A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

ACLU ends challenge to Kansas abortion insurance law

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri [advocacy websites] on Friday ended their challenge to a 2011 Kansas law [HB 2075 materials] that restricts private health insurance companies from offering coverage for abortions [JURIST backgrounder] in their general plans. The withdrawal [Huffington Post report] follows a ruling [opinion, PDF] by the US District Court for the District of Kansas [official website] that the ACLU failed to prove that the legislature's primary motivation in passing the law was to make it more difficult to get an abortion. The holding prohibits the ACLU from raising the claims again or appealing the judge's earlier ruling. The court also ruled that the case would go forward to trial [JURIST report], but the parties agreed to dismiss all remaining claims, ending the case.

The lawsuit was originally filed by the ACLU [JURIST report] in 2011. In September of that year the court denied the ACLU's request for an injunction [JURIST report] to halt enforcement of the law while the litigation proceeds. Governor Sam Brownback [official website] signed HB 2075 into law in May 2011, one month after he signed two other pieces of legislation [JURIST report] restricting abortions in the state, specifically the Abortion Reporting Accuracy and Parental Rights Act [HB 2035, PDF], which requires unemancipated minors to obtain notarized parental signatures before an abortion may be performed, and the "fetal pain bill" [HB 2218, PDF], which restricts abortions beyond 22 weeks of pregnancy based on the controversial belief that a fetus can feel pain at that stage of gestation.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.