Washington D.C. — On the 43rd Anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Kansas Court of Appeals struck down a law that would have banned the safest and most commonly used method of abortion after the first trimester. In its groundbreaking decision, the Court writes: “the Kansas Constitution Bill of Rights provide the same protection for abortion rights as the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution; the district court correctly determined that the Kansas Constitution Bill of Rights provides a right to abortion.”
The Center for Reproductive Rights challenged the Kansas measure in 2015 on behalf of Herbert C. Hodes, MD, and Traci Lynn Nauser, MD — a father-daughter team of board certified ob-gyns with 40 years of combined experience in comprehensive women’s health care.
Major mainstream medical experts, like the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, opposebans on safe abortion methods, noting “these restrictions represent legislative interference at its worst: doctors will be forced, by ill-advised, unscientifically motivated policy, to provide lesser care to patients. This is unacceptable.”
Nationwide, politicians have made it clear they will stop at nothing to end access. In South Carolina politicians have introduced legislation that is intended to ban abortion completely, and in Indiana politicians have introduced legislation that could ban abortion as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, before many women even know they are pregnant. According to data from Guttmacher, politicians at the state level have passed 288 restrictions on safe, legal abortion since the 2010 elections. In fact, more than one-quarter of all abortion restrictions enacted since Roe have been passed in the last 5 years —despite the public’s overwhelming support for women’s access to safe, legal abortion.
Statement from Dr. Vanessa Cullins, Vice President for External Medical Affairs at Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“Today’s ruling on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade is a strong reminder that politicians have no place in a woman’s personal medical decisions about abortion. This ban has no basis in medicine and is part of an extreme agenda to ban abortion. It would prevent doctors from providing care based on what’s best for their patients, which is deeply disturbing. Dishearteningly, across the country we are seeing laws that threaten to take many women back to a time before Roe v. Wade. We cannot go backwards and we will continue to fight for every woman’s right to make personal medical decisions about abortion.”
Statement from Laura McQuade, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Kansas and Mid-Missouri:
“Let this ruling show, SB 95 is unconstitutional. It is unfortunate that Kansas lawmakers repeatedly need judicial reprimands for their unconstitutional policy making when it comes to women’s health. We will keep standing with our partners to fight for continued access to safe, legal and needed health care for all citizens of Kansas. Planned Parenthood Advocates of Kansas and Mid-Missouri will continue ensuring women’s access to health care remains open and available for every person, no matter how furious a fight might be required.”
Polls consistently show that the majority of Americans support access to safe and legal abortion. A recent Bloomberg Politics national poll found that 67 percent of Americans surveyed said the Supreme Court was right to rule that women have a constitutional right to abortion and agree with the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade. A VOX/PerryUndem poll found that more Americans consider themselves pro-choice than pro-life. Sixty-eight percent of Millennials don't want to see Roe overturned, and 72 percent of Republicans think abortion should be available.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With over 650 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433
January 22, 2016