The state Rules & Regs Board met in the Statehouse today to approve temporary regulations devised by KDHE (state health department) to administer the new abortion licensure law, going into effect tomorrow, July 1.
Planned Parenthood– after lobbying tooth and nail for nearly a decade against this law, and whining all week long about regulations as being unnecessary and impossible to achieve in short time– secured a license late today. KFL Executive Director, Mary Kay Culp, commented,
“Frankly, Planned Parenthood securing a license was never seriously in doubt and they knew it; they used it for political purposes to re-position themselves as the victims of political persecution prior to them having to return to CRIMINAL court in Johnson County on July 15th after a two year interruption caused by former AG Steve Six.
Planned Parenthood promised to withdraw a lawsuit they had filed against the licensure law, although they are still pursuing another lawsuit to regain access to Title X federal family planning money. (see court filings: motion here. memo here, and complaint here)
The other two remaining Kansas abortion businesses [Aid for Women and Center for Women’s Health] are mad as heck about the new health department regulations that they need to pass to obtain licensure, and are jointly pursuing their own federal suit against the law. They have secured a court hearing Friday afternoon for a temporary injunction that would halt the new law.
The Aid for Women Kansas City, Kansas, Medicaid clinic, which claims to do 1,400 abortions annually, wasn’t even close to passing the regulations, and thus KDHE wouldn’t even inspect the premises. (see AFW legal filings here)
The Overland Park, Kansas, Center for Women’s Health is a father-daughter ob/gyn clinic, responsible for nearly 2,100 abortions annually. They cancelled their scheduled KDHE onsite inspection. (see CFWH legal filings here)
Planned Parenthood in Johnson County, sitting just over the stateline, admits to an estimated 4,800 abortions annually. It’s worth noting that of the 8,338 abortions done in Kansas in 2010, nearly half, 4,150,were obtained by non-residents, and the the majority of them, 4,077, from Missouri.
State abortion business regulation is not a novelty, 27 states do so, though the laws often are won after protracted legal battles. Similar comprehensive facility laws like Kansas enacted cost South Carolina 7 years of litigation, and Arizona, 10 years.
Federal courts have repeatedly rejected claims that state regulation violates the “right” to abortion, or causes an undue burden. Rather, states
- may rationally regulate abortion businesses as a class while other clinics or medical practices are not,
- and such regulations serve a valid state interest, codifying national medical and abortion association recommendations designed to ensure the appropriate care of women.