Last spring, the Kansas Supreme Court blocked a law banning dismemberment abortion, which would have effectively protected unborn life after 16 weeks, concluding that the phrase “inalienable natural rights” means that an unborn baby may be dismembered in his mother’s womb.
The “right to abortion” is nowhere to be found in the text of the Kansas Constitution—just as it is not found in the U.S. Constitution. Despite this, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled in Hodes & Nauser v. Schmidt that the state constitution does include a right to abortion, essentially fashioning this right out of thin air.
Sound familiar? That’s pretty much what the U.S. Supreme Court did in Roe v. Wade, too.
The Kansas Supreme Court’s ruling protects this fabricated “right to abortion” if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe. While overturning Roe would allow state legislatures to guarantee unborn children the right to life throughout all stages of prenatal development, decisions like the Kansas Supreme Court’s would block many pro-life laws and preserve abortion even with Roe overturned.
That is why cases like Schmidt are so important—and potentially devastating.
But most Kansas legislators are not content to let the Kansas Supreme Court dictate poor interpretations of the law. Kansas’s pro-life legislators took action to reverse that ruling.
Earlier this month, the Kansas Senate passed a proposed constitutional amendment declaring there is no right to abortion in the state. And last week, the House voted on it as well. The House voted in favor of the bill 80-43, but failed by four votes to obtain the two-thirds majority needed. But if Kansas elects a few more pro-life politicians in the upcoming election, the state may be able to ratify the amendment next year, which would effectively overturn the Kansas Supreme Court’s ruling in Schmidt.
The people of Kansas are fighting for the right to pass pro-life laws. But Kansas isn’t the only state facing such legal challenges.
The Fight for Commonsense Abortion Regulations
On March 4, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in June Medical Services v. Gee. The case concerns a Louisiana law that requires abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. This requirement protects the health and safety of women because hospitals will likely not grant admitting privileges to doctors who are incompetent or violating health standards. Additionally, if a woman suffers complications during an abortion—such as a perforated uterus or pre-eclampsia—this law ensures that the abortion doctor can admit and treat her at a hospital with no break in the continuity of care, protecting the patient’s health.
Doctors at ambulatory surgical centers in Louisiana are already required to have admitting privileges, and Louisiana’s commonsense law simply extends this regulation to abortion providers. But abortionists have sued to block this law from taking effect. ADF filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of former, current, and incoming Louisiana legislators for this case. The brief encourages the Court to uphold Louisiana’s law protecting women’s health and points out that abortion doctors shouldn’t be allowed to hijack women’s rights to challenge a law that helps make women’s medical care safer. We are hopeful the Supreme Court will uphold the law.
North Dakota is facing a legal fight for a commonsense abortion regulation as well. A state law requires that mothers seeking an abortion be informed of the biological fact that abortion terminates the life of a “separate, unique, living human being.”
The law also requires mothers to be informed that the chemical abortion process may be reversible if treated quickly. The Abortion Pill Reversal protocol is a cutting-edge treatment involving doses of progesterone intended to counteract the effects of the first pill taken in a chemical abortion and, as a result, save the child. To date, over 900 mothers have saved their unborn children with this treatment!
We always expect our doctors to inform us of everything we need to know about a medical procedure – it’s part of informed consent. And we recognize that doctors hiding important information from patients is wrong. But that is exactly what abortion providers want to do: they want to operate on a lower standard than other medical professionals to keep their patients in the dark when it comes to the truth about abortion.
That’s why abortion advocates have challenged North Dakota’s law in court. Fortunately, the court has granted ADF’s motion to intervene in the case on behalf of Heartbeat International, and we are helping to defend this state law and protect the rights of women to be told the truth about abortion.
Please pray for the pro-life efforts in Kansas, Louisiana, and North Dakota. The legal challenges to pro-life laws are numerous. But we have recently seen inspiring progress, and we will continue moving forward until the legal right to life is guaranteed for everyone.
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