It's official. Every abortion provider in the state of Kansas has been denied a license to continue operating as of July 1. As we reported last week, strict new laws put in place there this month threatened to close the three abortion clinics in the state. While at least one, a Planned Parenthood clinic in Overland Park, thought it could survive the strict new standards, it too was denied a license to continue operating—effectively cutting off access to legal abortion in the state.
The new law, which takes effect Friday, sets strict new standards for abortion providers, requiring changes to the size and number of rooms, requiring them to have additional supplies on hand, and even mandating room temperatures for the facilities. Given that the rules were released less than two weeks before clinics were expected to be in compliance, many providers knew they weren't going to be able to obtain a license to continue operating. The laws, often called "targeted regulation of abortion providers," or TRAP laws, are an increasingly common legislative maneuver to limit access to abortion by making it difficult, if not impossible, for providers to comply.
With today's announcement that the Overland Park clinic was also denied a license, Kansas becomes the first state to effectively make the legally protected right to access abortion services unavailable in the state. One clinic in Kansas has already filed suit against the new rules, and a hearing on that suit is planned for Friday. Planned Parenthood is also expected to sue.
So unless there's some sort of injunction, Kansas will as of July 1 be the first abortion-free state in the nation.
To recap, the number one Republican legislative priority in state after state is not jobs, not the economy, not shrinking the size of government, not removing burdensome regulations, not saving us from the horros of having the state get between the doctor and their patients, but using the law strictly as a power grab over women for their own purposes of imposing their will upon the American people.
Smaller government means "As long as we can continue to use it against people we don't like." Then it's a necessary function of the state.
[UPDATE] AP says one Kansas clinic will remain open, so that's something. Hire their building contractors.
In a statement issued Thursday evening, Peter Brownlie, president of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, seemed to hold out some hope that its clinic could still obtain a license to continue operating, even as the organization sought an injuction to block the law from taking effect. "We have been targeted in this bill and Kansas women are the ones who will suffer if their health care is taken away," said Brownlie. "This is radical, extreme government intrusion into private health care."
Nice job, Kansas.