Tuesday, July 12, 2011

As goes Kansas, so goes Pennsylvania?

Pro-big-government activists are implementing their strategy to rollback women's access to reproductive healthcare all over the country, not just in Pennsylvania. The strategy goes a little something like this: Alter the legal requirements for abortion clinics, under the guise of "patient safety" (because we're all supposed to believe they want women to have safe access to abortion), and then watch the clinics scramble to meet the requirements. Poof! No more access to safe abortion!

Note that I didn't say no more abortions. There will still be abortions. With less clinics able to offer care, though, women seeking abortions will potentially seek care via less safe methods, including self-induced abortions and from illegal providers like Kermit Gosnell.

Pennsylvania is facing that threat with Senate Bill 732 and House Bill 574, both of which have passed one chamber of the state legislature. WPSU-FM laid out the arguments in a story yesterday.

The pro-big-government activists have pursued a similar strategy in Kansas. The requirements were different, and the KS Department of Health only gave the clinics two weeks to react. But the strategy is the same.

Here in PA, we've predicted that the enactment of SB 732 or HB 574 could lead to clinics closing or no longer offering abortion services. It would also likely lead to costly litigation.

And that's exactly what has happened in Kansas. Two of the state's three clinics were unable to comply, and they filed suit. A federal judge ruled in their favor and imposed a temporary restraining order on the new legal requirements.

Some states have implemented ambulatory surgical facility regs on abortion clinics that offer abortion beyond a certain period of weeks gestation, but we are aware of no state that has implemented ASF regs for all abortion clinics like SB 732 and HB 574. If enacted, this law would make Pennsylvania the most extreme of the extreme. And like Kansas, Pennsylvania can expect a costly constitutional lawsuit on its hands.

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