National Partnership for Women & Families

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

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

State court challenge to the provisions of a Kansas law, HB 2253, which 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 tell patients that “the abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being” and that “by no later than 20 weeks from fertilization, the unborn child has the physical structures necessary to experience pain.” In addition, the lawsuit contests the parts of HB 2251 which prohibit abortion providers from working or volunteering in public schools, bans University of Kansas Medical School faculty members from teaching medical students and residents how to perform abortions, and removes coverage of medically-necessary abortion services from public health insurance plans. The Center Reproductive Rights filed the lawsuit in Kansas state court. Current Status: 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 abortions in an emergency and the provision requiring providers to tell women fetuses can feel pain at 20 weeks. The judge refused to block the parts of the law that ban sex-selection abortions, block tax breaks for abortion providers, and prohibit providers from giving materials or being instructors for public school sex education courses. (See the Kansas Law here. See the petition here. Learn more about the case here.)