Tough new licensing requirements in Kansas will force two abortion clinics to close their doors, leaving the state with a single option for women seeking abortions.
The two clinics were not compliant with a recently issued set of regulations that establish, among other things, requirements for the size of janitors' closets and staff dressing rooms, guidelines for what medicine clinics must have in stock, and a window for the temperature of operating rooms. Supporters say the laws ensure the health and safety of patients, but abortion advocates believe they were made intentionally onerous in an effort to shut down abortion clinics, particularly given how swiftly they were imposed.
The remaining clinic, a Planned Parenthood facility, narrowly avoided being closed. That clinic has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court aimed at overturning the new regulations, and the other two providers have asked the courts for an injunction to suspend the rules.
This is radical, extreme government intrusion into private health care, Peter Brownlie, president of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, said Thursday. We have been targeted in this bill and Kansas women are the ones who will suffer... This wasn't chipping away at the edges - this was a full, frontal assault.
Another clinic, Aid for Women, was denied a permit when it told officials that it would require renovations to be compliant with the new rules. The state attorney general's office held up the sole clinic staying open as evidence that the new regulations still permit abortions.
Women in Kansas seeking abortion services will still be able to obtain medical care at a properly licensed facility even if the statute and regulations are enforced exactly as written, the attorney general's office said.