Kansas tweaks blocked “webcam” abortion ban

By Kathy Ostrowski, Legislative Director, Kansans for Life

(Photo: Christopher Gannon/The Des Moines Register

(Photo: Christopher Gannon/The Des Moines Register

Kansas doesn’t want abortion pills dispensed by “webcam.”

The Kansas House Saturday afternoon passed a modest tweak to an abortion law insuring that abortion pills will not be accessed by “webcam” without a licensed Kansas physician being on site.

Senate Sub for HB 2228 passed the House bill 109-2 with one “pass” and 13 members absent, mirroring the Senate’s 39-0 support last week. It is expected to be signed without delay by Gov. Brownback and will go into effect upon publication.

This way, the Attorney General’s office can ask the district Court to allow the original 2011 anti-webcam provision to go into effect while the snail-paced lawsuit proceeds.

The anti-webcam language was enacted in 2011 as part of a comprehensive Abortion Clinic Licensure Act. All of the Act has been blocked due to an injunction obtained by the Overland Park abortion business, Center for Women’s Health.

The measure is a technical clarification. It affirms that medical emergencies and hospital abortions are exceptions to the abortion pill “in-person-physician” mandate.

Last year, the Kansas legislature similarly passed clarifications to the abortion medical emergency definition and the mandated informed consent weblink. The desired result was achieved when distinct legal challenges in separate courts from CWH and Planned Parenthood were dropped due to the clarifications.

A non-surgical [chemical] abortion actually involves two different drugs: mifepristone given initially, followed within 2 days by misoprostol. Abortions “by pills” comprised 46% of total Kansas abortions in 2014, and pose serious risks, including death. (See NRLC report here.)