Reproductive rights

Kansas becomes first state to rein in the most common abortion method

(Craig Hacker/The New York Times)

On Tuesday, Governor Sam Brownback, a lifelong abortion opponent, signed a law that makes Kansas the first state to drastically restrict the most common medical technique used for second-trimester abortions. While the bill does not use any real medical terminology, it is intended to outlaw “dismemberment abortion” – graphically describing this as “knowingly dismembering a living unborn child and extracting such unborn child one piece at a time from the uterus.” It appears to ban a method known as “dilation and evacuation,” which is used in almost every abortion after the 12th or 14th week of pregnancy and considered by medical experts to be the safest and most convenient technique for most women. Anti-abortion groups are pursuing this ban as a new, galvanizing line of attack they are hoping to expand to other states, with a similar bill close to passing in Oklahoma and already proposed in Missouri, South Carolina, and South Dakota. Pro-choice groups have already announced they will be challenging the law in court. “We call it the ‘physician intimidation and criminalization act,’” Julie Burkhart, chief executive of Trust Women Foundation and the South Wind Women’s Center in Wichita, Kansas, said. “This is unconstitutional.”

Read the full story at The New York Times.

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