In a case that could lead to challenges in other states, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled Friday that the state constitution protects abortion rights. That blocks a 2015 Kansas law that banned a second-trimester abortion procedure.
Judges ruled Friday morning that the Kansas protections of the “right of personal autonomy” means state law cannot abridge the right “to control one’s own body, to assert bodily integrity, and to exercise self-determination. 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.”
The ruling found that Kansas protections could potentially override any federal restrictions on abortion, a finding that could pave the way for legal challenges to abortion laws in other states that are trying to strictly control the procedures. The ruling comes as more than 11 states across the Midwest and south have been passing laws that ban abortion procedures after six weeks — often before women even know they are pregnant.
The court’s ruling in Kansas was seen as a win for abortion rights supporters, as more groups turn to the courts to support federally backed abortion rights protected by Roe vs. Wade.