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State Abortion Laws Surface in Appellate Court

Associated Press - December 9, 2015 10:23 pm

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – A lawsuit against a Kansas ban on a common second-trimester procedure has forced the state Court of Appeals to consider how much the state constitution protects abortion rights.

The full 14-member court heard arguments Wednesday in the state’s appeal of a Shawnee County judge’s July ruling temporarily blocking enforcement of the first-in-the-nation law.

The judge agreed with attorneys for two abortion providers who said that the Kansas Constitution independently protects abortion rights. The state’s lawyers argue that such protections can’t be read into broad language about individual liberty.

The law enacted this year prohibits doctors from using forceps, clamps, scissors or similar instruments on a live fetus to remove it from the womb in pieces. Such instruments are used in dilation and evacuation procedures common during the second trimester.

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