By A.G. Sulzberger and Monica Davey
“One in a series of abortion limits approved in Kansas since Republicans took full control of the state government this year — a new license law — is raising uncertainty about the future of all abortion providers in the state.
Opponents of abortion say that the licenses — which newly dictate requirements for the size of rooms at abortion clinics, the stocking of emergency equipment, medications and blood supplies, and ties to nearby hospitals — will ensure at least a modicum of safety standards in a state that Troy Newman, the leader of the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, said ‘had been the Wild West for abortionists for as long as anyone can remember.’ But abortion rights supporters, here and nationally, say the rules, which take effect next week, are onerous, have been rushed into place too rapidly and are actually aimed at ending abortion services at the only three places in the state now providing them, perhaps as early as Friday. ‘These requirements range from the impossible to the absurd,’ said Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights. ‘They’re not designed to protect patient safety, they’re designed to shut down abortion providers.’ Three abortion facilities — all in the Kansas City area — remain open in Kansas since the killing in 2009 of Dr. George R. Tiller, the state’s best-known abortion provider, whose clinic had operated out of Wichita. Under the new licensing rules, officials from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment said they were inspecting the remaining operations, including a Planned Parenthood clinic, this week and next week, and would then determine which ones receive licenses.”