Case: Trust Women Foundation Inc. v. Schmidt

2018-CV-844 | Kansas state trial court

Filed Date: Nov. 8, 2018

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Case Summary

On November 8, 2018, the Trust Women Foundation ("Trust Women") challenged a law that would have prohibited the provision of abortion care via telemedicine in Kansas. Trust Women is a reproductive health care clinic in Kansas that has relied on telemedicine to expand its practice and meet patient requests for remote care. The Center for Reproductive Rights and a private attorney represented Trust Women in the lawsuit, which they brought in Kansas' third Judicial District (Shawnee County), in Di…

On November 8, 2018, the Trust Women Foundation ("Trust Women") challenged a law that would have prohibited the provision of abortion care via telemedicine in Kansas.

Trust Women is a reproductive health care clinic in Kansas that has relied on telemedicine to expand its practice and meet patient requests for remote care. The Center for Reproductive Rights and a private attorney represented Trust Women in the lawsuit, which they brought in Kansas' third Judicial District (Shawnee County), in Division 7. Specifically, Trust Women challenged Section 6 of the House Bill 2028, the Kansas Telemedicine Act (hereinafter “the Act”), which was scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2019. The Act backed up and enforced the external statute K.S.A. § 65-4a10, which banned abortions administered through telemedicine. The Act also said physicians may no longer provide abortion-inducing medication when in a different room than the patient. Trust Women argued that the Act burdened patients' state constitutional right to abortion, was enacted with the improper purpose of burdening patients' rights, denied equal protection to abortion patients and providers; and further, was severable from the rest of the Act. Trust Women requested declaratory judgment and injunctive relief. 

On December 31, 2018, Judge Frank Thesis approved a temporary injunction and temporary restraining order. Judge Thesis ruled that the case was controlled by an existing temporary restraining order against the state in Hodes & Nauser v. Moser, a case that challenged K.S.A. § 65-4a10 itself. This was a favorable outcome for Trust Women on the merits; however, procedurally, Judge Thesis also dismissed the case because there was no independent remaining issue about the Act. 

However, the State appealed on January 30, 2019; and also asserted that other non-enjoined Kansas regulators could enforce a ban on telemedicine abortion. Little additional information is available to the public about that appeal. The court issued a memorandum judgment on February 19, 2019 and granted a stay of the preexisting injunction on March 5, 2019, but the Clearinghouse does not have access to the associated documentation. Given the threat that non-enjoined Kansas regulators could enforce the ban on telemedicine abortion, Trust Women filed a second suit against those other regulators: Trust Women Foundation Inc. v. Bennett.

Summary Authors

Sophia Bucci (11/27/2022)

Related Cases

Hodes & Nauser, MDs, P.A. et al. v. Robert Moser, M.D et al., Kansas state trial court (2011)

Trust Women Foundation Inc. v. Bennett, Kansas state trial court (2019)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

2018-CV-844

State Trial Court Docket

July 14, 2019

July 14, 2019

Docket

120755

Kansas State Appellate Court Docket

Kansas state appellate court

July 14, 2021

July 14, 2021

Docket

2018-CV-844

Memorandum Opinion and Entry of Judgment on Plaintiff's Motion for a Temporary Injunction and Temporary Restraining Order

Dec. 31, 2018

Dec. 31, 2018

Order/Opinion

2018-CV-844

Petition

U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas

None

None

Complaint

Resources

Docket

Last updated Nov. 21, 2022, 3:01 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Kansas

Case Type(s):

Reproductive Issues

Key Dates

Filing Date: Nov. 8, 2018

Case Ongoing: Unknown

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

A reproductive health care clinic in Kansas that relies on the ability to provide telemedicine abortion

Plaintiff Type(s):

Non-profit NON-religious organization

Attorney Organizations:

Center for Reproductive Rights

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Kansas, State

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

State law

Available Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Unknown

Nature of Relief:

Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Content of Injunction:

Preliminary relief granted

Issues

Reproductive rights:

Medication abortion

Method-based abortion procedures

Telemedicine

Reproductive health care (including birth control, abortion, and others)

General:

Abortion

Affected Sex or Gender:

Female

Medical/Mental Health:

Medical care, general

Medication, administration of

Type of Facility:

Non-government non-profit