Chipping Away...

Kansas, the state notoriously opposed to women's rights, appears to have found a bureaucratic means to deny women, esp. poor and uninsured women, health care. On May 16th of this year, Gov. Brownback signed a law that targeted abortion providers with special regulations and any clinic which offered the health care service must be in compliance by July 1st or else they will not receive their special operating license. It was ten days later that the clinics received notice that the new regulations were coming. This week they got the most recent listing of medications that must be on hand and room dimension size. Let's not forget all that goes into this: they had to try and be compliant with new regs, get inspected (and perhaps reinspected), and file the paperwork and wait for approval.
One of three abortion providers in Kansas appeared likely to close after being denied a state license to continue terminating pregnancies at its Kansas City-area clinic, and abortion rights supporters feared Friday that the anti-abortion governor's administration will reject licenses for the other two.

A lawyer for the Aid for Women clinic in Kansas City, Kan., said Friday that it received a notice that its application for a license had been denied by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment without an inspection. Attorney Cheryl Pilate said the clinic was looking at its legal options but would have to close, at least temporarily.

The clinic received its notice on the same day the leader of a regional Planned Parenthood chapter said inspectors who spent two days at its Overland Park clinic found it will comply with all new regulations. An inspection of the third provider is scheduled for Wednesday. All three are in the Kansas City area.

"We're doomed," said Dr. Herbert Hodes, who performs abortions for the third provider, the Women's Health Center, also in Overland Park.


The new law requires a separate, annual license for any hospital, clinic or office that performs at least five non-emergency abortions a month, and it requires state inspections, including at least one unannounced visit each year. The health department can fine providers and go to court to revoke their licenses.

Pilate said the health department told Aid for Women its application was denied because it had disclosed that it would need extensive renovations.

Also, she said, the clinic reported the physician who performs abortions is in the process of seeking privileges at an area hospital. The new law requires that a physician have privileges at a hospital within 30 miles.

The department's notice said that for those reasons, "an on-site inspection will not be necessary and will not be scheduled."

Pilate said the clinic couldn't have even obtained remodeling plans or a building permit for renovations by July 1. She called the licensing process "rushed and absurdly unrealistic."
I'd call the licensing process "nefarious and sinister". If the license is pending July 1st or later, any abortion performed will be deemed illegal. This an extremely disturbing back-door method of denying women necessary health care. As Ms. Pilate said:
"There are patients with scheduled appointments with few or no other options," Pilate said. "It's going to hurt poor women."
What's the matter with Kansas? The politicians.

Speaking of odious, woman-hating legislation, recall the Ohio "Heartbeat" Bill? If not:
[A]n abortion would be illegal once the heartbeat of a fetus is detected. The bill would require the doctor to find that heartbeat using "standard medical practice," a term not defined.

A doctor who violates the law could be found guilty of a fifth-degree felony, punishable by up to a year in prison and a $2,500 fine. The mother could not be charged.
That bill, HB 125, is scheduled for floor vote tomorrow. There is a rally scheduled for tomorrow morning, if you live in or near the area.

As I said in the Ohio post--GOP: Pro-Fetus; Pro-Forced Birth; Anti-Woman, Anti-Family, Anti-Decency.

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