Now that the state of Kansas is beginning to enforce new abortion laws that were vetoed under pro-abortion Democratic governors, one of the three abortion centers in the state has closed.
The Aid for Women abortion facility in Kansas City has lost its license to do abortions in Kansas as it was one of the three states that did not meet the regulations put in place by the state legislature this session.
The new law pro-life Gov. Sam Brownback signed requires abortion centers to meet the same basic health and safety standards as legitimate outpatient surgical centers such as, according to the bill, “having an emergency door that can accommodate a gurney … maintaining proper emergency equipment, drugs and protocols, having proper lighting and ventilation, lavatory areas, and spaces for the sterilization of surgical equipment. Clinics must also have a licensed nurse in the clinic when abortions are done.”
The Aid for Women abortion facility lost the license and an attorney for the abortion center received a notice that its application for a license had been denied by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Cheryl Pilate indicated Aid for Women would have to close at least temporarily while it pursues its legal options.
A second abortion center, run by Planned Parenthood in Overland Park, faced two days of inspections by state health officials who found it to be in compliance with the new state regulations.
But a third, the Women’s Health Center, also in Overland Park, also appears as if it will close down because it can’t ensure it will adequately protect women’s health.
“We’re doomed,” said its abortion practitioner Herbert Hodes, according to a Fox News report.
Mary Kay Culp with Kansans for Life told Fox that the new law is appropriate, especially if abortion businesses want to meet their claim that they actually care about the health of women.
“They’re known more as an abortion mill, in the front door, out the back door as quick as they can get them out,” she said of Aid for Women. They don’t have the room to keep anybody the proper amount of time to do good monitoring.”
“It’s chosen by a vulnerable young woman inside a clinic in a crisis time in her life amongst people who are going to make money if she chooses it, and who are accountable to no one up to this point,” Culp said.
Troy Newman, the president of the Kansas-based pro-life group Operation Rescue applauded the moves to shut down abortion centers not in compliance.
“In light of Planned Parenthood’s history of flouting the law, we have no reason to believe they will adhere to the new clinic safety standards,” said Newman. “While they may receive initial licensing, these people have the attitude that they are above the law. It’s only a matter of time before they disregard the clinic safety rules, too.”
Newman said that “squalid conditions and horrific abuses have been documented at abortion mills in this state, fully justifying the new standards,” and that for decades Kansas “has been like the lawless Wild West for abortionists.”
Meanwhile, Kathy Ostrowski, of Kansans for Life, says Aid for Women has never had the best interests of women in mind.
“For many years, abortion businesses in Kansas have claimed to legislative committees that they do not need state oversight and that they already adhere to high industry standards,” she explained. “Ironically, most provisions in the new Kansas law were taken from the published standards of the National Abortion Federation. To that was added requirements that any abortion must be done by a Kansas-licensed physician with local hospital privileges, and that chemical abortion pills must not be provided via computer.”
She also maintains the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld these kinds of regulations, in the case Greenville Women’s Clinic v. Bryant, 222 F.3d 157 (4th Cir.2000).
“The U.S. Supreme Court did not take the Greenville lower court case for review, and let stand the ruling that South Carolina state standards for licensing abortion clinics ARE constitutional. The court found the state’s regulations: did not impose an undue burden on the right to seek abortion; do serve a valid purpose in safeguarding the health of women; had a rational basis for regulating abortion clinics, while not regulating other healthcare facilities, [noting that] abortions are “inherently different from other medical procedures, because no other procedure involves the purposeful termination of a potential life.”
“The South Carolina standards –upheld as constitutional– are actually more stringent than the new Kansas law,” Ostrowski said. The South Carolina regulations are responsible for cutting abortions by one-half in the state.