TOPEKA, Ks. – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment took comments from the public yesterday on the new regulations it has drafted for abortion providers in Kansas. There are two sides to the issue, and as Kansas Public Radio's Bryan Thompson reports, they're miles apart.
The regulations are meant to impliment a law approved by the Kansas legislature this year. The law requires abortion providers to be licensed annually. To get a license they have to meet specific requirements, for everything from the size and temperature of procedure rooms to provisions of specific drugs and equipment.
State Representative Peggy Mast says these regulations are long overdue.
"I can't believe that anyone would dare to say that this is hastened legislation when I was working on this in 2002," says Mast. "There is a reason for every one of these regulations."
Dr. Herbert Hodes performs abortions at his practice in Overland Park. He says the regulations, like one requiring a minimum of two hours post operative care, are needlessly burdensome. For example, he says, doing a D&C doesn't require similar protocols.
"She's not going to be totally asleep, she's going to have control of her airway, and I can do a D&C. Does she have to stay two hours? No. Only abortion patients have to stay two hours."
Temporary licensing regulations (which are identical to the proposed permanent ones) have been blocked by a federal judge, pending the outcome of a lawsuit filed by Dr. Hodes and another abortion provider in the state.
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