LISTEN LIVE KPR - On Air: Listen Live to classical, jazz and NPR news Schedule LATEST
KPR 2 - On Air: Listen live to KPR's all talk-radio service, KPR2 Recordings

Share this page              

Evenly Divided Kansas Appeals Court Blocks 2015 Abortion Law

A first-of-its-kind Kansas law that bans a common method of performing second-trimester abortions has been blocked, as judges on the state's Court of Appeals conclude that the procedure is protected by rights of due process and equal protection.

The law was blocked after the court's full roster of judges split evenly, 7-7 — an outcome that by law affirms a lower court's injunction. The case is expected to be reviewed by the Kansas Supreme Court.

The widely watched case was initiated by three doctors, who filed a lawsuit weeks before the law was to take effect last summer. One key legal issue: whether the Kansas Constitution provides a right to abortion.

Distilling several pages of citations from the Kansas Constitution and the state's Supreme Court, the appellate court's opinion states, "we discern a simple proposition: The rights of Kansas women in 2016 are not limited to those specifically intended by the men who drafted our state's constitution in 1859."

On the other side of the issue, six of the opposing judges wrote, "there is nothing within the text or history of... the Kansas Constitution Bill of Rights to lead this court to conclude that these provisions were intended to guarantee a right to abortion."

The law in question is titled the "Kansas Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act." As NPR reported last summer, the law, with few exceptions, would ban what physicians call a "dilation and evacuation" or "D&E" abortion, the primary method for second-trimester abortions in the U.S.

The court's ruling was released on the 43rd anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Tower Frequencies

91.5 FM KANU Lawrence, Topeka, Kansas City
96.1 FM K241AR Lawrence (KPR2)
89.7 FM KANH Emporia
99.5 FM K258BT Manhattan
97.9 FM K250AY Manhattan (KPR2)
91.3 FM  KANV Junction City, Olsburg
89.9 FM K210CR Atchison
90.3 FM KANQ Chanute

See the Coverage Map for more details

Contact Us

Kansas Public Radio
1120 West 11th Street
Lawrence, KS 66044
Download Map
785-864-4530 (Main Line)
888-577-5268 (Toll Free)