Earlier today, the Kansas Supreme Court struck down a 2015 ban on one of the safest abortion procedures. The dangerous ban passed in the Kansas legislature has been replicated in other states around the country. The Court found that the Kansas Constitution protects access to abortion independent of the federal constitution. The opinion states: “At issue here is the inalienable natural right of personal autonomy...It encompasses our ability to control our own bodies, to assert bodily integrity, and to exercise self-determination."
The ruling comes as the Illinois House of Representatives is considering the Reproductive Health Act, a measure that repeals long blocked laws criminalizing some reproductive health care, replacing it with broad protections for abortion, contraception, and maternal care. The Kansas decision also is noteworthy given recent actions in several Midwest states to ban most abortion care, lawmakers in these states have been clear – these laws are designed to present an opportunity for the Supreme Court of the United States to strike down Roe v. Wade.
The ACLU of Illinois and Planned Parenthood of Illinois responded to this decision:
“The good news from Kansas underscores the power of the states,” said Colleen K. Connell, Executive Director of the ACLU of Illinois. “States like Illinois have the ability to act in order to protect access to reproductive health care for residents in the state. The Illinois House should take up the Reproductive Health Act as soon as possible to protect women across Illinois.”
“The people in Illinois need full access to reproductive health care. States across the country are introducing unconstitutional laws with the hope of banning safe, legal abortion,” said Jennifer Welch, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Illinois. “The Reproductive Health Act will solidify Illinois as a leader in reproductive freedom. The Illinois House has a responsibility to act on behalf of Illinois residents.”