Good News: In a 6-1 ruling the Kansas Supreme Court blocks a ban on abortion and rules that the state constitution guarantees a woman’s right to choose an abortion.
The Kansas Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the state’s constitution protects a woman’s right to an abortion and upheld an injunction blocking a state law that would have banned a common second trimester abortion procedure.
The Kansas Constitution protects a woman’s right to an abortion, the state’s supreme court ruled Friday.
The landmark ruling now stands as the law of the land in Kansas with no path for an appeal. Because it turns on the state’s constitution, abortion would remain legal in Kansas even if the Roe v. Wade case that established a national right to abortion is ever reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court.
In their ruling the court wrote:
Section 1 of the Kansas Constitution Bill of Rights affords protection of the right of personal autonomy, which includes the ability 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.
Reactions to the news have been predictable, with Democrats praising the fair and sensible ruling, and Republicans lashing out in anger.
For example, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly, a Democrat, said:
While federal law has long guaranteed every woman the right to make their own medical decisions in consultation with their healthcare providers, I’m pleased that the Kansas Supreme Court’s decision now conclusively respects and recognizes that right under Kansas law as well.
While Susan Wagle, the Republican president of the state senate, said:
Today the liberal, activist Supreme Court showed just how out of touch they are with Kansas values.
We understand that life is sacred, beginning at conception, and we must always stand and defend the most vulnerable among us, the unborn.
— Sherman Smith (@sherman_news) April 26, 2019
It cannot be said enough: Your body, your choice.
This is a win for reproductive rights advocates across the country, and an important reminder that we must continue the fight to protect safe, legal abortion.https://t.co/sgiljOTKst
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) April 26, 2019
BREAKING: The Supreme Court of Kansas has just ruled that the state’s constitution protects the right to abortion! This ruling means that abortion rights are protected across the state of Kansas—even if Republicans were to successfully roll back Roe. https://t.co/Tr31o7KA42
— NARAL (@NARAL) April 26, 2019
BREAKING: Great news! The Kansas Supreme Court just ruled that the right to abortion is guaranteed under the state constitution! This historic decision reaffirms what we already know: attempts to undermine abortion access are unconstitutional.
— Center for Reproductive Rights (@ReproRights) April 26, 2019
Some ask “What’s the matter with Kansas?” Today everything’s right with Kansas: its Supreme Court ruled that the state’s constitution “allows a woman to make her own decisions regarding her body … decisions that can include whether to continue a pregnancy.” Way to go, #Kansas!
— Barbara Boxer (@BarbaraBoxer) April 26, 2019
Bottom line: In a huge legal victory for human rights, the Kansas Supreme Court rules that the state constitution guarantees a woman’s right to choose an abortion.