As Kansas regulators prepare to shut down the state’s only three abortion clinics for failing to “meet the requirements to get a license under a law that takes effect Friday,” doctors and clinics that perform abortions have filed or are preparing lawsuits to block the new licensing law. The measure, which was signed by Gov. Sam Brownback (R) just last month, establishes overly rigorous standards that abortion providers must meet in order to continue operating and is part of a broader Republican effort to effectively eliminate abortions in the state.
The Center for Reproductive Rights filed a suit in federal district court yesterday “on behalf of the Center for Women’s Health” (and physicians Herbert Hodes and Traci Nauser) and another abortion provider, Aid for Women in Kansas City — which was denied a license after acknowledging it would need extensive renovations to comply with the new regulations — is expected to challenge the law today. “Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri’s abortion clinic in Overland Park was inspected last week and has a license application pending, though it also is considering a legal challenge“:
In their lawsuit, Hodes and Nauser said the new regulations are stricter than rules for other health care providers. The suit claims the state violated their right to due legal process. [...]
Court documents show that Hodes sent an email June 21 asking the health department to consider waiving some of the rules and granting a provisional license while the idea was considered. A department official replied in 12 minutes, saying the law didn’t permit either step.
“This is like living in a communist country, the way I was treated,” Hodes told The Associated Press.
These suits come on the heels of a separate legal action filed on Monday that challenges a separate “provision in the new state budget blocking Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri from tapping into federal Title X funds to operate nonabortion clinics in Hays and Wichita.”
The lawsuits will only increase costs to taxpayers, who are already paying an “absurd” amount of money — $67,000 a year for six inspections at three clinics — to challenge Roe v. Wade and chase abortion providers out of the state.