Anti-Choice Group Tries To Intervene In Kansas Lawsuit, Claims It Is Losing Business To Abortion Clinics

Last month, a federal judge temporarily blocked Kansas from enforcing a state law imposing overly rigorous licensing standards on abortion providers pending the resolution of a lawsuit filed by two doctors who perform abortions in the state. But now, a Michigan-based group represented by the son of anti-choice activist Phyllis Schlafly, is trying to appeal the injunction. The American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists has filed a motion to intervene in the case, claiming that it is losing business to the Kansas abortion providers:

The American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists filed a motion to intervene in the case Monday, along with a notice of its appeal of the injunction. The group claims it has legal standing in the case because its members in Kansas are losing childbirth-related business to abortion clinics. It also says its members are placed at a competitive disadvantage because abortion providers pass along the costs of any complications or medical care after abortions to other doctors. […]

The Center for Reproductive Rights, whose lawyers represent the Kansas abortion providers who filed the lawsuit, said in an email that it does not see how AAPLOG can appeal the court’s decision when it is not a party in the case. It plans to oppose the motion to intervene, which it believes is groundless.

“In any case, the Court granted an appropriate injunctive based on the clear evidence that the Defendants’ actions had nothing to do with patient health or safety and everything to do with political shenanigans,” said Bonnie Scott Jones, deputy director for the Center for Reproductive Rights. “We feel confident that any appeal of that ruling would be unsuccessful.”

Kansas’ Attorney General has decided against appealing the court’s injunction, since the decision has “no direct cost or loss to the state if they don’t apply them until the process has run its course.” Gov. Sam Brownback’s (R) administration is also considering enacting permanent regulations that may be identical to the temporary rules being challenged in court. In his ruling granting the injuction, U.S. District Judge Carlos Murguia found that the abortion clinics challenging the rules are likely to succeed on claims that “they were denied due process and would suffer irreparable harm if the rules took effect July 1.”

In a separate case, Kansas is appealing a temporary injunction that is preventing the state from stripping Planned Parenthood of federal family planning funds.