A Kansas judge decided Monday that the state cannot prevent women from accessing telemedicine abortions, ruling that a law banning telemedicine abortion holds no legal weight.
District Judge Franklin Theis ruled Monday that the Kansas Telemedicine Act, which includes a provision that bans abortion via telemedicine, has no legal bearing, according to KSNT.com.
Theis called the law an “air ball” in a previous hearing, KSNT.com reported.
The act was passed in May and was set to go into effect Tuesday, The Associated Press reported.
The ruling comes after The Center for Reproductive Rights filed a lawsuit on behalf of Trust Women Wichita against the state in early November over its telemedicine law.
Trust Women “opens clinics that provide abortion care in underserved communities so that all women can make their own decisions about their health care,” according to its Twitter.
BREAKING: We’re challenging Kansas’s telemedicine ban which threatens basic access to abortion. Kansans already face a slew of anti-abortion restrictions. We won’t allow lawmakers to continue to pass ideologically driven laws targeting women’s health. https://t.co/Ymh8vv2Y95 pic.twitter.com/jwy5eM5lrS
— Center for Reproductive Rights (@ReproRights) November 8, 2018
The patient takes an abortion pill in the “virtual presence” of a doctor, and takes a second pill later at home on their own, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
“By treating women seeking abortions differently from similarly-situated patients seeking all other forms of medical care delivered via telemedicine, the Act violates the rights of Plaintiff’s patients to equal protection under the law,” reads the lawsuit, according to The Wichita Eagle.
“This is a good outcome,” said Trust Women attorney Bob Eye, applauding Theis’s ruling, according to KSNT.com.
Pro-lifers, however, are unhappy with Monday’s decision to permit telemedicine abortions. Kansans for Life executive director Mary Kay Culp called the ruling “infuriating,” KSNT.com reported.
“This judge has a long history of taking laws designed by the Legislature to protect unborn babies and women and turning them into laws that instead protect the abortion industry,” Culp added.
Over a dozen other states prohibit telemedicine abortions, according to the Guttmacher Institute.
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