Earlier this year, Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer signed a bill into law that banned telemedicine abortions. Now, the Center for Reproductive Rights is suing to have that law overturned, on behalf of Trust Women of Wichita, the abortion facility currently operating in the same facility where abortionist George Tiller committed late-term abortions.
The law, which would go into effect on January 1, requires that a doctor be physically present when a woman takes the abortion pill, or RU-486. “By treating women seeking abortions differently from similarly-situated patients seeking all other forms of medical care delivered via telemedicine, the Act violates the rights of Plaintiff’s patients to equal protection under the law,” the lawsuit reads. “The Act further violates Plaintiff’s rights to equal protection by treating them differently from all other health care providers who provide health care via telemedicine without a rational basis to do so.”
Julie Burkhart, CEO of Trust Women, likewise slammed the bill. “This ban hurts Kansas women by mandating that they must travel farther and pay more in gas, child care, lost wages and lodging to access necessary medical care,” she said. “Medication abortion is safe whether provided in-person or by telemedicine.”
The lawsuit also claims that 97% of counties in Kansas don’t have any abortion facilities, and that telemedicine abortions allow women to receive access to abortions without having to travel to Wichita or Kansas City. Still, the lawmakers behind the bill remain optimistic. “No matter what they (abortion rights supporters) want to say and no matter what cockamamie interpretations the Kansas Supreme Court might come up with, in our Constitution, there is no right to an abortion,” State Rep. John Whitmer said.
While abortion activists claim that the abortion pill is completely safe, the reality is that RU-486 is known to have side effects, including uterine hemorrhaging, viral infections, sepsis, vaginitis, and death. It is not uncommon for women to need corrective medical procedures afterwards, especially if she has an ectopic pregnancy or is further along in her pregnancy that she originally thought. Further, abortion complications, including those resulting from RU-486, are not required to be reported at all in nearly half of all U.S. states, making it much more difficult for women to assess what their true risk from abortion might be.
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