Are abortion's days numbered in Kansas? The consensus among both abortion-rights supporters and opponents is "maybe." The state Legislature passed rigid new restrictions on abortion clinics in April, which included increased power for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to rewrite standards for clinics. The KDHE complied, releasing the new standards on June 17, and they won't be easy for abortion providers to meet.
Mother Jones reports:
The new requirements require facilities to add extra bathrooms, drastically expand waitingKansas clinics will be told by July 1 if they will receive KDHE licenses. Peter Browlie, president of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, told the Associated Press that closure is a real possibility.
and recovery areas, and even add larger janitors' closets, as one
clinic employee told me -- changes that clinics will have a heck of a time
pulling off by the deadline. Under the new rule, clinics must also acquire state certification to admit patients, a process that takes 90 to
120 days, the staffer explained. Which makes it impossible for clinics
to comply. And clinics that don't comply with the rules will face fines
or possible closure.
And, abortion doctors say, the new restrictions don't make abortions
safer or more sanitary as anti-abortion groups have claimed. From Mother Jones:
"Enactment of this type of legislation discourages health care providersJeff Pederson, administrator at Aid for Women clinic in KCK sized up
from offering abortion care and can make provisions very burdensome
and/or expensive for smaller providers," says Sharon Levin, vice
president of the National Abortion Federation, the professional group
representing abortion providers. The laws, Levin says, "do not make
abortion safer; they just make it more difficult for abortion providers
to remain open, and for women to access the abortion care they need."
abortion opponents' fast political operating, "They have a mandate from
God, and they need to make political hay while
they have control of the House and Senate and they have the governor's
Operation Rescue, a prominent Wichita-based anti-abortion organization, has seized on the momentum, issuing a press release Wednesday speculating that Kansas will soon be America's first abortion-free state.
The release says:
"We have doubts that any of the abortion clinics can meet the safetyAs with all things abortion-related, an ugly, drawn-out legal battle is likely. Gird yourself.
requirements of the new law," said Operation Rescue President Troy
Newman. "If they cannot comply, all three abortion clinics would be
forced to cease abortion operations, making Kansas the first
abortion-free state in the nation."