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Hodes & Nauser v. Schmidt (2015)

The Center for Reproductive Rights filed a lawsuit in state court challenging SB 95, a Kansas law that bans dilation and evacuation (D and E) abortions, the most commonly used method of ending a pregnancy in the second trimester. Plaintiffs, a father-daughter OB/GYN team with a combined 40 years of experience, allege that the ban will expose every patient to the risk of undergoing an additional invasive procedure, thus exposing patients to additional risk. They also allege that in order to avoid criminal liability under SB 95, plaintiffs will be forced to subject their patients “to a more risky and complex procedure, which may include an invasive injection that involves pain, bodily intrusion, and some risks, with no established medical benefit.”

Plaintiffs allege that SB 95 violates a person’s fundamental right to terminate a pregnancy under the Kansas Constitution, and violates abortion providers’ and women’s right to equal protection and due process under the Kansas Constitution.


On June 30, 2015, Shawnee County District Court Judge Larry Hendricks issued a temporary injunction blocking the law pending resolution of the lawsuit. On January 22, 2016, the Kansas Court of Appeals upheld the district court’s ruling marking the first time a Kansas appeals court found a right to abortion in the Kansas constitution.

On April 26, 2019, the Kansas Supreme Court, in a sweeping landmark decision, upheld the lower court rulings and found a right to abortion exists in the Kansas Constitution:

“Section 1 of the Kansas Constitution Bill of Rights affords protection of the right of personal autonomy, which includes the ability to control one’s own body, to assert bodily integrity, and to exercise self-determinations. This right allows a woman to make her own decisions regarding her body, health, family formation, and family life—decisions that can include whether to continue a pregnancy.”


**Last updated May 1, 2019