KANSAS CITY, Mo. — On Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, a Shawnee County District Court judge overturned a 2011 law that prevented doctors from offering abortion services through telemedicine.
The Center for Reproductive Rights filed a lawsuit in 2019 over the 2011 law, arguing it went against the Kansas Constitution’s abortion rights provision.
After the ruling from the judge, the organization released a statement celebrating it.
“This decision will further open up abortion care in Kansas at a time it’s urgently needed. In this post-Roe world, telemedicine can make the difference in being able to receive abortion care or not,” Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said. “Today’s decision paves the way for Kansas abortion clinics to expand services to women in remote, underserved areas of Kansas. We will continue to fight telemedicine bans in states across the U.S. since it is a pivotal tool for the future of abortion care.”
Planned Parenthood Great Plains President/CEO Emily Wales said in an e-mailed statement Monday to KSHB 41 that the organization applauded the judge's ruling.
"It shouldn’t be news when a medication that’s safer than many over-the-counter drugs is approved for more widespread use, but the reality is that safety and efficacy isn’t at the heart of this conversation about health care," Wales said. "As other states further restrict care and violate citizens’ fundamental rights, Kansas remains a place that respects patients.”
The ruling comes in the wake of Kansas voters rejecting an amendment in August that would have paved the way for Kansas lawmakers to enact strict laws similar to those passed or that went into effect in other states.
On Wednesday, Jeanne Gawdun, Kansans for Life director of governmental relations, said the organization was "sickened by the ruling," calling the timing of the ruling "suspect."
“Issuing the order the day before Thanksgiving appears to be a ploy to quietly slip the latest loosening of abortion industry regulations past Kansans preoccupied with holiday preparations," Gawdun said.