Why This Kansas Ob-Gyn And Her Father Are Suing The State To Stop Its New Abortion Ban

WASHINGTON — Working as an abortion provider is increasingly dangerous in any state, let alone in Kansas.

But the father-daughter pair of Drs. Herbert Hodes and Traci Nauser have continued to provide abortions and other reproductive health services, with more than 40 years of combined experience serving Kansas patients between them. Their clinic in Overland Park, the Center for Women’s Health in Kansas, is one of only three that offers abortions in the state. Over the years, they’ve weathered restrictions such as insurance coverage bans for the procedure, mandatory parental consent and ultrasound laws, a 24-hour waiting period, new licensing regulations that almost forced them to stop providing abortions and state-mandated speeches they must give to their patients.

Now, Hodes and Nauser are serving as plaintiffs in a lawsuit against a new law that could block them from using the most common method for second-trimester abortions, called dilation and evacuation (D&E). The suit, filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights, seeks to have the legislation blocked before it takes effect July 1. A hearing for the suit hasn’t yet been scheduled.

The law in question bans what the anti-abortion advocates behind it describe as “dismemberment abortion” by prohibiting doctors from using forceps, clamps, scissors or other instruments to remove a fetus from the womb. Reproductive rights advocates say the measure is a public relations stunt, aimed at using graphic language to turn people against the procedure altogether. Its supporters think the policy “has the power to transform the landscape of abortion policy” in the United States.

Since nearly 90 percent of abortions are performed in the first trimester, the ban would affect the approximately 8 or 9 percent of abortions performed using D&E. Ninety-five —> Read More