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AG appealing court ruling on telemedicine abortion law

Release Date: Feb 01, 2019

TOPEKA – (February 1, 2019) – The attorney general is appealing a recent district court decision that appears to have blocked enforcement of a telemedicine abortion statute enacted by the legislature in 2015, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said today.

In a December 31 ruling dismissing a challenge to the state’s 2018 telemedicine abortion statute, a Shawnee County judge concluded that an injunction entered in 2011 in a different lawsuit now also prohibits enforcement of the 2015 law. The complicated legal situation involves at least three different statutes enacted years apart and two separate lawsuits filed by different plaintiffs.

“In our view, the 2015 statute that passed the legislature with overwhelming bipartisan majorities has never had its proper day in court, yet the court has now concluded that statute is enjoined from operation,” Schmidt said. “We are perplexed how the court reached this conclusion in a case challenging the 2018 law. That’s why we are using multiple avenues to ask the district court or the Court of Appeals, or both, to sort out and clarify the current state of the law.”

In addition to the appeal in the new lawsuit, Schmidt said, his office also has filed a Motion to Clarify and/or Dissolve Injunction Relating to K.S.A. 65-4a10 in the ongoing 2011 lawsuit from which the injunction originated. This filing makes clear the State does not believe, and has never agreed, that the 2011 injunction applies to the 2015 statute.

The case in which the notice of appeal was filed this week is Trust Women Foundation, Inc. v. Schmidt. The 2011 case in which the Motion to Clarify and/or Dissolve Injunction Relating to K.S.A. 65-4a10 has been filed is Hodes & Nauser v. Norman. Copies of the filings can be found at http://bit.ly/2S02ORM and http://bit.ly/2MGMMX3.

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News releases issued prior to 2011 are available through an archive hosted by the Kansas State Library.