Two Abortion Rights Victories
Kansas Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Rights
The Kansas Supreme Court ruled Friday that the state’s constitution protects abortion rights, and therefore blocks a 2015 law banning second-trimester abortions. The ruling potentially paves the way for legal challenges to abortions in other states. More than 11 states across the Midwest have passed laws that ban abortion procedures after six weeks, typically before women realize they are pregnant. Judges ruled that the Kansas constitution protects the “right of personal autonomy,” and state law cannot override that right by challenging a woman’s exercise of “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 judges ruled.
Federal Judge Blocks Trump Administration Ban on Abortion Referrals
A federal judge in Washington issued a nationwide preliminary injunction Thursday temporarily blocking the Trump administration from banning abortion referrals at federally funded family planning clinics, The Hill reports.
Judge Stanley Bastian blocked the planned changes to the Title X family planning program—which was scheduled to go into effect May 3—that would have barred federal funding to clinics that referred women to abortion providers. The changes also would lift a requirement for clinics to tell women about the abortion option, and would make clinics like Planned Parenthood ineligible for federal funding. The Trump administration will now have to wait for lawsuits against the Title X rule changes to go through the courts before implementing them.
“Today’s decision is a victory for the 4 million patients nationwide who rely on trusted family planning providers for access to birth control and other essential health care,” ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project attorney Ruth E. Harlow said in a statement. “The Trump administration has made clear that they will stop at nothing to curtail access to contraception and other reproductive health services for low-income people. We will continue to fight for what is right every step of the way.”