Kansas Could Become the First State Without an Abortion Clinic

When a state government is run mostly by theists who know how to set aside their silly religious beliefs for the good of society, you get progress… as we saw in New York last night.

When a state government is run by theists who are guided by nothing but their religious beliefs… well, you’re now in Kansas.

That’s where abortion clinics must now undergo a special licensing process in order to stay in business. As of now, there are only three clinics left. One of them is about to close and the others could follow:

A lawyer for the Aid for Women clinic in Kansas City, Kan., said Friday that it received a notice that its application for a license had been denied by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment without an inspection. Attorney Cheryl Pilate said the clinic was looking at its legal options but would have to close, at least temporarily.

The clinic received its notice on the same day the leader of a regional Planned Parenthood chapter said inspectors who spent two days at its Overland Park clinic found it will comply with all new regulations. An inspection of the third provider is scheduled for Wednesday. All three are in the Kansas City area.

“We’re doomed,” said Dr. Herbert Hodes, who performs abortions for the third provider, the Women’s Health Center, also in Overland Park.

Remember: This is the same state in which Dr. George Tiller was assassinated in 2009 for providing late-term abortions.

The new list of requirements to run an abortion clinic is incredibly long and full of items unnecessary to ensure a patient’s safety. The latest version was given to providers just this past week — and they have until July 1st to comply. Take a look at just a handful of the requirements every clinic must have (PDF) in order to remain open. Some make sense; others are absurd:

  • [Each applicant must provide] documentation that the facility is located within 30 miles of an accredited hospital.
  • [Each applicant must] identify and ensure a physician with admitting privileges at an accredited hospital located within 30 miles of the facility is available during facility hours of operation.
  • Any physician performing or inducing abortion procedures in the facility [must have] clinical privileges at a hospital located within 30 miles of the facility.
  • [Each facility must include] separate facilities for pre-procedure handwashing by staff members.
  • [Each facility must include] private procedure rooms consisting of at least 150 square feet, excluding fixed cabinet areas.
  • [Each facility must include] a recovery area consisting of at least 80 square feet per patient in the area.
  • [Each facility must include] a storage area designated for janitorial supplies and equipment consisting of at least 50 square feet per procedure room

It’s almost as if someone from the government visited each clinic, noted what they had, and then wrote the regulations to make it all-but-impossible to adhere to them in such a short time.

“These requirements range from the impossible to the absurd,” said Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights. “They’re not designed to protect patient safety; they’re designed to shut down abortion providers.”

M. Jeffrey Pederson, of Aid for Women in Kansas City, said there was no way he could meet the new standards. He said that his building was too small to meet the space standards and that he did not have visiting privileges with a nearby hospital — requirements he deemed unnecessary to run a safe clinic.

This is a state where Republicans control the House, the Senate, and the Governorship.

And it’s about to be a state where women are thisclose to not having access to safe, legal abortions. It’s scary to know how quickly their options are being depleted.

(Thanks to Tom for the link)

  • http://yamipirogoeth.blogspot.com/ Sakura

    Ah Republitards…telling you what you can do with your own body…caring for your unborn children…but giving you a HUGE “fuck you” once you’re alive…

  • Brian Wood

    I might argue that women who love actual children, rather than blastocysts, abort their fetuses so as not to birth them into the stinking, treacherous game called life, where they’ll grow old and die after a long, nasty struggle (if they’re “lucky”).

  • http://www.laughinginpurgatory.com/:// Andrew Hall

    We need to send more atheist missionaries to Kansas.

    What? We don’t have atheist missionaries? It’s no wonder why these theists have safe havens.

  • Mark C.

    It’s times like these where I hate my native state.

    Maybe I’ll eventually get up the courage to be an activist.

  • jose

    Alright we lost the war on gays, but we’re gonna win the war on women godammit!

