The Kansas Supreme Court has ruled for the first time that the state constitution protects abortion rights, and has blocked a first-in-the-nation ban on a common second trimester procedure.
It prevents the state from enforcing a 2015 law that could have reduced second-trimester abortions and allows challenges to other restrictions under the state constitution.
In the court’s decision, it said the Kansas Constitution is distinct from the United States Constitution.
“This right allows a woman to make her own decisions regarding her body, health, family formation, and family life. Decisions that can include whether to continue a pregnancy,” said the court.
The decision also stymies the attempt by abortion opponents to outlaw what the law described as “dismemberment abortion.”
“We hold today that section 1 of the Kansas Constitution Bill of Rights protects all Kansans’ natural right of personal autonomy,” said the court, which went on to say includes whether to continue a pregnancy.