti-choice law was necessary for the safety of pregnant people.

“Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri has been working in close coordination with the groups who filed today’s lawsuit, and we fully support their case,” McQuad said. “Planned Parenthood is deeply concerned that Governor Brownback and the Kansas Legislature have put women in harm’s way by banning the safest method of second trimester abortion, a move opposed by medical authorities nationwide.”

Kansas patients must already navigate myriad obstacles when accessing basic reproductive health-care services, including a 24-hour mandatory delay for women seeking safe and legal abortion and restrictions on insurance coverage for abortion services.

Attorneys for Kansas have not yet responded to the lawsuit.