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Kansas Appeals Court Considers So-Called Dismemberment Abortion Ban

Photo by Stephen Koranda
Photo by Stephen Koranda

Judges on the Kansas Court of Appeals are considering whether a new abortion law should be allowed to move forward. The law barring so-called “dismemberment abortions” was temporarily blocked by a lower court. The measure bans a procedure where a fetus is removed with tools in pieces.

Janet Crepps, with the Center for Reproductive Rights, says the ban will take away one of the least-risky options for women seeking abortions.

“If the law takes effect, women are going to lose the ability to access the safest procedure and have to undergo (a) physically invasive procedure in order to get their abortions,” says Crepps.
Crepps says Kansans have a right to abortion under the state Constitution and a lower court agreed. Attorneys for the state disagreed at the hearing, saying no such right exists in the Kansas Constitution.

Mary Kay Culp, with the group Kansans for Life, says creating a new right under the state Constitution could have far-reaching consequences.

“If a right to an abortion is discovered here, like was discovered in Tennessee, it can knock down every single abortion law we passed and can make the state pay for abortions,” says Culp.


The full Kansas Court of Appeals, made up of 14 judges, heard the arguments and will decide whether the law should move forward or remain on hold.


Stephen Koranda is KPR's Statehouse reporter.