- Associated Press - Friday, January 22, 2016

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - The Kansas Court of Appeals released a ruling Friday that maintains a hold on the state’s first-in-the-nation ban on a common second-trimester abortion method, while also saying that the Kansas Constitution protects abortion rights independent of the U.S. Constitution.

Here’s what some people are saying about the split ruling, which stems from a lawsuit challenging the ban:


“Today’s ruling is a landmark victory for Kansas women, whose rights and health have been under siege for far too long. The state Court of Appeals has rightly affirmed that Kansas women have the right to safely and legally end a pregnancy under their state constitution, free from political interference.”- Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which represents the abortion providers who sued the state.


“I am deeply disappointed in the court’s decision to allow dismemberment abortions of a living child to continue in the State of Kansas. The court’s failure to protect the basic human rights and dignity of the unborn is counter to Kansans’ sense of justice. The closeness of today’s decision highlights the importance of every single judge in upholding the right to life.” - Republican Gov. Sam Brownback.


“It sends a clear message to the Legislature that these types of acts are considered unconstitutional under the Kansas Constitution and we will continue to challenge in Kansas courts when they enact unconstitutional legislation.” - Laura McQuade, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Kansas and Mid-Missouri.


“While this ruling will go onto the Kansas Supreme Court, recent history has shown that its majority is more liberal. The need for judicial reform is more pressing than ever. The people of Kansas cannot and will not stand for these decisions to continue.”- Kansas Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce, a Republican.


“I am elated by the court’s decision in this case. Women deserve the right to access necessary reproductive health care without undue governmental interference. “- Julie Burkhart, founder and CEO of South Wind Women’s Center, a clinic providing abortion services in Wichita.


“As we have said from the outset, this important issue about the meaning of the Kansas Constitution must be decided by the Kansas Supreme Court. Today’s evenly divided decision by the Court of Appeals offers little legal clarity on that meaning. We will promptly request the Kansas Supreme Court’s immediate review.” - Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt

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