1 of 3 Kansas abortion clinics denied state license

1 of 3 Kansas abortion clinics denied state license

One of three abortion providers in Kansas appeared likely to close after being denied a state license to continue terminating pregnancies at its Kansas City-area clinic, and abortion rights supporters feared Friday that the anti-abortion governor's administration will reject licenses for the other two.

The state enacted a law earlier this year establishing a special licensing process for abortion providers, and they must either get licenses or stop offering the procedure on July 1. Backers of the law argue it protects patients from substandard care, but critics believe the real goal is to make Kansas the first state without an abortion clinic.

A lawyer for the Aid for Women clinic in Kansas City, Kan., said Friday that it received a notice that its application for a license had been denied by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment without an inspection. Attorney Cheryl Pilate said the clinic was looking at its legal options but would have to close, at least temporarily.

The clinic received its notice on the same day the leader of a regional Planned Parenthood chapter said inspectors who spent two days at its Overland Park clinic found it will comply with all new regulations. An inspection of the third provider is scheduled for Wednesday. All three are in the Kansas City area.

"We're doomed," said Dr. Herbert Hodes, who performs abortions for the third provider, the Women's Health Center, also in Overland Park.

But Peter Brownlie, president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, said if the health department bases its decision on the 20-hour inspection of the group's clinic, it should get a license.

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