Shawnee County District Court Judge Larry Hendricks has issued a temporary block on a Kansas law banning the dilation & evacuation method of abortion, the Associated Press reports. Hailed by pro-lifers as America’s first dismemberment abortion ban, the law was enacted in April to end what a spokesman for Governor Sam Brownback calls a “horrific procedure.”
Earlier this month, the pro-abortion Center for Reproductive Rights sued the state, claiming the law would limit women to riskier methods of abortion, even though only 9 percent of Kansas abortions were D&E procedures last year. The state’s attorneys have argued that because the ban only applies to dismembering live babies and allows removing an already-dead fetus’ limbs separately, it should not be difficult for abortionists to comply.
Judge Hendricks has not yet officially ruled on the merits of the law, though his declarations that the Kansas state constitution contains a right to abortion and that alternatives to D&E “do not appear to be medically necessary or reasonable” suggest he may lean against it. This would set the stage for a federal appeals court decision, and potentially a consideration by the United States Supreme Court.
A week after the enactment of the Kansas law, Oklahoma became the second state to pass a dismemberment abortion ban. As Live Action News previously covered, abortion defenders insist “dismemberment abortion” is “medically inaccurate language,” even though the National Abortion Federation’s own materials describe “separating” “fetal parts,” matching the dictionary definition of “dismember.”