Federal judge lets KS abortions continue, PLUS: PP’s licensing issue

Friday afternoon brought the very disappointing news that a federal District Court judge in Kansas, Carlos Murguia, issued a temporary injunction on the new regulations the Kansas Department of Health was enforcing to close two of the 3 abortion clinics in the state:

A federal judge temporarily blocked Kansas from enforcing new abortion regulations Friday, in a ruling that suggested the state will be challenged to justify its demand that three abortion providers comply with the rules within two weeks of receiving them.

U.S. District Judge Carlos Murguia’s injunction will remain in effect until a trial is held in a lawsuit against the state’s new licensing process and accompanying health department regulations, which were to have taken effect Friday. The lawsuit involves two providers that wouldn’t have been able to continue terminating pregnancies.

Fortunately, not only does the case still remain to be argued and decided on the merits, but the Health Department seems committed to ceding no more ground than absolutely mandated by the court:

KDHE Secretary Robert Moser, a defendant in the lawsuit, said the department will respect the ruling but called it “narrowly tailored” and promised the department would proceed with its plan to issue yet another version of the rules this fall.

It’s heartening that KDHE plans to draw up new versions of the rules in the near future, because even if the judge had not enjoined the current regulations, the large Planned Parenthood clinic in Overland Park would still be in possession of a license. Planned Parenthood obtained the license last minute Thursday, after it was previously reported that the clinic would be denied one. What was the original reason for denying Planned Parenthood’s license? What regulations did the clinic not comply with? According to TIME magazine and a lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood on Thursday, it was the lack of supplies and protocols to protect babies born alive after an abortion.

This admission in Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit is rather daring:

The “violations” noted in the survey inspection report almost all related to requirements established in the draft regulations that a facility stock supplies and have written policies and procedures for preserving the life of a newborn infant. However, Comprehensive Health does not perform abortions at or near that stage of pregnancy where a fetus may be viable. Thus, compliance with these requirements is entirely unnecessary.

According to TIME, Planned Parenthood ended up purchasing the equipment and got their license last minute:

The clinic was able to comply by purchasing a “neonatal crash unit” and other emergency supplies for live births, which Brownlie says never happens at Planned Parenthood, which offers abortions up to the 21-week mark.

This statement is so contradictory it gives me whiplash, and Planned Parenthood’s claim in their lawsuit that “Comprehensive Health does not perform abortions at or near that stage of pregnancy where a fetus may be viable” is a shockingly bold lie. In fact, as the clinic website shows, Planned Parenthood in Overland Park does abortions up to 21.6 weeks of pregnancy–virtually at the lowest limit of viability.

It’s interesting that Planned Parenthood’s Comprehensive Health clinic would be so adamant that the regulations to protect born-alive infants were unnecessary for a few reasons. Most obviously, born-alive infants are one of the biggest dirty little secrets of late term abortions that clinics would prefer their staff and the public just forget. But it’s also significant because Comprehensive Health was, at least in the past, heavily into trafficking in fetal body parts–and sometimes furnished aborted-alive later-term babies for this purpose. The fresher the tissue, the more valuable it is to researchers. Is Comp Health still involved in this sordid trade, and is that why they find protocols for taking care of born-alive infants so “unnecessary”?

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