Kansas Judge Says Abortion Clinic Can’t Kill Babies in Dangerous Telemed Abortions

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jul 9, 2019   |   11:34AM   |   Topeka, KS

A Kansas abortion facility stopped killing unborn babies through dangerous telemedicine abortions recently after a judge refused to block state laws regulating the abortion method.

Trust Women, a Kansas abortion business, sued to block the state laws earlier this year, the AP reports.

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 over the internet before a remote-controlled drawer or medical assistant 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.

In 2018, Kansas passed a law to permanently ban telemed abortions. 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. It passed several other laws regulating the abortion method in the past few years as well.

On Monday, Shawnee County District Judge Teresa Watson refused to block the laws in a temporary injunction, according to the report.

“There is no evidence the challenged laws decrease access to abortion,” Watson wrote in her decision.

Mary Kay Culp, executive director of Kansans for Life, said the ruling is “wonderful” news for Kansans.

“It’s truly justice,” Culp said. “We’ll see what it means in the long run. But for now, and especially coming from a woman, it’s a great decision.”

The Wichita Eagle reports Trust Women began doing telemed abortions in the fall of 2018, but it stopped in January because of concerns about breaking the law. That same month, the abortion business sued to block the regulations.

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“When that bill was up before the Legislature, it clearly indicated to us — those of us who are providers of abortion care, who might provide telemedicine — that it would prohibit us,” said Julie Burkhart, who runs the abortion business.

She said they will not resume telemed abortions for now.

In a related matter, the state Board of Healing Arts is investigating the abortion business based on a complaint that it began doing telemed abortions in 2018 in violation of a law banning them, according to the report.

Abortion drugs, which are used in telemed abortions, made up 46 percent of all abortions in Kansas in 2015, according to Kansans for Life.

The abortion drugs can have serious complications. At least 24 women have died after taking the drugs, according to the FDA. Complications include heavy bleeding, infection and incomplete abortions that require surgery.

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.