WICHITA, Kan. (AP) – The American Civil Liberties Union ended its legal challenge Friday to a Kansas law restricting private health insurance coverage for abortions.
A court filing shows the parties have agreed to dismiss all remaining claims, with each side bearing its own costs and attorneys’ fees.
The agreement follows a federal judge’s Jan. 7 ruling that, as a matter of law, the ACLU failed to provide any evidence that the Legislature’s predominant motivation in passing the 2011 law was to make it more difficult to get abortions.
The Kansas law prohibits private insurance companies from offering coverage for abortions in their general plans except for when a woman’s life is in danger. Kansas residents or employers who want abortion coverage must buy supplemental policies, known as riders.
“We are disappointed that the court’s decision will stand, despite the fact that the American public believes that politicians have no place interfering with a woman’s personal and private medical decisions,” ACLU attorney Brigitte Amri said. “A woman should have the peace of mind of knowing that her insurance will cover her medical needs no matter what happens during her pregnancy.
“Although we are not able to continue with this case, we will continue to stand up for a woman’s right to make the best choice for herself and her family.”
The Kansas attorney general’s office did not immediately return a phone message and email seeking comment on the court filing.
The case had been scheduled for trial in March to determine the larger question of whether the significant costs for abortions many women must now pay for themselves create a substantial burden on the federal right to an abortion. The joint stipulation of dismissal _ which prohibits the ACLU from raising the claims again or appealing the judge’s earlier ruling _ effectively ends the case.
Women seeking an abortion in Kansas need to buy the insurance rider or pay for the procedure out-of-pocket if their insurance policies are new or were renewed after the law took effect in July 2011.
Before the law’s passage, companies comprising 70 percent of the insurance market share in Kansas included abortion coverage in comprehensive policies, the judge noted. Between July 2010 and July 2011, the three major health insurers paid claims for 137 abortions.
The cost for an abortion at a clinic ranges from $450 to $1,675, and hospital abortions can cost upwards of $10,000.
The law was among several major anti-abortion initiatives approved by Kansas legislators and signed into law by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback, who called on lawmakers to create “a culture of life” after he took office in January 2011. Supporters of the insurance restrictions contended that people who oppose abortion shouldn’t be forced to pay for such coverage in a general health plan.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Skin Cancer in Arizona: Stats, facts and new immunotherapy drugs making strides
- Caring Crisis: Rising tide In Alzheimer’s disease leads to shortage of caregivers
- Distracted walking injuries end up not so funny
- Scary situations: 5 quick tips before you let a contractor in your home
- Four ways telemedicine is changing the health care industry
- 5 mistakes homeowners make in the spring
- Three rivers run through it: Exploring Arizona's waterways
- Smart home basics: things you need to know to get started
- 5 Surprising things causing back pain
- Arizona agriculture is a $17.1B industry
- Timeline: Arizona's roots in brewing history
- 5 reasons to love the D-backs this season
- Tips for taking your home entertainment experience to the backyard
- Tech-related injuries your parents never experienced
- Workers comp: Signs your co-worker could be a fraud
- Who's the real founder of America's pastime?
- Epidemic rising? What you need to know about Alzheimer's in Arizona
- 5 unforgettable Wooden Award winners
- Family and hard work are keys to success of modern dairy farmers
- Genetic testing could hold answers for colon cancer survival
- Cold beers and baseball: A beer lover's guide to Spring Training
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments
- Here’s why Gaydos went tankless with his water heater
- Bocce ball and basketball: How you can help Arizona's Special Olympics athletes
- Tips on building the best wine room in Arizona
- Avoid the nightmare: 6 tips to choose a great contractor
- Breast cancer: Improved testing and treatments means more survivors
- Failed back surgery: New hope for patients living in pain