Kansas Supreme Court to Examine Abortion Laws

(RepublicanNews.org) – The top court in Kansas will hear arguments challenging two laws that restrict abortion as plaintiffs argue the 2011 and 2015 laws conflict with the state constitution.

One law was enacted in 2015 and bans a common abortion procedure used in the second trimester of pregnancy. The other is a 2011 law that plaintiffs say regulates abortion clinics more strictly than other medical facilities.

State law allows most abortions until the 22nd week. Kansas’s relatively liberal abortion laws draw women from surrounding states with stricter laws, such as Oklahoma, Missouri, and Texas.

Abortion foes worry that Kansas courts will chip away at the restrictions on abortion that have been added to the state’s laws for 30 years. The issue has become hot again after the US Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade decision in 2022.

Roe was a 1973 Supreme Court decision that found that American women had a constitutional right to abortion, which the court argued could be inferred from the Constitution’s protection of citizen “privacy.” In 2022, the Supreme Court overturned its earlier decision, stating that it had been incorrectly argued and that its legal theory was inaccurate and not fit for purpose.

This recent decision returned the right to regulate abortions fully to individual states. Abortion proponents have incorrectly stated that the Supreme Court ruling “took away women’s right to abortion.”

Both Kansas laws before the state Supreme Court have not been enforced for years as they’ve been blocked by court injunctions. In 2019, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that abortion was a “fundamental” right under the state constitution. In response, Republicans offered a proposed state constitutional amendment on the ballot that would delete that right, but voters rejected it.

The Kansas Supreme Court must now decide cases that will determine if the state can restrict the medical methods doctors use to end second-trimester abortions and whether the extra health and safety rules imposed on abortion clinics constitute a violation of the state constitution’s guarantee of a right to abortion.

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