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Judge puts Kansas abortion law on hold

Associated Press / July 2, 2011

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A federal judge temporarily blocked Kansas yesterday from enforcing new abortion regulations that would prevent two of the state’s three abortion providers from continuing to terminate pregnancies.

US District Judge Carlos Murguia’s injunction will remain in effect until a trial is held in a lawsuit challenging the rules. A new licensing law and state health department regulations took effect yesterday.

The new 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 tell abortion providers what drugs and equipment they must stock and, among other things, establish minimum sizes for procedure and recovery rooms.

Abortion-rights advocates have not trusted the licensing process because new Governor Sam Brownback is a strong abortion opponent.

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