This afternoon, the Kansas Senate passed a “technical clarification” [S Sub HB 2228] that aims to get a 2011 ban on “webcam abortions” into effect in Kansas.
So-called “webcam abortions” are premised on the abortionist never being in the same room as the woman obtaining abortion pills.
15 other states have such bans already in place, with 2 more going into effect in July.
The Overland Park, Kansas father-daughter abortion duo at the Center for Women’s Health had sued the entire Kansas 2011 Abortion Clinic Licensure law and obtained a block against it before it was scheduled to go into effect. The law included language governing abortions “by pill.”
CWH attorneys had complained that the original abortion pill provision potentially interfered with medication-induced abortions in hospitals. Today’s language should satisfy them of legislative intent. This would allow the Kansas Attorney General to petition the Shawnee County District Court to grant a motion allowing the abortion pill provision it to go into effect while litigation proceeds.
Sen. Jacob LaTurner (R-Pittsburg) carried the measure, which passed 39-0 without debate. The House is expected to take up the measure next week after the holiday break.
The new language clarifies that, except in the case of labor induction abortions at hospitals, the RU 486 (mifepristone) abortion drug
“shall initially be administered by or in the same room and in the physical presence of the physician who prescribed, dispensed or otherwise provided the drug to the patient.”
The new language also grants an exception for a medical emergency posing a threat to the mother’s life or physical health. As updated last year, “medical emergency” applies uniformly to all Kansas abortion statutes and satisfies the past concerns of the abortion clinic attorneys suing this 2011 law.
S Sub HB 2228 clearly governs abortion pills– not “morning after,” “Plan B,” “Ella,” or other so–called emergency contraception governed under K.S.A. 67-6502.
The RU486 abortion pill protocol used in Kansas and nationally, typically involves a woman taking an initial dose of RU486 (mifepristone) followed within 2 days by a second drug,, misoprostol, generally taken at home.
These abortions “by pill” cause excessive bleeding– four times as much as surgical abortions– and pose serious risks to women. As of 2011, the FDA reported abortion pills resulted in at least 14 reported deaths and over 2,200 “adverse” events including 612 hospitalizations, 340 transfusions and 58 undetected (and life-threatening) ectopic pregnancies.
Despite the risky nature of this protocol, abortionists in Iowa implemented “webcam” abortions that excluded an in-person exam or consultation with a physician. In a “webcam” abortion, the pills are dispensed via a drawer beneath a computer screen, activated after on-screen contact with a long-distance physician.
Of note, the Iowa medical board opposes the substitution of a webcam contact for an in-person abortion exam and consult. The Iowa webcam ban, after being upheld in district court, is being appealed by Planned Parenthood to their state Supreme Court.
Webcam abortions eliminate the expense of hiring onsite abortionists, and might especially appeal to abortion clinics that currently rely on non-resident “fly-in” practitioners, as does the South Wind Women’s Center in Wichita, Kansas.
Frankly, pro-lifers do not support abortion by any method but the legislature has the minimum duty to insure that the mother’s life isn’t going to be put at even greater risk for some economic benefit of abortion businesses.