Kansas has closed two of its three abortion providers after they failed to comply with a long list of arbitrary and hastily-imposed state regulations for abortion providers. The third provider, run by Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, received a last-minute approval after initially being told that it too had been denied a license.
The Center for Women’s Health, operated by Dr. Herbert Hodes, Md and his daughter, Dr. Tracie Nauser, MD, is in court today seeking an injunction in an effort to keep their medical practice (which has been operating over 30 years at the same site in Kansas City) open. Dr. Hodes and Dr. Nauser in a long interview last night on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show said they were given the new regulations on June 13. They then submitted their application for a license on June 14. One June 20, they were given new architectural regulations, issued not by the Department of Health but by the Attorney General. They considered these “sham” regulations and “restrictions no one could comply with.” In the words of Dr. Nauser, “[they are] trying to keep the Kansas legislature and Brownback out of women’s uteruses and lives.”
As a result of a new state law, signed by Governor Sam Brownback (R) in May, abortion providers must now be licensed by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, which is authorized to regulate buildings and equipment for abortion clinics and to conduct inspections of the clinics twice yearly. The new regulations were sent out in mid-June by Brownback’s administration to abortion providers, which were then required to comply by July 1. The list of requirements is approximately 36 pages and stipulates hundreds of details including the minimum square footage of janitors’ closets and the temperature range for procedure and recovery rooms (68 to 73 degrees and 70 to 75 degrees, respectively).