Kansas judge blocks portions of state's new abortion law

KANSAS CITY Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:02am EDT

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KANSAS CITY (Reuters) - A Kansas judge on Friday issued a temporary injunction on two parts of the state's new anti-abortion law, while upholding the majority of far-reaching measure that goes into effect Monday.

Shawnee County District Judge Rebecca Crotty struck down a part of the law that forbids a waiver of the required 24-hour waiting period to be granted based on the woman's mental health.

Crotty also struck down a part of the law requiring abortion providers on their websites to vouch for the accuracy and independence of the state's health department material on abortions.

Crotty ruled that forcing abortion providers to attest to material would be an infringement on free speech.

Kansas is one of a handful of states, primarily in the country's south and midsection, to have passed or enacted laws restricting abortion recently. Some of the measures appeared designed to stand as challenges to Roe v. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal.

Crotty refused to issue an injunction on the rest of the measure, which was signed into law by Republican Governor Sam Brownback in April.

The law defines life as beginning at fertilization, blocks tax credits for abortion services, bars employees of abortion clinics from providing sex education in schools and bans abortions based solely on the gender of the fetus.

Crotty's injunction will stay in effect, pending future hearings, said Teresa Woody, the lawyer for doctors Herbert Hodes and Traci Nauser, who brought the lawsuit.

"We feel very good about it," Woody said regarding the ruling on Friday.

The doctors, who perform abortions, filed suit seeking an injunction on the entire abortion law.

The Kansas abortion law injunction comes on the heels of a legislative battle in Texas over a proposed ban on abortions after 20 weeks.

Republican Governor Rick Perry has called the Texas legislature back into session on Monday to resume consideration of that bill.

Kansas is one of seven states to have laws that say life begins at fertilization, according to the anti-abortion Guttmacher Institute, which researches abortion-related laws nationwide.

(Editing by Brendan O'Brien and Lisa Shumaker)

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Comments (2)
susette wrote:
The GOP insists on more narrowing of the constitution to fit the religious leanings THEY have. It was intended that all citizens should enjoy these freedoms, recognizing that people have differing values for life, liberty and the persuit of happiness. These things are not generously doled out in conservative states. While you may agree with their line of values, you should be afraid the GOP will find you in their sites one day for something about who YOU are or what YOU believe, who YOU love, where YOU worship (or don’t), and how many guns you own, which is the only thing they think the constitution was written to assure for time eternal. The only killing they agree with is execution and gun fights where you are the “defender”.

Jun 29, 2013 3:05pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
CKU wrote:
Susette,
the people against abortion aren’t just religious people. Many people consider it immoral.

Jun 30, 2013 8:59pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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