Court Blocks Kansas Abortion Rules — But State Planning New Set

A federal court blocked the state of Kansas from enacting new temporary regulations for abortion clinics that could have shut down two of the three clinics in the state — but state officials say they are devising an identical set of permanent regulations.On Friday, U.S. District Judge Carlos Murguia granted a temporary injunction against the law, which requires all of the abortion clinics to be licensed annually under a new set of regulations by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Robert Moser, secretary of health and environment for the state, said the department will follow the law, but “Judge Murguia’s ruling is narrowly tailored and does not prevent KDHE from moving forward to establish permanent licensing regulations.”

According to the Topeka Capital-Journal:

The agency described the first set as temporary, which allowed it to avoid taking public comments and get the rules in place within weeks, though they could remain in effect afterward for only four months. The next set of rules would be considered permanent and require public comment.

The Center for Women’s Health filed suit after failing to obtain a license, arguing that the new regulations “impose burdensome and costly requirements that are not medically necessary,” and were implemented in a way that “made it impossible for existing medical practices to obtain a license by the effective date.” Aid for Women in Kansas City, which also did not get licensed, was allowed to intervene in the case. Planned Parenthood of Kansas, the only other abortion clinic in the state, was licensed Thursday.

Officials say the proposed permanent rules are identical to the temporary ones, the Capital-Journal reports, and a public hearing will take place on September 7 to hear suggestions for changes.

The Aid for Women clinic says it will challenge the permanent rules if they are similarly strict.

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