A judge dealt a devastating blow to a Kansas law Monday that protects women from dangerous webcam abortions.
Pro-life advocates called District Judge Franklin Theis’s ruling “infuriating,” saying the law protects women and unborn babies from harm, CBN News reports.
The 2018 state law would permanently ban webcam, or telemedicine, abortions in the state. It would protect women by requiring that the abortionist be physically present and conduct an examination of the patient before dispensing the abortion drugs in person.
The AP reports Theis blocked Kansas from enforcing the law just one day before it was slated to go into effect. He argued that the law “has no anchor for operation” and no legal force, according to the report.
Mary Kay Culp, executive director of Kansans for Life, told CBN News that the ruling is “infuriating” but not unexpected.
“This judge has a long history of taking laws designed by the legislature to protect unborn babies and women and turning them into laws that instead protect the abortion industry,” Culp said. These include blocks of similar webcam abortion bans in 2011 and 2015.
Here’s more from the AP:
[The 2018] law was challenged in a lawsuit filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights on behalf of Trust Women Wichita, which operates a clinic that performs abortions and provides other health care services.
Theis also ruled that other, older parts of the state’s abortion laws that could ban telemedicine abortions are on hold indefinitely because of a separate lawsuit challenging them that’s still pending.
The Wichita clinic began offering telemedicine abortions in October because its doctors live outside Kansas and could be on site only two days a week. It also hopes to provide the pills to women in rural areas and have them confer by teleconference with doctors.
Abortion drugs made up 46 percent of all abortions in Kansas in 2015, according to Kansans for Life.
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Webcam, or telemed, abortions are dangerous because the woman does not receive a physical examination from the abortion doctor or even see him/her face to face. Instead, she chats with the abortionist through a computer before a remote-controlled drawer or nurse dispenses the abortion drugs. Afterward, the patient almost certainly never sees the doctor again. Instead, she returns home and waits to pass her aborted baby’s body.
Research suggests webcam abortions also are more dangerous for women than surgical abortions. An analysis of a University of California San Francisco study found that women who had webcam abortions had four times higher risk of complications.
Despite these risks, Planned Parenthood announced intentions in 2018 to open at least 10 new webcam abortion locations across the country. It currently performs webcam abortions at 24 locations in America.