Abortion groups claim Kansas law requiring reporting of abortion statistics violates ‘bodily autonomy’

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UPDATE, July 19th, 2024: A deal has been reached between attorneys for the state of Kansas and abortionists suing them. A law requiring women choose from a survey of 18 possible reasons they are undergoing an abortion will be halted, in exchange for state attorneys getting four extra months to prepare a defense of the law. The trial has now been delayed until June of 2025.

“We are relieved that this intrusive law will not take effect,” the Center for Reproductive Rights and Planned Parenthood said in a joint statement. “This law would have forced abortion providers to collect deeply personal information — an unjustifiable invasion of patient privacy that has nothing to do with people’s health.”

Lincoln Wilson, a senior counsel for the anti-abortion Alliance Defending Freedom, which is leading the state defense, said he also is happy about the deal, saying, “The state is prepared to accept an agreement not to enforce the new law until the final judgment, provided that we get a schedule that accommodates the record that we think we need to develop in this case.”

July 6, 2024: A Kansas judge has allowed pro-abortion groups to expand an existing lawsuit to include a challenge to a new pro-life law that took effect on Monday. According to Kansas Public Radio, a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood Great Plains said the Kansas health department “has stated that it will not enforce this intrusive law for now.”

HB 2749 requires that medical facilities and doctors report to the Secretary of Health and Environment the reasons why each abortion is committed at their facility. Women would be given a survey list of 18 possible reasons for their abortion and the responses would be anonymous, though women would have the right to refuse to fill out the survey. The law also obligates the state health department to release statistics on abortion twice a year.

Though Governor Laura Kelly refused to sign the bill, her veto was overridden by lawmakers. The law took effect on July 1. Pro-abortion groups added their challenge to HB 2749 to an already existing lawsuit previously filed against the state’s 24-hour waiting period for abortions.

READ: ‘Bodily autonomy’ doesn’t mean women get to violently kill other humans

Pro-life groups in support of the law have said that it will allow more information and therefore better understanding as to why women seek abortion. This knowledge would help policymakers and pro-life groups better support women who are facing challenges during pregnancy, providing them the opportunity to choose life with confidence.

“The more data we have about why a woman chooses abortion will allow policymakers and social service agencies to help women to make an authentic choice for life if that’s what she chooses to do,” said Chuck Weber, executive director of the Kansas Catholic Conference.

Abortionists, however, called the law invasive and unnecessary. Attorneys with the pro-abortion Center for Reproductive Rights argued that it violates the Kansas Constitution because it interferes with the right to bodily autonomy.

Two other pro-life laws took effect on Monday as well. One makes it a felony to coerce a pregnant woman into an abortion. It carries a punishment of a minimum $500 fee and 30 days in jail. If the father is over 18 and coerces a minor into an abortion, the minimum jail sentence increases to 90 days and the minimum fine increases to $1,000. Coercion is defined as threatening physical harm or restraining the woman, withholding legal documents, controlling access to medication, financial harm, or threats of arrest or deportation. The third pro-life law that took effect on Monday increases funding for pro-life groups.

“They’re the front line,” Lucrecia Nold, policy specialist of the Kansas Catholic Conference, said of PRCs. “So let’s give them all of the resources that are available so that we can help these women.”

The DOJ put a pro-life grandmother in jail for protesting the killing of preborn children. Please take 30-seconds to TELL CONGRESS: STOP THE DOJ FROM TARGETING PRO-LIFE AMERICANS.

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