  • Barefoot Bree

    I’d like to point out that Kansas is a BIIIIG state, 417 miles long by 211 miles wide, and Kansas City is waaaaay over on the eastern end. With all three remaining clinics in that city, the vast majority of Kansas women are without safe, legal, nearby clinics already. The closing of these last three will just be the final closing of the last, tiny door.

  • Miko

    As long as they have safe clinics available, I don’t care whether they’re legal or not. As this example illustrates, the law is the last refuge of the tyrant. Don’t work to change the law: work to make it irrelevant.

  • http://powerpoppat.com PowerPopPat

    ….or just leave the state.

  • kitsunerei88

    So . . . What’s the teen pregnancy rate in this state?

    I’m guessing they don’t offer proper sex education or free condoms either?

  • Daniel

    According to the Wikipedia entry on abortion clinics, North Dakota has one abortion provider and South Dakota has two (based on 2008 statistics). I won’t say it could be worse in Kansas because it sounds as if it’s about to get worse.

  • Richard P.

    How do any women with a conscience vote republican?

  • Jacob L.

    The part that really turns my stomach is that the population could further be expected to increase (and the local gene/meme pool saturated with dogmatic twats) when people start a mass migration into the only non-abortion state.

    I legitimately hate Kansas right now. I really, really do.

  • Ibis

    Jacob: I legitimately hate you right now. I really, really do.

  • Jacob L.

    Ibis: When you grow up in a state where every single vote you make is shot-down by a bunch of morons who think that they need to deal with all social issues based on how they relate to what Jebus wants (as opposed to how they relate to our actual mortal realm), then, yeah, you get hateful.

    It used to be we had awesome Kansans named Brown kickin’ ass for justice.

    Now all we got is Brownback.

  • BreadGod

    This sort of shit makes me ashamed to be from Kansas. Also, don’t these Rethuglicans realize that by closing these Planned Parenthood clinics, they will inadvertently cause more abortions? Only by then, instead of being performed by trained professionals in clean and safe facilities, they will be performed in basements and alleyways by criminals, lunatics, and opportunists, all of whom are little more than butchers.

  • Ibis

    @Jacob be as hateful as you like. But when your state’s government wants to take away the bodily autonomy of women and retain them essentially as breeding stock, then the terms you apply to the enemy should not reinforce the misogyny.

    In other words, don’t call people you disagree with twats, cunts, cows, dykes, bitches, or sluts.

  • Vystrix Nexoth

    BreadGod: They don’t care. This isn’t about abortion. It’s about power.

  • Cassie

    I assume that people in Kansas don’t like abortions and thus voted for a fully Republican-controlled assembly. When they want something different, they’ll vote differently.

  • Trace

    I lived in Kansas City, MO for a number of years before we moved back to NY.

    The larger metropolitan area extends to both sides of the border (KS, MO). Many of the affluent burbs are in Kansas (like Overland Park), but not all.

    So, the three clinics mentioned in the article are not the only options left to women in the area (KC, MO has some clinics too).

    Having said that….it is sad the clinics in Kansas cannot continue operating under the new regulations. Let’s hope they can soon find the means to meet the new demands.

  • Ibis

    @Cassie It’s a good thing then that we don’t consider taking away human rights to be open to state by state majority vote–after all your country already fought a civil war over that question…oh, wait…

  • Drew M.

    @PowerPopPat:

    ….or just leave the state.

    Marie Antionette never actually said, “Let them eat cake.” It was pretty much a frame job.

    What’s your excuse?

  • Steph

    I find it hypocritical that these same regulations do not apply to free-standing surgical centers (ie plastic surgery, vasectomies) or hospitals. Safety is not the main concern here and we all know it. I’m so sick of this war on women…

  • Steph

    I find it hypocritical that these same regulations do not apply to free-standing surgical centers (ie plastic surgery, vasectomies) or hospitals. Safety is not the main concern here and we all know it. I’m so sick of this war on women… By the way, the ad at the top of the this page was adopthelp.com. I really needed a good laugh.


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