Federal judge refuses to block Kansas abortion law

[JURIST] The chief judge of the US District Court for the District of Kansas [official website] on Sunday refused to block a portion of a Kansas abortion law [text, PDF] that requires abortion providers' websites to contain a link to a state information page. The ruling, in a suit [JURIST report] brought by Planned Parenthood, follows a ruling by a state court judge on Friday, blocking that provision [AP report]. US District Judge Kathryn Vratil cited that ruling [AP report] in refusing to block the provision, finding that Planned Parenthood would not face irreparable injury. The state court judge also blocked provisions on emergency procedures but declined to block portions banning sex-selective abortions and tax breaks for abortion providers. The remainder of the law takes effect Monday.

A number of states have recently passed laws relating to reproductive rights [JURIST backgrounder]. In April North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple [official website] signed a measure [JURIST report] banning abortions after 20 weeks gestation based on the controversial premise that a fetus can feel pain at that point. Earlier that month lawmakers in Alabama passed [JURIST report] the Women's Health and Safety Act [text, PDF] which imposes tough restrictions on abortion clinics and practitioners within the state. In March the Arkansas legislature voted to override [JURIST report] Governor Mike Beebe's recent veto of the Arkansas Human Heartbeat Protection Act [Act 301, PDF], which bans abortions "of an unborn human individual whose heartbeat has been detected ... and is twelve (12) weeks or greater gestation." That law has since been blocked by a federal judge [JURIST report].

 

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