Regulating Abortion Out of the State in Kansas

One of the conclusions reached in the Roe V. Wade verdict was that prior to viability, women have a right to have reasonable access to an abortion. What pro-life and anti-abortion activists have been arguing over ever since is exactly what constitutes “reasonable.” Although bills like “fetal pain” bans, the new “heartbeat” ban in Ohio that would outlaw abortion as soon as a heartbeat could be discerned (and which passed the House earlier today), or personhood amendments have been running rampant in the past two years in an attempt to directly challenge the premise of a right to an abortion prior to viability, in general, most legislation had previously been involved in trying to see how much a state can erode access to abortions without actually trampling on the rights set up in Roe V. Wade.

Ultrasounds, waiting periods, banning public funds from being used in abortions, telling women they will get cancer, go infertile, want to kill themselves, or whatever they feel like claiming in their “Right to Know” informational packages, all serve to force women to put in extra days, extra money and extra resources into getting an abortion. At the same time protests, stalking doctors, threatening builders that construct clinics or mangers that rent space that might be used for them, all work together to try and limit the number of clinics that exist and people willing to work in them, in order to slowly decrease the available providers, increase the wait time for an abortion, and throttle off access on that end.

It used to be an incremental process. But anti-abortion activists have grown more impatient. Now, they have made a mission to invent new “regulations” for clinics in an effort to cut down on state licensing. Tighter licensing means that the state governments with anti-choice majorities can decide how many clinics they want open, simply by creating onerous rules with unreasonable time frames, then shutting down clinics that simply cannot comply.

It already happened in Louisiana, where TRAP (Targeted Regulations of Abortion Providers) laws forced one clinic to close and was about to do the same to the other clinics in the state.

Now the same argument of violation of due process is being enacted in Kansas, where the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) has just announced that it will be suing the state over their new abortion clinic regulations, provided to clinics less than two weeks earlier. The board of health has just told papers that none of the three clinics have passed their inspections so far, already denying a license to one clinic and likely choosing to do the same with the other two. Nancy Northup, President of CRR state, “Between the rigid and unnecessary building standards and the absurd deadlines, this licensing process is a complete sham. Our clients have a long record of providing safe and high-quality OB/GYN care, including abortion services, to women over the last thirty years. These regulations have nothing to do with safety standards, and everything to do with an aggressive anti-choice government trying to shut down abortion providers.

So what are some of these regulations being demanded by the state, and what makes reproductive health activists call them unreasonable? Some involve rooms sizes and standards that can’t be adjusted without tearing down buildings, all created with the same rules as those used by hospital surgery rooms. They involve having drugs on hand and numerous amounts of blood types available that are completely unrelated to simple first trimester abortions. They involve rules on the temperatures of surgical rooms and recovery rooms that aren’t even set for hospitals or other surgical centers. And they ask for blood pressure cups on hand for all ages — including children and newborns.

All of these regulations, and with two weeks to have them in place or lose their license to operate? How could this be seen as anything but an attempt to cut off all access to abortions in the state? And how is that anything but another battle in the war on women?

Photo credit: PeacoToons




Cathy Noftz
Cathy Noftz6 years ago

~Women are capable of making decisions concerning their body and pregnancy~

Dan B.
Dan Brook6 years ago

Why do Republicans hate women so much?

The regressive Republican Party of No is obstructionist, mean-spirited, thuggish, religiously fanatical, scientifically ignorant, corrupt, hypocritical, xenophobic, racist, sexist, homophobic, evolution and global warming denying, oily, anti-environment, anti-consumer, anti-choice, anti-education, union busting, Medicare and Social Security slashing, authoritarian, selfish, greedy, out-of-touch, lacking compassion, warmongering, and otherwise dangerous.

NEVER vote for Republicans.

Maarja L.
Maarja L6 years ago

War on women indeed.

Charles Wallace
Charles Wallace6 years ago

This is absolute defiance of Roe v Wade. This is nowhere near "reasonable access" to abortion. It's blatantly Unconstitutional. It will be thrown out by the courts.

Raymond  Cornes
.6 years ago

Marilyn L, I agree with you, however, the matter should be decided by the People of the US a not limited to Politicians, by allowing the people to deside, this will give a better picture of the matter, and take in the thoughts and feeling of all the people of US

I would not think for one moment that a child, would thank any mother of farther for bring him or her into a world only to be rejected at moment of birth or abused when growning up.

Marilyn L.
Marilyn L6 years ago

The only people who should decide whether a woman has an abortion is the doctor, the father of the child and the woman. It's a private medical procedure, should be done in a hospitals. Politicians should butt our and so shuld the religious right and those of us who would like to see less abortion performed.

Marie W.
Marie W6 years ago

According to this women are just baby factories, no rights. If men had to be castrated to prevent child abuse how far would that debate go?

Doug G.
Doug G6 years ago

All these conservatives worship the fetus but once the kid is born, they don't want anything to do with it, especially if it means they might have to pay more in taxes. When the kid reaches military age, they get interested in it again and can deal with burying him/her but don't like it if they survive the war and seek aid via the V.A.
Their respect for life seems hypocritical at best. I think it is a ploy to try and control somebody else using religion and politics. Americans have been great at empowering all sorts of half wits over the last thirty years and now they are wondering why the hell things are so bad now.
What will it take for people in this country to fight back and not let up? I have been waiting for common people to reclaim this country for twenty years and nothing yet. What is wrong with people in this nation?

Larry H.
Larry H.6 years ago

I don't think you can say no abortions for any reason. I don't believe in abortion for contraception, but I do believe their are legitimate reasons for abortion. I believe if it is a case in which the mother's life is in danger from carrying the child to term, or if the child will be born with significant health issues or significant deformities then abortion should be allowed.