A Kansas board has unanimously approved new regulations for abortion providers, moving the state one step closer to becoming the first in the nation without a clinic or doctor's office performing the procedures, the Associated Press reported.

Approval of the rules, by the five-member State Rules and Regulations Board on Thursday, was necessary for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to begin enforcing them Friday. But providers hoping to block the rules have filed a federal lawsuit to prevent the enforcement of the regulations and the new licensing law under which they were written. Kansas has three abortion providers, all in the Kansas City area.

The regulations tell providers what equipment and drugs they must stock. They also set space and temperature requirements for procedure and recovery rooms. And the law requires each to obtain a special license to continue performing abortions.

Supporters say the rules will protect patients from sub-par care, but critics say they are really aimed at shutting down abortion services.

All five Rules and Regulation Board members are Republicans. Its members include two legislators and representatives of the attorney general, secretary of state, and secretary of administration.