Kansas Law Regarding Licensing Regulations of Abortion Clinics (SB 36)
This law was last updated on Jan 9, 2019
SB 36 is a TRAP law that establishes licensing regulations for abortion clinics.
The law requires that the secretary of the Department of Health and Environment adopt rules and regulations and to prescribe standards for sanitation, housekeeping, maintenance, staff qualifications, emergency equipment and procedures to provide emergency care, medical records and reporting, laboratory, procedure and recovery rooms, physical plant, quality assurance, infection control, information on and access to patient follow-up care and any other necessary areas of medical practice for facilities for the performance of abortions. The law further requires the secretary to adopt rules and regulations related to facility personnel, the abortion procedure, minimum recovery room standards, and follow-up visits.
The regulations must include a requirement that a physician with admitting privileges at a hospital located within 30 miles of the facility be available. (See Section 9.)
The law requires that each abortion facility be inspected at least twice a year, and that at least one of these inspections be made without providing prior notice to the facility.
The law establishes that if the secretary of the Department of Health and Environment determines that an abortion facility is in violation in any applicable law, rule, or regulation relating to the maintenance of the facility, then the secretary may deny, suspend, or revoke the license of the facility, or fine the facility.
The law requires that except in case of a medical emergency, an abortion of an “unborn child” of a gestational age of 22 weeks or more must be performed in a hospital or ambulatory surgical center that has been licensed to perform abortions. The law further states that “all other abortions” must be performed in a hospital, ambulatory surgical center, or facility that has been licensed to perform abortions, and that a hospital or ambulatory surgical center that does not meet the definition of “facility” under the act may perform abortions.
The law defines “facility” as follows:
‘Facility’’ means any clinic, hospital or ambulatory surgical center, in which any second or third trimester elective abortion, or five or more first trimester elective abortions are performed in a month, excluding any abortion performed due to a medical emergency as defined in this act, and amendments thereto.
Medication Abortion/Telemedicine Ban
The bill states that no abortion shall be performed or induced by any person other than a physician licensed to practice medicine in the state of Kansas. When RU-486 (mifepristone) or any drug is used for the purpose of inducing an abortion, the drug must be administered in the physical presence of the physician who prescribed, dispensed, or otherwise provided the drug. The bill could be interpreted to require that a woman make a second trip to the physician for the second dose of mifepristone.
The bill also requires the physician to schedule a follow-up visit 12 to 18 days after the administration or use of the drug. The physician is required to make a reasonable effort to ensure that the woman returns for the follow-up visit and to document such efforts by including in the woman’s medical record the date, time, and name of the person making the effort. (See Section 10.)
In November 2011, a state court temporarily blocked the telemedicine provision from going into effect. In December 2012, the parties agreed that the law would remain blocked pending litigation. (See Hodes & Nauser v. Schmidt.)