TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) The Kansas Supreme Court has ruled for the first time that the state constitution protects abortion rights and has blocked a first-in-the-nation ban on a common second trimester procedure.
The court’s ruling Friday was a major victory for abortion rights supporters in a state with an anti-abortion Legislature.
It prevents the state from enforcing a 2015 law that could have reduced second-trimester abortions and allows challenges to other restrictions under the state constitution.
The court said language in the Kansas Constitution guaranteeing individual rights protects a woman’s right to obtain an abortion independent of the U.S. Constitution. Kansas courts could strike down restrictions that have been upheld by the federal courts.
The decision also stymies the attempt by abortion opponents to outlaw what the law described as “dismemberment abortion.”
Senator Jerry Moran released the following statement. “I am saddened by today’s State Supreme Court decision. An unborn child is a distinct human being and our laws should defend its right to life. This decision underscores the urgent need for federal legislation that will protect innocent life at all stages, and I will continue working to see such legislation achieved.”