TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) Kansas’ highest court ruled for the first time Friday that the state constitution protects abortion rights and blocked a first-in-the-nation ban on a common second trimester method for ending pregnancies.
The state Supreme Court’s ruling represented a big victory for abortion rights supporters in a state with a Republican-controlled Legislature hostile to their cause. It comes with other, GOP-controlled states moving to ban most abortions in direct challenges to the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortions across the nation.
The Kansas decision prevents the state from enforcing a 2015 law that could have greatly limited second trimester abortions. But even worse for abortion opponents, the ruling clears the way for legal challenges to a string of abortion restrictions approved in recent years by state lawmakers under past Republican governors.