Due to new regulations drafted by Kansas officials, the state’s last three operating abortion clinics could be closed down — making Kansas the first state to have absolutely no abortion access.
According to the Associated Press, “the top executive for Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid Missouri said he’s concerned imposing the new regulations so quickly will force all three clinics to shut down.”
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has until July to decide whether or not they will give the clinics, which include a Planned Parenthood clinic, the licenses they need to operate.
The AP reports:
[The state agency] is imposing the rules under Republican-backed legislation that was signed into law last month by GOP Gov. Sam Brownback, a strong abortion opponent. The department sent Planned Parenthood a letter earlier this month saying its clinic would be inspected and notified by July 1 whether it would have a license. The other clinics received similar letters.
The new law requires annual inspections of abortion clinics and gives the department the power to issue fines or go to court to shut clinics down for violating the new standards. The plan was approved by the Republican-controlled Kansas Legislature earlier this year.
However, Planned Parenthood is considering entering a legal battle with the state over the new regulations and the “process used to impose them.”
Anti-abortion rights group Operation Rescue, which is based in Kansas, supported the law. The group’s president, Troy Newman, said in a recent press release that he thinks the clinics will not be in compliance with the new standards. The new standards include “having an emergency door that can accommodate a gurney … maintaining proper emergency equipment, drugs and protocols, having proper lighting and ventilation, lavatory areas, and spaces for the sterilization of surgical equipment. Clinics must also have a licensed nurse in the clinic when abortions are done.”
Newman previously told The Florida Independent that he thinks the anti-abortion rights movement should be focusing on getting abortion clinics closed. He said that “exposing the abuses of the abortion-cartel” will continue to play a big role in the group’s efforts now that the legislative session is coming to a close.
In Operation Rescue’s press release, Newman says, “We certainly believe there is no such thing as a ‘safe’ abortion clinic. Abortionists have the attitude that they are above the law and will likely not keep it, therefore the best way to protect women is to close the abortion clinics.”