Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Kansas Court Protects Reproductive Rights
Thank you Kansas! A state with a history of passing some of the most restrictive anti-abortion laws in the country has revealed itself to be a defender of a woman's right to choose. The Kansas Supreme Court upheld women's reproductive rights with only one dissenter and declared that any legal issue involving personal autonomy is determined under the highest standard of strict scrutiny. The court gave hope to pro-choice advocates early in the opinion stating: "Kansas Courts have the authority to interpret Kansas constitutional provisions independently of the manner in which federal courts interpret similar or corresponding provisions of the United States Constitution. This can result in the Kansas Constitution protecting the rights of Kansans more robustly than would the United States Constitution."
The court based its decision soley on the provisions of the Kansas constitution, setting a roadmap for possible future strategies for challenges to state anit-abortion laws.
"Section 1 of the Kansas Constitution Bill of Rights affords protection of the right of personal autonomy, which includes the ability to control one's own body, to assert bodily integrity, and to exercise self-determination. This right allows a woman to make her own decisions regarding her body, health, family formation, and family life—decisions that can include whether to continue a pregnancy."