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Archive for Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Kansas abortion providers sue to stop new state rules

June 28, 2011, 4:26 p.m. Updated June 28, 2011, 5:33 p.m.

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— Two doctors who perform abortions in Kansas filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday to block a new licensing law and regulations that abortion rights advocates fear will make Kansas the first state in the country without an abortion provider.

Dr. Herbert Hodes and his daughter, Dr. Traci Nauser, argue that the new licensing process for abortion providers is a "sham" and the law and accompanying regulations are designed to stop the state's three abortion providers. One provider has already been denied a license.

Hodes and Nauser offer abortions and other services at the Center for Women's Health in Overland Park in suburban Kansas City, and their clinic was scheduled to be inspected by health department workers Wednesday. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, said the doctors cancelled that inspection.

The law takes effect Friday. If a clinic doesn't have a license by then, it won't be able to perform abortions under the Kansas Department of Health and Environment's new regulations.

"At every step of the challenged process, KDHE implemented the licensing provisions ... in ways that made it impossible for existing medical practices to obtain a license by the effective date," the lawsuit said.

Supporters of the new law and regulations argue that both are aimed at protecting patients from substandard care. But abortion providers and their backers don't trust the licensing process because Gov. Sam Brownback, an anti-abortion Republican who took office in January, and abortion opponents pushed the law through the GOP-controlled Legislature.

The law requires abortion providers to obtain annual licenses, and the health department regulations tell providers what drugs and equipment they must have available and set other standards, including the temperatures for procedure and recovery rooms.

Abortion providers contend that the health department is unfairly rushing the new regulations, giving them less than two weeks to comply with specific provisions.

In their lawsuit, Hodes and Nauser argue that the new regulations are stricter than rules for other health care providers. The suit claims the state has violated the rights of their Center for Women's Health and its doctors to due legal process.

The lawsuit was filed against Robert Moser, the state's secretary of health and environment; Attorney General Derek Schmidt, whose office was involved in drafting the regulations; and the local prosecutor, Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe.

Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri is awaiting word on whether its clinic, also in Overland Park, will receive a license after a two-day inspection last week. The health department has denied a license for the state's other abortion provider, the Aid for Women clinic in Kansas City, Kan., without an inspection, based on information in its application.

Planned Parenthood and Aid for Women also have been contemplating lawsuits against the licensing law and the health department's regulations.

Mary Kay Culp, executive director of Kansans for Life, was confident the law and the regulations would withstand judicial scrutiny. She said the regulations are similar to rules in South Carolina that the U.S. Supreme Court let stand in 2003.

"Kansas abortion clinics claim that the state's attempt at oversight is 'political' because of Governor Brownback, but their hypocrisy is on full display," she said. "Three South Carolina abortion clinics have managed to live with the same law there for over a decade."

Comments

BOULEVARDWHEAT 3 years, 6 months ago

I do not approve of abortions. But I also don't approve of government intervention. I do not like to see Governors manipulate the legislation to promote their ideals, whether by direct laws or backwards legislation such as what has been put in place. Women will still get abortions, but this will only cause those women to do so either in other states or by unsafe methods.

kansanjayhawk 3 years, 6 months ago

Every other medical clinic in this state has to meet certain min. standards of care. These regulations are part of doing medicine in this State and certainly abortion clinics should have to meet at least a min. standard of care. The legislation was passed in response to a KCK abortion clinic that was dirty and filthy even having a rat found in the hallway. Let's not let the abortion industry off the hook to a least keep a min. level of cleanliness (many are not any better than the back alley!). Let's both pro-life and pro-choice insist that there be protections for the citizens of Kansas.

jafs 3 years, 6 months ago

My understanding is that these clinics were held to the same standards as other medical clinics already.

Chris Golledge 3 years, 6 months ago

I wonder how people would react if Brownback and the GOP had pushed new regulations on coal power plants that effectively shut them down. After all, we deserve to know that our coal plants are safe, no?

kansanjayhawk 3 years, 6 months ago

Brownback is just insisting that the clinics are safe for the women of Kansas. He is doing his job and when he signed the bill into law he was just doing what he said he would do during the campaign.

tomatogrower 3 years, 6 months ago

What about the safety for other medical procedures? Aren't those just as important? And how does having the proper amount of janitor closets important?

musicstudent 3 years, 6 months ago

Has LJWorld posted the exact differences in regulations? I am curious what the new requirements are and why they are so much harder to meet than what was previously required.

