July 12, 2021

Kansas AG Appeals Decision Striking Down Dismemberment Abortion Ban

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt
Last Wednesday, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said that he is appealing a district court's decision which struck down a 2015 Kansas law banning the dismemberment of living unborn babies.

The decision came following a 2019 decision by the Kansas Supreme Court which found a "fundamental right to abortion" implied by the Kansas Constitution's Bill of Rights. A district court used that questionable decision earlier this year to strike down the dismemberment abortion ban. State supreme courts that find an implied right to abortion in state constitutions can be even more far-reaching than Roe v. Wade, as the Kansas Supreme Court demonstrated.

Kansas legislators responded similarly to other pro-life states by approving a constitutional amendment declaring that there is no state constitutional right to abortion. That amendment will be on the ballot for voters in August 2022.

A statement from Kansas AG Schmidt's office reads,
"In April, Shawnee County District Court Judge Teresa L. Watson found the law violated the Kansas Constitution, relying on a Kansas Supreme Court decision in an earlier stage of this case that found a “fundamental right to abortion” in Section 1 of the Kansas Constitution Bill of Rights. In her ruling, Judge Watson noted that while she disagreed with the Kansas Supreme Court’s legal reasoning and conclusions in that case, she was bound by its decision. Schmidt said that, among other legal issues, he will ask the Supreme Court to reconsider its interpretation of the state constitution from the prior decision."

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