In a last-minute scramble yesterday, Planned Parenthood’s clinic located in Overland Park was granted a license from a Kansas state agency allowing the clinic to continue providing legal abortion services.
The Planned Parenthood clinic was one of the last three clinics operating in the state until a new law went into effect today. The new law imposes strict rules aimed at shutting down clinics that provide abortion services in the state.
Abortion-rights advocates call the new laws “TRAP” — for “targeted regulation of abortion providers” — laws.
As Mother Jones explained: ”That is, regulations that only apply to abortion clinics, setting compulsory standards that are often difficult to meet, like mandated sizes for waiting and recovery rooms, reconfiguring of exits and entrances to facilities, and additional bathrooms.”
Kansas’ law specifically stipulates new requirements that 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.”
Only Planned Parenthood was able to meet the new requirements as of today. The other two clinics were not granted licenses by the state. Kansas officials will now face a legal challenge for not granting licenses to these last-standing clinics.
Kansas is also one of a handful of states that have passed legislation aimed at taking away public funds from Planned Parenthood clinics.
The state is in the precarious position of being home to one of the most radical anti-abortion rights groups in the country. Operation Rescue moved its headquarters to Kansas years ago in order to target abortion provider George Tiller. Tiller was eventually gunned down in 2009 by an anti-abortion activist in Kansas.
Operation Rescue has been championing the state’s new law, as well as any means that will lead to shutting down abortion clinics in the state. The group’s president, Troy Newman, has said on many occasions that he believes all abortion clinics should be shut down because he says he has “yet to find an abortion mill that doesn’t violate the law.”
Operation Rescue’s latest project is to put the spotlight on all abortion providers in the country by conducting a “massive research project to identify every abortionist in the country.”
According to reporting by Talking Points Memo, “Herbert Hodes and Traci Lynn Hauser … filed Tuesday for a temporary injunction against the law, arguing that the new regulations are excessively strict and have ‘made it impossible for existing medical practices to obtain a license by the effective date.’ A hearing for the lawsuit is scheduled Friday.”