MyName 3 years, 6 months ago

There weren't any regulations that were specific to abortion providers, from what I understand. So they basically passed a new law that gave the handful of providers 2-3 weeks to meet inspections for regulations that had never been implemented before.

kansanjayhawk 3 years, 6 months ago

These regulations should have come as no surprise as they were passed by previous legislatures. Remember pro-abortion Governor Sebelius vetoed them previously. The law was passed in response to filthy and unhealthy conditions in some Kansas abortion facilities including one in KCK. This is something the clinics should have been preparing for as they saw that the Legislature passed the bill with a bi-partisan supermajority and the new pro-life Governor Brownback was likely to sign it.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 6 months ago

" The law was passed in response to filthy and unhealthy conditions in some Kansas abortion facilities including one in KCK."

Can you cite more specifically? And wouldn't such conditions have been illegal even without this new law?

mcmandy 3 years, 6 months ago

LJWorld has not posted the difference in regulations, but the KCStar posted a pdf of the new regulations time stamped 6/17. Nothing seemed unreasonable if given more than two weeks for compliance, but there are very specific protocols outlined regarding temperatures of the procedure room vs. the recovery rooms set to a different standard than other surgeon practices (as stated by someone else), quantities of equipment, and regulations for room sizes that exclude cabinets, as well as regulations for cabinet/storage size and quantity. There is also a requirement for private dressing rooms for patients (I'm not sure why the exam room wouldn't suffice).

It seems that these could require pretty intense construction within an unreasonable time frame, especially considering that these are operating clinics with preexisting obligations to patients who have already had appointments. Its an unreasonable time frame for compliance, when these clinics have already been in compliance with prexisting regulations.

I am curious as well to see the old regulations compared to the new, because it doesn't make much sense that abortion providers would be held to a different standard than other surgical practices. Brownback and his crew are being completely transparent in their actions to make abortion hard for Kansas residents to obtain.

tomatogrower 3 years, 6 months ago

"it doesn't make much sense that abortion providers would be held to a different standard than other surgical practices. Brownback and his crew are being completely transparent in their actions to make abortion hard for Kansas residents to obtain."

Yet their blind followers actually believe the lie that it's just to protect women. They refuse to take off those blinders.

kansanjayhawk 3 years, 6 months ago

I think that you are making too big of a judgment based upon a few liberal posts...

kansanjayhawk 3 years, 6 months ago

I think that you are making too big of a judgment based upon a few liberal posts...

verity 3 years, 6 months ago

Of course there is going to be a lawsuit. DId anyone ever doubt it? And we, the taxpayers, are going to pay for this nonsense.

Where are the jobs, Mr. Brownback? Where are the jobs? (Hint: not the ones for your out-of-state cronies, jobs for Kansans that pay a living wage.)

Brownback must not be praying for jobs or we would have them already.

kansanjayhawk 3 years, 6 months ago

What a nasty post... remember we have had several years of bad economy... Brownback is laying the groundwork to make Kansas a great place to do business again and that will help to create jobs.

kantubek 3 years, 6 months ago

Still, when you run for election with the promise of jobs, jobs, jobs, and then spend the first six months of your term legislating your particular version of morality (all faith based), then you certainly are failing those who voted for you and your intentions to create employment.

Simply put, this particular bill will eliminate jobs in Kansas. Not exactly what Brownback implied with jobs, jobs, jobs.

tomatogrower 3 years, 6 months ago

Many of the things he has done so far have eliminated jobs. Come on LJWorld. Why not do some investigative reporting. How many jobs have been created or lost in the last 6 months?

notanota 3 years, 6 months ago

By line item vetoing an agency that provided jobs?

Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 6 months ago

I had my wisdom teeth removed last week and it was 74 degrees while i was in that room.

I demanded the office immediately be inspected by KDHE, but I haven't heard back yet. Think of the risk to my health, and those people just don't care.

But oh, they'll go inspect these abortion clinics twice every 12 months. Meanwhile, they inspect daycare facilities caring for infants once every 18 months.

Remember that next time you visit Lieutenant Governor Dr. Jeff Colyer's office for a little rhinoplasty and there's not a janitor's closet in the room. Where is the safety?

kansanjayhawk 3 years, 6 months ago

Pro-life and pro-choice persons should all support these reasonable public health regulations. Due to unsanitary conditions at some abortion clinics including the one in KCK these clinics must now meet a min. standard of care. It is about time that the State of Kansas stop covering up a cowering to these abortionists and represent the people of Kansas who want clean clinics not rats in the hallways!

tolawdjk 3 years, 6 months ago

If these were min. standards of care, they would apply to all clinics...dentist, eye doctor, proctologist, etc. Afterall, who wants to relax and bend over when there are rats frolicking in the hallway.

