abortion | KCUR

abortion

Elana Gordon / KCUR

A court hearing in a lawsuit seeking to overturn Kansas’ cutoff of Medicaid funds to two Planned Parenthood affiliates has been canceled at the state’s request.

The hearing, originally scheduled for this morning, was to take up Planned Parenthood’s request for a temporary restraining order blocking the state’s action.

Bonyen Lee-Gilmore, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, the lead plaintiff in the case, said the state had asked that the hearing be postponed after it retained an outside law firm and agreed to temporarily suspend its decision.

Matt Hodapp / Heartland Health Monitor

The two Planned Parenthood organizations in Kansas and Missouri wasted little time challenging Kansas’ termination of their Medicaid funding.

Just a day after the Kansas Department of Health and Environment notified them of its decision to cut off their Medicaid payments,  Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri and Planned Parenthood of St. Louis Region sued the head of the agency, Susan Mosier.

File Photo / KCUR

This story was updated at 9:29 a.m. and at 2:33 p.m. 

Just two weeks after the Obama administration warned states that ending Medicaid funding of Planned Parenthood may run afoul of federal law, Kansas on Tuesday terminated the Medicaid contract of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri.

Eleven states, including Missouri, have now cut off Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood. Courts in four states have blocked those moves.

Jennifer Morrow / Creative Commons-Flickr

This story was updated at 3:39 p.m.

The Kansas Supreme Court has agreed to review an appeals court decision finding that the Kansas Constitution creates “a fundamental right to abortion.”

The decision by the high court was expected after the Kansas Court of Appeals, in an evenly divided vote, upheld a trial judge’s decision to block a Kansas law banning the second-trimester abortion method known as “dilation and evacuation.”

Matt Hodapp / Heartland Health Monitor

As the U.S. Supreme Court considers another major abortion case, Planned Parenthood remains in the line of fire in Kansas. The Brownback administration has accused the organization of selling fetal parts for profit and has sought to cut off its Medicaid funding. 

 

Courtesy Bonyen Lee-Gilmore

The Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday about a controversial Texas law that imposes strict requirements on health clinics that provide abortions. The law requires doctors to have admitting privileges at local hospitals and meet ambulatory surgical standards.

The case is hugely consequential for abortion providers in Kansas and Missouri because both states have similarly restrictive laws.

Joe Gratz / Creative Commons-Flickr

The state of Kansas is asking the state’s highest court to review last month’s decision by the Kansas Court of Appeals finding that the Kansas Constitution creates a “fundamental right to abortion.”

The request for the Kansas Supreme Court to take up the case was expected after the court of appeals upheld a lower court decision blocking a Kansas law that bans the abortion procedure known as dilation and evacuation. The measure was signed into law by Gov. Sam Brownback in April 2015 and was set to take effect on July 1, 2015.

Joe Gratz / Creative Commons-Flickr

The state of Missouri is appealing a judge’s decision blocking it from revoking the abortion license of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Columbia.

The appeal comes nearly a month after U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey ruled that Missouri health officials likely violated the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause when they moved against the clinic.

A spokeswoman for Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, whose office filed the appeal on Tuesday, did not return a call seeking comment.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Republican Missouri Rep. Kevin Corlew from District 014 provides an insider perspective on the Missouri General Assembly as we discuss arbitrationREAL ID, and campaign contribution limits.

Guests:

  • Kevin Corlew, Representative from District 014, Missouri General Assembly 
  • Janelle Sjue, Citizen
  • Donna Vestal, Director of Content Strategy, KCUR

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Republican Missouri Rep. Kevin Corlew from District 014 provides an insider perspective on the Missouri General Assembly as we discuss arbitration, REAL ID, and campaign contribution limits.

Guests:

  • Kevin Corlew, Representative from District 014, Missouri General Assembly 
  • Janelle Sjue, Citizen
  • Donna Vestal, Director of Content Strategy, KCUR

Jennifer Morrow / Flickr--CC

Updated at 4:56 p.m.

In a sweeping decision, the Kansas Court of Appeals has ruled that the Kansas Constitution’s Bill of Rights provides a right to abortion and blocked a Kansas law banning the second-trimester abortion method known as “dilation and evacuation.”

The ruling represents a major victory for abortion rights activists, who contended the ban increased the complexity and risk of second-trimester abortions. And it marks the first time a Kansas appellate court has found a right to abortion in the Kansas Constitution.

Joe Gratz / Flickr -- Creative Commons

Missouri health officials likely violated the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause when they threatened to revoke the abortion license of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Columbia, Missouri, a federal judge ruled on Monday.

In barring the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) from revoking the clinic’s license, U.S. District Judge Nanette K. Laughrey found the department had treated Planned Parenthood more harshly “than other similarly situated institutions.”

State of Kansas official portrait

This story was updated at 2:12 p.m. to include the remarks of the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri. 

Former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline is suing the justices of the Kansas Supreme Court who suspended his law license two years ago, claiming numerous violations of his legal rights.

The last time the Senate Interim Committee on the Sanctity of Life met, members threatened to hold a Nixon administration official in contempt unless she produced documents identifying which hospital had a working relationship with Columbia's Planned Parenthood clinic.

