Kansas Appellate Court rules for a Kansas Right to Abortion
January 22, 2016

AP) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt says he’ll ask the state Supreme Court to review a ruling from a lower court that blocks the state from enforcing its first-in-the-nation ban on a common second-trimester abortion procedure.
The Republican attorney general said in a statement that Friday’s ruling from the Kansas Court of Appeals provides little legal clarity.
The Court of Appeals split 7-7, allowing a trial-court judge’s decision against the 2015 law to stand. The split means the Court of Appeals upheld the trial-court judge’s finding that the state constitution protects abortion rights independently of the U.S. Constitution.
Schmidt said he’s always anticipated that the Kansas Supreme Court will have to decide the issue.
A national abortion-rights group says this is a groundbreaking ruling in blocking enforcement of a ban on a common second-trimester abortion procedure.
The New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights noted that the Friday decision was the first time an appellate court in the conservative state said the Kansas Constitution protects abortion rights independently of the U.S. Constitution.
An anti-abortion leader and a top Kansas legislator are dismayed by a Kansas Court of Appeals ruling that blocks enforcement of the state’s first-in-the-nation ban on a common second-trimester abortion procedure.
Kansas Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce says he can’t imagine a scenario where the framers of the Kansas Constitution meant to legalize abortion.

Kansas Appeals Court Considers State Abortion Law
December 9, 2015

(AP) – A lawsuit against a Kansas ban on a common second-trimester procedure has forced the state Court of Appeals to consider how much the state constitution protects abortion rights.

The full 14-member court heard arguments Wednesday in the state’s appeal of a Shawnee County judge’s July ruling temporarily blocking enforcement of the first-in-the-nation law.

The judge agreed with attorneys for two abortion providers who said that the Kansas Constitution independently protects abortion rights. The state’s lawyers argue that such protections can’t be read into broad language about individual liberty.

The law enacted this year prohibits doctors from using forceps, clamps, scissors or similar instruments on a live fetus to remove it from the womb in pieces. Such instruments are used in dilation and evacuation procedures common during the second trimester.

Stay on a Kansas Abortion Law Remains in Place for Now
September 2, 2015

AP) – The Kansas Supreme Court is refusing for now to review a district court judge’s order blocking the nation’s first ban on a common second trimester procedure.
The high court’s 4-3 decision this week means that the state Court of Appeals first will handle a lawsuit filed by two abortion providers against a law that was supposed to take effect in July.
The law embodies model legislation from the National Right to Life Committee and bans what abortion opponents call “dismemberment abortion.”
Shawnee County District Judge Larry Hendricks in June temporarily blocked the law, and the state appealed.
Both sides wanted the Supreme Court to take the case immediately, but the court declined Monday without explanation. The Court of Appeals on Wednesday set an expedited schedule for its review

Will Planned Parenthood’s Video Trouble Push Spread of Kansas Tough Abortion Laws?
July 23, 2015

AP) – Abortion opponents are using questions about Planned Parenthood’s handling of fetal tissue to bolster arguments that other states should follow Kansas in approving a ban on a common second trimester procedure.
But abortion rights supporters Thursday decried what they saw as another episode in an ongoing campaign to limit access to abortion services.
Anti-abortion activists have released two videos of Planned Parenthood officials discussing how they provide organs from aborted fetuses for research.
Abortion opponents said prohibiting a common second-trimester procedure that they describe as dismembering a fetus would restrict potential trafficking in fetal tissue.
Kansas enacted the nation’s first such ban earlier this year, but a state district court judge last month temporarily blocked it from taking effect. It embodies model legislation from the National Right to Life Committee.

Missouri Lawmakers Plan St. Louis Planned Parenthood Probe
July 17, 2015

(AP) – Two Republican state lawmakers from Missouri announced plans Friday to investigate the state’s only abortion facility after anti-abortion activists released an undercover video showing Planned Parenthood’s national medical director discussing the disposition of parts from aborted fetuses.
The video, which shows Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood’s senior director of medical services, discussing procedures for providing fetal body parts to researchers, has spurred outrage from a number of Republican elected officials nationwide.
While the commercial sale of fetal tissue is outlawed, Planned Parenthood, which provides abortions and other reproductive health services, said in response to the video that it legally helps women who want to make not-for-profit donations of their fetus’ organs for scientific research.
Republican Reps. Andrew Koenig, chair of the Missouri’s House Ways and Means Committee, and Diane Franklin, chair of the House Children and Families Committee, said they will coordinate a joint investigation into whether the Planned Parenthood clinic in St. Louis sold aborted fetuses for profit. The investigation follows similar investigations in Georgia and Indiana, as well as a probe announced Wednesday by three Republican-led congressional committees.