Opponents and supporters of abortion rights for women are reacting to a Kansas Court of Appeals split 7-7 ruling on Friday on the legality of a controversial second trimester abortion procedure medically known as dilation and evacuation. Opponents call the procedure “dismemberment abortion.” The split decision means a lower court ruling will continue to block the law from taking effect. Kathy Ostrowski, with Kansans for Life, objects to the way Kansas courts and lawmakers have handled the issue.
Ostrowski believes the lawsuit will eventually go to the federal courts and the law will be upheld. Officials at Planned Parenthood welcomed the decision, saying the ban would eliminate one of the safest options for women needing a late-term abortion. Laura McQuade of Planned Parenthood, says the decision means women will continue to have access to the procedure in Kansas.
The judges said they couldn’t agree on a lower court decision that says abortion rights are protected under the Kansas Constitution. But the Court of Appeals decision said the state was “banning the most common, safest procedure and leaving only uncommon and often unstudied options available.” Governor Sam Brownback said he is deeply disappointed in the court’s decision in is calling on the Kansas Supreme Court to take up the matter as soon as possible.