That became a moot point when Department of Health and Senior Services Director Gail Vasterling sent the committee a letter stating that Colleen McNicholas, M.D., had received admitting privileges from University of Missouri Health Care.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster are calling for an investigation into the abortion provider Planned Parenthood after the release of two videos that have caught national headlines. 

One video shows a national Planned Parenthood executive discussing donations of fetal tissue from abortions for medical research. Such donations are legal, with the patient's consent. Selling the tissue is illegal. Critics accuse Planned Parenthood of selling the tissue.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

A Shawnee County judge has temporarily blocked a new abortion restriction that was supposed to take effect July 1in Kansas. The legislation prohibits a procedure that the law calls “dismemberment abortion,” where a fetus is removed, in pieces, with tools.

The judge says the Kansas Constitution protects abortion rights, and that justifies putting the law on hold.

Janet Crepps, of the Center for Reproductive Rights, says this will stop women from having to use riskier procedures to end a pregnancy.

Wikimedia -- Creative Commons

Kansas has more laws restricting access to abortion than almost any other state. Most of these laws restrict the women seeking the abortion or the clinics providing the abortion. But until recently, the anti-abortion movement hasn't had much success in restricting the abortion procedures themselves. 

Until last week, when Kansas was the first state to ban "dismemberment abortions." While there is no medical procedure by that name, the law seems to ban "dilation and extraction" abortions, also called D&E. 

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback on Tuesday signed a law that bans dilation and evacuation (D&E), a common second-trimester abortion procedure.

The law, titled the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, redefines "dilation and evacuation" as "dismemberment." Language in the law says the fetus is pulled apart limb by limb and allowed to bleed to death before being removed from the pregnant woman's body. 

The Kansas legislature voted 98-26 Wednesday to ban an abortion procedure known as dilation and evacuation. If signed into law, as Gov. Sam Brownback has promised to do, Kansas would become the first state in the country to ban the procedure. 

The procedure is a common second trimester abortion procedure, making up 8.8 percent of all abortions in Kansas. The bill renames the procedure "dismemberment," claiming that the fetus is pulled limb from limb before being removed. National Right to Life director of state legislation Mary Spaulding Balch said in a press release that "dismemberment abortions brutally — and unacceptably — rip apart small human beings." 

The Kansas Senate has given first-round approval to legislation that would bar a specific type of abortion procedure, known as dilation and extraction abortion. The bill calls it “dismemberment abortion.”

Several Republicans focused on the procedure itself, describing it as gruesome.

“And there is no basis upon which anybody can attempt to defend it, and yet some do. I would hope that this body would set, yet again, an example for the nation,” said Republican Sen. Steve Fitzgerald.

Missouri’s abortion regulations, among the strictest in the nation, may get even stricter.

Several lawmakers have already pre-filed abortion-related legislation in both the state House of Representatives and Senate.

Aid for Women, a Kansas City, Kan., clinic that provided abortion services, closed Saturday, leaving only three clinics in the state that provide abortions.

Aid for Women, at 720 Central Ave., was incorporated in 2004. It said on its website that it closed its doors on July 26 and was referring patients to the state’s remaining abortion clinics — two in suburban Kansas City and one in Wichita. The website said the clinic manager and physician had both decided to retire.

Mo. Senate Blocks 72-hour Abortion Waiting Period

Mar 6, 2014

Legislation that would require a 72-hour waiting period for abortions is moving forward in the Missouri House, while it's Senate counterpart is stalled.

Kansas Supreme Court Disciplines Former AG Kline

Oct 18, 2013

Former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline has temporarily lost the right to practice law in Kansas. The  suspension has no time limit.

The research, investigation and opinion on indefinite suspension of Kline's law license appears in a 154 page document issued October 18 by the Kansas Supreme Court. 

The report outlines allegations of ethical misconduct against the former Johnson County District Attorney.

Hourick / Wikimedia--CC

In June, two different lawsuits were filed in Kansas over a new state abortion law. But the lawsuit that Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri filed on June 20 isn't about the freedom to perform abortions. It’s about freedom of speech.  

jimmywayne / Flickr

A Missouri Senate Committee has passed legislation that puts restrictions on the use of abortion-inducing drugs. 

The bill would require the prescribing doctor to be physically present whenever a patient takes RU-486 or any other medication designed to terminate a pregnancy.  Supporters say it’s designed to prevent so-called “web-cam abortions,” in which a doctor at another location instructs the patient on taking the medicine.

Susan Klein of Missouri Right to Life testified in favor of the bill before the vote.

A Kansas House committee has approved a bill that is aimed at removing any state subsidies for abortion, even tax credits or exemptions.

Much of the debate focused on part of the bill that prohibits employees of an abortion provider from teaching sex education in schools. But it was written so broadly that a parent who works for an abortion provider wouldn't be allowed to volunteer in the classroom for any purpose.

Allan Rothlisberg, a Republican from Grandview Plaza, was in favor of the measure.

More than 1,000 anti-abortion advocates gathered at the Kansas Statehouse in Topeka to mark the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruling that made abortion legal in the country.

brains the head / Flickr-CC

The Missouri Department of Insurance has issued its largest penalty to date, to health insurance company, Aetna. 

Charges Dropped Against Planned Parenthood

Aug 17, 2012
AP file photo

Prosecutors in Kansas have dropped all remaining criminal charges against Planned Parenthood.

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