Kansas judge blocks state law to ban prescribing abortion drugs via telemedicine

A Kansas court on Wednesday sided with state abortion clinics, allowing them to prescribe abortion via telemedicine. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/be084037b42d6dfa8013bb04d57eda3e/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
A Kansas court on Wednesday sided with state abortion clinics, allowing them to prescribe abortion via telemedicine. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 24 (UPI) -- A Kansas district court has blocked a state ban on doctors prescribing abortion-inducing medication via telemedicine, expanding patient access to abortion care in the state served by four abortion clinics.

Shawnee County District Court Teresa Watson issued the preliminary injunction Wednesday against the 2011 law that prohibited abortion pills from being prescribed over the phone by mandating that such a drug be administered in the same room and in the "physical presence" of the physician who prescribed them.


The ruling comes in a lawsuit filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights on behalf of Trust Women, a Wichita clinic that provides reproductive healthcare, in early 2019, arguing that it would suffer irreparable injury if the law were to be enforced.

The court had initially denied Trust Women injunctive relief -- a decision that was overturned by an appeals court in June, which said the district court had abused its discretion in denying the clinic's request.

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"If Trust Women does not have physicians because the board suspends or revokes the physicians' licenses for engaging in telemedicine medication abortion as prohibited ... then Trust Women cannot offer telemedicine medication," the June ruling stated. "[T]his particularly harms Trust Women and its patients by reducing access to and delaying abortions."


Nancy Northup, president and chief executive officer of the Centre for Reproductive Rights, said this decision came at a time it was in urgent needed.

"Today's decision paves the way for Kansas abortion clinics to expand services to women in remote, underserved areas of Kansas," Northup said in a statement. "We will continue to fight telemedicine bans in states across the U.S. since it is a pivotal tool for the future of abortion care."

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The ruling comes after Kansans earlier this year rejected a ballot measure that would have eliminated the fundamental right to abortion under the state's constitution.

Abortion-rights advocates march against overturning of Roe vs. Wade

Women attend a candlelight vigil in Washington on June 26, two days after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade, ending federal abortion protections. Photo by Jemal Countess/UPI | License Photo

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