(REVISED 4.07.2021) This lawsuit, filed on June 1, 2015, challenges a Kansas law (SB95) banning the most commonly used method of ending a pregnancy in the second trimester—a law that could force some women to undergo an additional invasive unnecessary medical procedure even against the medical judgment of her physician. The law was slated to take effect July 1, 2015. Kansas Governor Brownback signed SB 95 in April 2015 over the objections of local and national medical experts.
Major medical groups oppose political interference and medically unnecessary procedures similar to what is found in SB 95. In an amicus brief opposing the measure, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) stated that SB 95 “raises serious safety and health concerns for women as well as intrudes unnecessarily into the patient-physician relationship.”
Plaintiff(s): Hodes &, Nauser MDs, P.A.,, Herbert C. Hodes, M.D., and Traci Lynn Nauser, M.D.
Center Attorney(s): Genevieve Scott, Caroline Sacerdote, Alice Wang
We filed our complaint in state court on June 1, 2015. The trial court granted our request for a temporary injunction on June 25, 2015 and the law has remained blocked while the case proceeds. The State appealed the the temporary injunction and oral argument took place in front of the full Kansas Court of Appeals on December 9. On January 22, 2016, the Court of Appeals upheld the district court’s decision, ruling that Kansas women have a right to abortion under the Kansas Constitution. The State filed an appeal of the decision with the Kansas Supreme Court and oral argument took place on March 16, 2017.
On April 26, 2019, the Kansas Supreme Court issued a 6-1 decision in our favor, upholding the temporary injunction and ruling that the Kansas Constitution contains an independent right to abortion for the first time. The Kansas Supreme Court also clarified for Kansas courts that laws limiting abortion access must meet the highest standard of judicial review to satisfy the requirements of the Constitution.
The case was then remanded back to the trial court for a decision on the merits.
On April 7, 2021, a Kansas state court permanently blocked the state’s ban—issuing the final decision on the merits of the case. In the ruling, Judge Teresa Watson said banning D&E abortion “is not a narrowly tailored solution to the compelling state interest Defendants seek to address because, according to the evidence before the court, it would leave no alternative for second trimester abortions other than more complicated, less reliable, less tested, and high-risk procedures.”
- Kansas Ban on Standard Abortion Method Struck Down as Unconstitutional, 04/07/21
- Kansas Supreme Court Says State Constitution Protects Abortion, 05/02/19