abortion | KCUR

abortion

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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.

Laura Ziegler

Governor Sam Brownback is reconfiguring the size and scope of state government in Kansas with the help of an overwhelmingly conservative Republican legislature.

The discovery of hundreds of private abortion records near a school in Overland Park, Kan. has prompted a police investigation.

Two rallies in Jefferson City today each called for the repeal of the 2010 Affordable Care Act and for employers to have the right to not provide coverage for birth control. 

brains the head / Flickr-CC

A State Senate committee has passed legislation that would allow employers in Missouri to refuse insurance coverage for birth control, abortions and sterilizations – that is, if providing coverage for those services would violate the employer’s religious beliefs.

A daily digest of headlines from KCUR.

  • Audit Questions Bioscience Authority’s Former President
  • Anti-Abortion Activists Rally At Kansas Statehouse
  • Missouri Lawmakers Look At Workplace Discrimination
  • Mental Health Care Leader Retires

More than 1,000 anti-abortion activists gathered at the Kansas Statehouse today. The annual rally coincides with the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that legalized abortion.

Top Of The Morning News: Friday, December 30, 2011

Dec 30, 2011

* New Leader For Missouri Business Jobs Growth
* Landmark Kansas City Church Burns, Service Programs Survive
* Funds Tallied To Defend Kansas Abortion Laws

New Leader For Missouri Business-Jobs Growth

Governor Jay Nixon is preparing to name a new director for the Missouri Department of Economic Development.

Nixon planned to announce his choice this morning during a speech in Kansas City.

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