UPDATE, 5:33 Eastern: AP reports, "Kansas health dept.: 1 abortion provider to get license after passing new inspection rules."
Original post follows:
It looks like Republicans in Kansas are going to succeed in shutting down abortion in that state via red tape -- at least temporarily -- starting tomorrow when the state's new licensing regulations for abortion clinics take effect. So far, none of the the state's three remaining clinics has been approved for a license.
A clinic run by Planned Parenthood is the only one that was inspected under the new rules. Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri President Peter Brownlie tells us they haven't been told yet whether they'll be licensed.
A second abortion provider has sued to block the regulations and the third has sought to join the case. But the first hearing in that lawsuit isn't scheduled until tomorrow afternoon -- and the law kicks in tomorrow. So all three providers tell us they've decided not to schedule abortions procedure tomorrow for risk of running afoul of the new law.
"We have been swamped with phone calls from women who are panicked about the situation and doing we're doing everything we can today to see everybody who wants reproductive health care while it's still available," Mr. Brownlie tells us.
The lawsuit (pdf) filed earlier this week by Dr. Herbert Hodes and Dr. Traci Nauser is a direct and harrowing read:
The Temporary Regulations and Licensing Process have the purpose and the effect of imposing an undue burden on Plaintiffs’ patients who seek abortions presently or in the future, in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
That "undue burden" looks to include a de facto ban on clinics providing this service. We'll have much more on the show tonight.