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US appeals court lifts ban on Kansas underage sex reporting law

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit [official website] Friday lifted a preliminary injunction by a lower federal court that had blocked [JURIST report] a Kansas law [text] requiring health care officials to report consensual sex by underage persons to government authorities. In a 2-1 decision, a three judge panel determined that the state's interest in enforcing criminal laws, protecting the interests of children, and promoting public health outweighed the minor's right to keep private inforamtion about their sexual conduct. Under Kansas law, sexual contact with anyone under the age of 16 is illegal. In 2003, Kansas Attorney General Phill Klein [official website] issued a legal opinion [text] on the disputed law asserting that sexual contact is inherently harmful to children, and that those who worked with minors should report sexual activity among minors, even if it is between consensual partners of similar ages. AP has more.

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