ACLU ends challenge to Kansas abortion insurance law

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri [advocacy websites] on Friday ended their challenge to a 2011 Kansas law [HB 2075 materials] that restricts private health insurance companies from offering coverage for abortions [JURIST backgrounder] in their general plans. The withdrawal [Huffington Post report] follows a ruling [opinion, PDF] by the US District Court for the District of Kansas [official website] that the ACLU failed to prove that the legislature's primary motivation in passing the law was to make it more difficult to get an abortion. The holding prohibits the ACLU from raising the claims again or appealing the judge's earlier ruling. The court also ruled that the case would go forward to trial [JURIST report], but the parties agreed to dismiss all remaining claims, ending the case.

The lawsuit was originally filed by the ACLU [JURIST report] in 2011. In September of that year the court denied the ACLU's request for an injunction [JURIST report] to halt enforcement of the law while the litigation proceeds. Governor Sam Brownback [official website] signed HB 2075 into law in May 2011, one month after he signed two other pieces of legislation [JURIST report] restricting abortions in the state, specifically the Abortion Reporting Accuracy and Parental Rights Act [HB 2035, PDF], which requires unemancipated minors to obtain notarized parental signatures before an abortion may be performed, and the "fetal pain bill" [HB 2218, PDF], which restricts abortions beyond 22 weeks of pregnancy based on the controversial belief that a fetus can feel pain at that stage of gestation.

 

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