Statehouse Live: Pro-choice rally scheduled for Wednesday

? A pro-choice rally led by Kansas University students and Lawrence feminists will be held Wednesday at the Statehouse.

The rally, to run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the south steps of the Capitol, has been called “to fight against recent attempts to restrict women’s access to reproductive health services,” according to the event’s organizers.

In the past legislative session, the Kansas Legislature and Gov. Sam Brownback approved laws aimed at abortion rights. Those measures are now being challenged in court.

In response, Speak for Choice was organized by several KU students. Members of Speak for Choice will be joined at the rally by representatives from Trust Women, Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, the ACLU, Kansas NOW and the MAINstream Coalition,

The rally is being held on the same day as a public hearing by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, which is considering regulations pertaining to licensing abortion clinics. That hearing will be held at 10 a.m. at the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitative Services Learning Center, 2600 SW East Circle Dr.

A copy of the proposed regulations is on the KDHE website.

A federal judge in July put a hold on enforcement of temporary clinic regulations after the state denied licenses to two clinics.

Two more abortion-related laws have drawn lawsuits.

A federal judge in Wichita granted Planned Parenthood a temporary order to block enforcement of a state budget provision that prevented the organization from receiving any of the state’s share of federal family planning funds. U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten also ordered the state to continue paying Planned Parenthood on the same quarterly schedule that existed before the new law.

And the ACLU has filed a lawsuit challenging a new Kansas law that restricts insurance coverage for abortions.