Hodes & Nauser MDs, P.A. v. Schmidt

State court challenge to provisions of a Kansas law, HB 2253, that limit the medical emergency exception in Kansas abortion restriction laws. Under the law, if a physician has time to determine the gestational age of the pregnancy, then the law does not consider it a medical emergency. The new definition requires many pregnant women in life-threatening situations to wait 24 hours before obtaining an emergency abortion. The plaintiffs also challenge the portion of the law that forces physicians to make certain biased or misleading statements to patients and to attest to materials on the state’s website as “objective, nonjudgmental, scientifically accurate information.” In addition, the lawsuit contests the parts of HB 2253 that prohibit abortion providers from working or volunteering in public schools, ban University of Kansas Medical School faculty members from teaching medical students and residents how to perform abortions, and remove coverage of medically-necessary abortion services from public health insurance plans. In June 2013, the state court judge temporarily blocked the parts of the law that would have made it almost impossible for a woman to obtain an abortion in an emergency and the provision requiring providers’ web sites to certify that the materials published on the state’s “informed consent” web site are “objective, nonjudgmental, [and] scientifically accurate.” The judge refused to block the other challenged parts of the law, including provisions that ban sex-selection abortions, prohibit tax credits for abortion services or coverage, impose additional tax liabilities on abortion providers, and prohibit providers from giving materials or being instructors for public school sex education courses. Current Status: In April 2014, the state repealed the enjoined provisions, and the parties agreed to dissolve the temporary injunction. The remaining issues are pending before the court. (See the 2013 law here. See the petition here. See the temporary injunction here. See the 2014 law here. Read more about the case here.)