Kan. Planned Parenthood to get abortion license

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas avoided becoming the first state without an abortion provider by granting Planned Parenthood a license Thursday to continue performing abortions under new regulations being challenged in federal court.

The new rules from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment tell abortion providers what drugs and equipment they must have on hand, how big some of their rooms must be and the temperatures allowed in procedure and recovery rooms. The department is imposing them under a new licensing law that takes effect today, along with the rules.

Peter Brownlie, president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, confirmed it had received a license.

But Planned Parenthood had been certain enough earlier that its clinic in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park wouldn’t get a license that it filed a lawsuit Thursday in U.S. District Court in Kansas City. The filing came only hours after a state board granted the health department final approval to impose its rules.

The state’s two other providers were involved in a separate federal lawsuit filed earlier this week. A hearing in that case was scheduled for Friday.

Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit said it was denied a license Monday but that it was still in contact with the health department, attempting to assure it that it would comply with the new regulations. Brownlie said the group would withdraw its lawsuit because it was getting the license.

“It confirms what we knew all along, that we provide high-quality health care,” Brownlie said. “We’re glad to be able to keep meeting the needs of our patients.”

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment would only say that one of the state’s three abortion providers would receive a license by Friday, but it would not name the provider. Had none of the clinics received a license, Kansas would have become the only state in the country without an abortion provider.

The state’s two other clinics have not been inspected for licensing under the new law.

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