Kansas Judge Blocks Ban on Second-Trimester Abortion Procedure

Judge says ban on abortion using D&C surgery likely violates Kansas and U.S. Constitutions.


Steve Rhodes/Flickr

A district court has temporarily blocked the state of Kansas from enforcing its recent ban on the most common type of surgical abortion procedure. Judge Larry Hendricks ruled that the first-in-the-country ban on "dilation and curettage" (D&C) surgery, which was scheduled to take effect July 1, placed an unconstitutional burden on women seeking to terminate pregnancies in the state. 

About 95 percent of second-trimester abortions in America rely on D&C surgery, according to the Center for Reproductive Rights (CFRR), a New York-based legal nonprofit that brought the case on behalf of Kansas doctors Herbert Hodes and Traci Nauser. In Kansas, 9 percent of elective abortions are performed via D&C. (The vast majority of abortions in Kansas take place before the end of the first trimester, when medication abortion is much more common.)

Judge Hendricks' order blocking the ban will remain in effect until he makes a final ruling. In today's decision, he pointed out that the Kansas Constitution independently protects abortion access as much as the U.S. Constitution does.

The blocked law "is yet another in a relentless barrage of attacks to block women's access to constitutionally protected abortion services," said Nancy Northrup, the president and CEO of CFRR, earlier this month. "The ultimate goal of those behind this law is to criminalize abortion services, one by one, until women are left with absolutely no safe or legal options." 

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  1. …he pointed out that the Kansas Constitution independently protects abortion access as much as the U.S. Constitution does.


    1. I have no firm opinion on abortion and even I find that dubious.

  2. Let the derp begin…

  3. Say, you know what would really lighten the mood around here? An abortion thread! Maybe Shikha and Sheldon can each post something in the next hour or so, too.

    1. Seriously. I’m not sure there’s enough rye whiskey in SoCal to get me through the rest of this day. Thank Jeebus I don’t have to work tomorrow.

      1. Speaking of which, how many more SCOTUS decisions are due today? I hope everyone is sitting down.

        1. They’re done for the day. I believe they’re supposed to drop some more tomorrow though, so yay.

          1. I’m seeing news about “fair housing” something-something but no mention of it here.

            1. You’re right, there’s a bunch of King v. Burwell articles, but nothing about the Fair Housing case.

      2. If Michael Bay directed nature documentaries


        1. I wonder how long it takes to make something like that at home. Hours and hours, I bet.

        2. With help from Tarantino, too much blood for Bay alone.

          1. blood and splosions — the best of both worlds

      3. SoCal? I think I asked before, but where?

        1. Work in the ‘Gundo, live up in the Highland Park-El Sereno area.

          1. Whoa. We’ve had meetups in El Segundo. Email Jesse if you want on the list.

            1. Dick pics for priority invites.

              (I’m kidding)

              Email addy is linked to mah handle.

              1. (He’s not kidding.)

                1. I just sent him pics of Anthony Wiener’s dick. He didn’t seem to know the difference.

                  1. I’m hurt by your dick pic duplicity, Hugh. Impressed, but hurt.

                    And find I’m *mostly* kidding, but am always looking for additions to The Vault.

              2. Hotmail? It’s a trap!

    2. Well, we could talk about Danger 5 instead…

      1. I’m down! Such a pleasant surprise that show was – I figured it’d be campy, but damn, they actually managed to leverage crap budget into something awesome. And the series 2, while less fun, was quite touching in bits. Also, clearly at least some people on the team grew up in 80s – their genre stuff was bang-on.

        1. I’m actually enjoying season 2 more than season 1. It’s even more insane, and McKenzie is my favorite character at this point.

          1. I’m an Elsa man, heart and soul! I missed Colonel slapping down Claire at the beginning of every episode in Season 2.

            1. Oh yes, Ilsa is gorgeous. All the characters are actually great. but McKenzie is so ludicrous that I can’t help but love him.

  4. In today’s decision, he pointed out that the Kansas Constitution independently protects abortion access as much as the U.S. Constitution does.

    How pass?. Didn’t he get the memo? It’s the intention of the legislature that governs now, not the law itself.

  5. So now we care what the Constitution says?

    1. Only when the King says it’s okay.

  6. Oh look… and ENB post… about abortion. How droll.

    1. Look, do you want the woman writing about important stuff, like Robertscare or Federal subpeonas? Of course not. So you stick her on the uterus beat and forget about her.

      I mean, I don’t like the idea of a woman writing about abortion politics anymore than you do. Abortion has nothing to do with them. But Reason had a quota so they had to hire at least one of them. Let her prattle on and look pretty. There’s no need to rock the boat. She’ll get knocked up and quit soon anyway.