Or are you implying that some clinics need more minimums than others? Is there some reason why "rats in the hallway" are more nefarious here than any other outpatient clinic?

Pro-life and prochoice Kansans would support these reasonable public health regulations if they weren't witchhunting and calling it preschool. I respect Brownback for living to his morals, even if I don't personally agree with them. However, cowering behind "the law" is a chickenfeces way of doing his job and speaks volumes of his character.

mcneely 3 years, 6 months ago

I filed a complaint over a year ago after going to an infectious disease specialist. The office was dirty. The exam room had dust bunnies on the air vent, cracks in the counter top, the air smelled old, and the floor had carpet instead of tile. I've gotten around a dozen letters saying they were still investigating. The federal government finished their investigation about a HIPPA violation I filed at the same time in two months. Meanwhile this doctor is still seeing people who have compromised immune systems and or wounds that do not heal in the same dirty office. It is not right to single out one type of provider. The providers in question should be treated fairly. If these providers are shut down what will people do? Get an abortion in an alley? Not a very sanitary or safe option is it?

kansanjayhawk 3 years, 6 months ago

If you believe that abortion should be "safe" and "legal" you certainly should support regulations that make it safer. Let's not let the abortion mills off the hook! They are the modern back alley --they are neither safe nor should they be legal! This law however just seeks to address the issue of health and safety for women who seek abortion in Kansas it does not take away anyone's rights! Let's make em' clean it up!

kansanjayhawk 3 years, 6 months ago

If you believe that abortion should be "safe" and "legal" you certainly should support regulations that make it safer. Let's not let the abortion mills off the hook! They are the modern back alley --they are neither safe nor should they be legal! This law however just seeks to address the issue of health and safety for women who seek abortion in Kansas it does not take away anyone's rights! Let's make em' clean it up!

tolawdjk 3 years, 6 months ago

If you believed half of what you were hiding behind you would apply the law uniformly. Instead, you cower behind your turd and call it sunshine.

Kathy Getto 3 years, 6 months ago

Best post of the week! Sadly kjh has repeated the lies so much he/she believes them.

Jeff Barclay 3 years, 6 months ago

How did taking a living, human baby from it's mother's womb ever become synonymous with women's health care? "I notice everyone who is in favor of abortion was allowed to be born." -Ronald Reagan from Abortion and the Conscience of a Nation.

tomatogrower 3 years, 6 months ago

Obviously you are totally ignorant of what other services are offered at these clinics. Pap smears - those are used for cancer screening. Birth control and education - those are used to prevent unwanted pregnancies, and how many abortions have been prevented by birth control? Probably millions. Then there is STD treatment. I suppose you could say that's all their fault, but if a spouse cheats, and gives their partner an STD, how is that their fault?

Some of the groups behind these laws believe sex is only for procreation. If you aren't making a baby, you shouldn't have sex. If they want to live that way, good luck with that. But they should never dictate what others do. That is the real issue.

Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 6 months ago

Note that none of the zealots preaching about "safety" have any concerns about safety for any other medical procedure.

There is nothing "safe" about mandated space standards for closets.

Impose these standards on other health care facilities and 2/3 of them shut down tomorrow.

But for some reason, the zealots don't want to shut down places like Jeff Colyer's plastic surgery mill.

notanota 3 years, 6 months ago

We couldn't force everyone to fly to Mexico for their tummy tucks. That would be un-American.

xclusive85 3 years, 6 months ago

Can you point to the point in the regulations where it is mandating closet spaces? I didn't see that anywhere in the 36 pages I read. Not saying it's not there, but where?

mcmandy 3 years, 6 months ago

Snap, I missed that part. Yet another potential construction issue. If you happen to have a link to what the original policy was, or what the standard for other surgical centers are, it would be appreciated!

kantubek 3 years, 6 months ago

Sam Brownback won't stop until his moral crusade is complete. Sadly, it's going to cost Kansas many jobs, put women's lives in danger, and subvert constitutionally protected rights.

Centerville 3 years, 6 months ago

We'll just have to see if Schmidt is as willing to tamper with the courts as Morris and Six were.

Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 6 months ago

Says the loyal Phill Kline supporter...

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