Kansas providers plan to move slowly on telemedicine abortions, may not be ready for months


Kansas providers may not be ready for months to perform telemedicine abortions, even though a state court judge has blocked the state from enforcing its ban on teleconferencing with patients seeking medication terminating the pregnancy.

Planned Parenthood Great Plains said Wednesday it was weighing its options following last week’s order from Shawnee County District Judge Teresa Watson. She operates three clinics in Kansas that offer abortions.

A spokesperson for Wichita clinic operator Trust Women said it hoped to resume telemedicine abortions but would move slowly. He provided them with a few months in 2018, filing a lawsuit challenging the ban just before it took effect in early 2019.

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“There’s a lot of infrastructure that needs to be put in place to make sure this is the right way to do it,” said Zack Gingrich-Gaylord, spokesman for Trust Women, citing more staff as a great need.

Abortion rights advocates gather outside the Kansas Statehouse in Topeka, Kansas to protest the abortion ruling, June 24, 2022. Providers in Kansas may not be ready for months to perform abortions via telemedicine, even though a state court judge blocked the state from enforcing its ban on teleconferencing with abortion patients.
(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

Kansas has required doctors to be physically present when a patient takes the first dose of what is often two doses of pregnancy-terminating drugs.

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The Kansas Supreme Court ruled in April 2019 that access to abortion is a “fundamental” right under the state constitution, but Watson in July 2019 refused to block enforcement of the ban. while Trust Women’s legal challenge progressed. The state Court of Appeals reversed that decision in May and ordered Watson to reconsider not blocking the ban’s enforcement.

In August, Kansas voters decisively rejected a proposed amendment to the state constitution declaring that it did not grant the right to abortion.


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