      1. I mean really. A woman? Caring about abortion issues? I’ve never heard anything so ludicrous in my life.

        1. There’s a difference between caring and obsession.

          1. There’s a difference between an obsession and a beat.

        2. Any woman who has ever had your cooking cares about the culinary abortion they were forced to eat.

          1. Oh, so your mom told you about that? Well, that’s a spanking for her. Should I take pics for you?

      2. Look Sug, he just knows that since there are no female libertarians, the topic has no interest to H&R’s readers. Know your audience, ENB.

        1. You do realize that when you contract Nutrasweet’s name like that you’re basically demanding that all your posts be read in the voice of Nancy Hicks-Gribble?

          1. She is honoring my Southern heritage, you thunderous boob.

            1. She could do that by waving a Confederate Battle Flag in your general direction.

      3. Wait I thought Robby was the one they hired to look pretty.

        1. Different strokes for different folks.

        2. The sight of Robby’s hair is something my mind doesn’t have a place for. It’s like getting bit on the stomach by a horse.

          1. Stop! You’re making me blush.

        3. No, he is the one they hired to make us feel unsafe.

          1. I’m sure you mean “confused”

    2. Somebody with lots of free time should do a quantitative breakdown to help establish if ENB is really as abortion obsessed as many of us think.

      Like, what percent of her posts are about abortion? How many abortion posts per week does she do? When she does AM or PM links, how often does one of them involve abortion? And how would these figures compare to something like Doherty’s or Sullum’s focus on gun rights?

      I admit my gut feeling is that no Reason writer is as fanatical about gun rights (or any issue) as ENB is about her pet cause. But maybe the numbers would show otherwise.

      1. Why do you think it’s “her pet cause” rather than her job?

        1. I’m not sure someone would want that job unless they cared about it a lot more than the average person.

        2. Obviously when the men cover guns, it’s purely out of a rational interest in a political topic in the news, but my coverage of my assigned beat is driven by fanatical obsession, because: lady

          1. Did anyone say it was because you were a lady besides sf facetiously?

            1. I am never facetious. I should have you beaten for your insolence.

      2. FTR, I just did a quick count: of the 43 posts (not including a.m. links) I’ve done between May 1 and today, 7 were about abortion issues.

  7. Judge Larry Hendricks serves on the Shawnee County District Court – a state court. (an elected position, I should assume)

    A Google search shows that, in 2012, Judge Hendricks prohibited the son of a cop from publishing a book based on his dad’s notes on a notorious crime.* Then, *two years later,* Hendricks decided that, you know, his previous order may have violated freedom of the press, so he withdrew the order. Whoops!

    * the killings covered by Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood


  8. Roberts asked exactly one question in the case. Obvious he was going to save this thing from the start.


  9. D&Cs; are also frequently performed after miscarriages, so the law would have had a broader impact on women health than just abortion rights.

    1. A miscarriage is just a murder without enough evidence to charge anyone.

      1. You are on a roll, sir.

        1. a big ol’ jelly roll

      2. I think what you meant to say was, “do you mean a spontaneous abortion?”

        1. When a child dies, there is always someone who is to blame. Investigate and charge, every time.

    2. Would you say it would have been…

      ( ?_?)??-?

      …a miscarriage of justice?


      1. Yeeeeeeeeaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!!!

  10. Semi OT question. The Reason commentariat are “crude trolls” who “damage the libertarian reputation” because we use dirty words and sometimes graphic imagery in semi private discussions. Yet the young “ladies” who march with their tits out, or carry signs like in the picture(fuck yea for choice) are apparently brave freedom fighters. What gives?

    1. The tits one is obvious. Always march with your tits out.

      1. It works for Episiarch.

  11. I have never understood why someone would need a second trimester abortion unless some medical condition has become apparent. If it is elective they should have elected to before then.

    Holy Fuck. I knew Roberts was going to uphold Commiecare but Jeebus, just telling bald faced lies?

    I can’t read all the articles and comments. I am just going to get drunk. We live in a goddamn fuckin’ banana republic. Of course I knew this already, but seeing it displayed so openly is depressing.

    Maybe I can get my balance back and comment later.

    1. I think it’s a bit misleading to characterize these as second-trimester abortions. If the ban is on D&C, leaving medical abortion as the only alternative, it’s much more than second-trimester. You can only get a medical abortion up to 10 weeks.

  12. OT: Just received an email from Rand saying he’d fight for a 100% repeal of Obamacare if elected. One more reason to vote for him.

  13. ENB is awesome!

  14. A Kansas judge has blocked a ban on the late-term abortion procedure known as dilation and evacuation.

    Which sounds pretty barbaric until you realize that it actually IS pretty barbaric.

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