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Abortion Providers Suing Kansas Over Law Banning Fetal Dismemberment

Abortion Providers Suing Kansas Over Law Banning Fetal Dismemberment

Derek Schmidt, attorney general for the state of Kansas. | (Photo: Kansas Attorney General's Office)

A father-daughter duo of abortion providers have filed a lawsuit against Kansas over the state recently passing a law that bans abortions in which a human fetus is dismembered.

Doctors Herb Hodes and Traci Nauser of the Overland Park Center for Women's Health filed suit against the state on Monday in district court, arguing that the right to dismember an unborn baby is necessary because without that right they would rely upon procedures that are more complex and risky for the mother.

"A woman seeking an abortion affected by the Act would be unable to effectuate her choice without submitting to more complex and risky procedure," reads the suit in part.

"The Act violates the rights of Plaintiffs' patients guaranteed by the Kansas Constitution by infringing on their rights to bodily integrity, access to abortion and equal protection, and further violates Plaintiffs' rights to due process and equal protection."

Jennifer Rapp, spokeswoman for the Office of Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, told The Christian Post that the "attorney general's office does not comment on pending litigation."

"As is our duty, our office will provide for a vigorous defense of the state's duly enacted laws. The plaintiffs have filed their petition in Shawnee County District court, and the State will answer in due course," added Rapp.

At issue is Kansas' Senate Bill 95, also called the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act.

Signed into law in April by Governor Sam Brownback, the Act bans dismemberment abortions save in the event of "medical emergency" on behalf of the woman.

The law defines a dismemberment abortion as "knowingly dismembering a living unborn child and extracting such unborn child one piece at a time from the uterus through the use of clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors or similar instruments that, through the convergence of two rigid levers, slice, crush or grasp a portion of the unborn child's body in order to cut or rip it off."

SB 95 passed the Senate in February with a vote of 31 yeas and 9 nays and then the House in late March with a vote of 98 yeas and 26 nays.

Kathy Ostrowski, legislative director for Kansans for Life, wrote an entry on the National Right to Life website taking issue with the suit.

"[Plaintiffs] insist that a ban on an abortion method that brutally and painfully dismembers a living unborn child somehow undermines 'women's autonomy' and 'bodily integrity'," wrote Ostrowski.

"Consider how bizarre an inversion that assertion is! The barbaric ripping apart of a living unborn baby is being demanded in the name of a so-called 'sacred relationship' between an abortionist and his client seeking an 'expeditious' termination."

The plaintiffs are being represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights. If unsuccessful, the law will take effect on July 1.


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