RH Reality Check: Can Kansas Ban Abortion Without Technically Banning It?
By Amanda Marcotte
“Last week, with Kate Sheppard’s help, I covered the extensive attacks on abortion clinics in Kansas. Regulations concocted strictly to shut down the clinics seemed like they were going to take out all three remaining clinics, and in fact, all three had their licenses revoked, but the state has since relented in the case of one clinic.
Even though it’s clear and has been stated by some legislators that these regulations are only about making abortion illegal, the official excuse for the regulations is that they’re there to protect women’s health. And that they’re therefore not a violation of Roe v. Wade. But shutting down all three clinics, no matter how much in compliance they are, made it too obvious that this has nothing to do with women’s health. As soon as the clinics sued, Gov. Sam Brownback and company realized their disingenuous claims that this is about protecting women instead of banning abortion wouldn’t fly. So they allowed one clinic to have a license to establish plausible deniability. If they win the court case, this last clinic will be shut down, however, because the court has signed off on the new powers they’ve given themselves.
Chris Matthews did some great coverage of this, including interviewing Nancy Northup, the president of the Center for Reproductive Rights. The Center is basically managing the clinic lawsuits against Kansas.
I highly recommend the whole segment. He really drills down into how much this law is being justified in bad faith, and how unconstitutional all this is.”
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