Planned Parenthood faces abortion challenge in Kansas City
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Planned Parenthood clinic in Kansas City that stopped providing medication-induced abortions when its provider left five months ago is facing licensing issues as it works to resume offering the procedure.
The license that allowed the procedure at the midtown clinic expired earlier this month, KCUR -FM reported. After its previous provider left, the clinic secured another one. But Planned Parenthood said state health officials want to start the licensing inspection process from scratch.
“It’s hard for me to imagine how this isn’t for purposes of delay,” said Emily Wales, Planned Parenthood’s general counsel and chief compliance lawyer.
“We met our deadlines and submitted things to them as requested and, without any other information from the department, we hear that our license has expired, with no response to our application until after the date of expiration,” she said.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment left Monday by The Associated Press.
Because the midtown clinic’s new abortion provider doesn’t have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, it’s unclear whether it would be able to offer abortion services even if its license is renewed. A lawsuit is being fought over an admitting privilege requirement.
Emily Miller, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood Great Plains, which operates the midtown facility, said the clinic continues to provide reproductive and other health services to patients, and has been directing patients interested in an abortion to its Overland Park, Kansas, facility.
“When abortion patients are contacting us to schedule appointments, we’re just talking with them about their alternatives,” Miller said. “We can’t keep people waiting around, so we’re trying to meet the need with services at our Overland Park location if that’s possible for people.”
For patients who depend on public transportation, that may be inconvenient at best and, in some circumstances, not possible at all.
“For a lot of patients, this is a much more accessible location,” Miller said. “So this is why we really feel like we need to restore care here.”
Information from: KCUR-FM, http://www.kcur.org