Abortion Laws Blocked in Indiana, Kansas and South Dakota
By Pamela M. Prah, Staff Writer
States enacted a record 80 new restrictions on abortion this year, according to a new report from the Guttmacher Institute. That is more more than double the previous record of 34 abortion restrictions enacted in 2005, the institute says.
Not surprisingly, some of the most-closely watched and controversial new laws have ended up in court. On hold is South Dakota 's new law that requires women seeking abortions to face a three-day waiting period — the nation's longest - and undergo counseling at pregnancy help centers that discourage abortion. A federal judge said the law, which was to go into effect July 1, was likely unconstitutional, the Associated Press reports . "Forcing a woman to divulge to a stranger at a pregnancy help center the fact that she has chosen to undergo an abortion humiliates and degrades her as a human being," U.S. District Chief Judge Karen Schreier said in her ruling.
In Kansas , a federal judge this month temporarily blocked the state from enforcing new abortion regulations that would have prevented two of the state's three abortion providers from continuing to terminate pregnancies, USA Today reports . The new Kansas law requires hospitals, clinics and doctor's offices to obtain an annual license from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to perform more than five non-emergency abortions in a month. The regulations lay out what drugs and equipment abortion providers must stock and, among other things, establish minimum sizes and acceptable temperatures for procedure and recovery rooms.
And Indiana's plan to ban the use of Medicaid funds at Planned Parenthood clinics also was temporarily blocked. U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt ruled that the defunding law violates federal Medicaid rules and "will exact a devastating financial toll" on Planned Parenthood of Indiana and hinder its ability to continue serving patients' general health needs, The Indianapolis Star reports .
Similar efforts to bar Planned Parenthood from participating in federal health programs were considered in Kansas , North Carolina , Texas , and Wisconsin.