Continuing vast effort to erode abortion rights, Kansas close to mandating biannual inspections for clinics
As other states seek to undermine abortion using a number of tactics, including imposing mandatory ultrasounds before having an abortion and banning insurance providers who comply with federal health care reform from covering abortions, Kansas may be mounting the most vast, multi-pronged fight against abortion rights in the country. The newest tack, due to be signed into law as early as today, would saddle Kansas’s three abortion clinics with biannual inspections, a move that critics of the law say would regulate the clinics out of business.
The bill, which originated in the state House of Representatives, passed the Senate in a 24-15 vote last night. It now goes to the desk of Gov. Sam Brownback (R), one of the most outspoken abortion opponents in the country. Several Senate Republicans crossed party lines to voice their objections to the bill, on the basis that it would create unnecessary expenses and that it would single out abortion clinics at the expense of ensuring safety at mainstream surgical clinics.
The inspection bill is only the latest volley from Kansas Republicans to legislate the Roe v. Wade decision out of effect in the state. As The American Independent’s Sofia Resnick has reported, Gov. Sam Brownback’s budget includes a provision to defund Kansas Planned Parenthood operations. The overwhelmingly Republican Kansas state Legislature will likely provide little opposition to Brownback’s anti-Planned Parenthood clause.
Both the new bill and the budget provision join legislation that Brownback signed earlier this month. Two laws, set to go into effect July 1, will ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, based on controversial claims about “fetal pain,” and will require any minor seeking an abortion to get a parental consent form signed and notarized before proceeding with a procedure. Kansas already has a parental consent law on the books; the new law is different primarily in that it requires the involvement of a notary public.