Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood Great Plains, which operates health clinics in Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma, has offered severance packages to dozens of employees as it reels from a financial crisis caused in part by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thirty-six employees in communications, development, education, human resources, finance and public affairs were eligible to receive the offers. Friday is their deadline to accept. As of Thursday, nine had accepted.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on Monday striking down a Louisiana abortion restriction means similar provisions in Missouri and Kansas are no longer enforceable.

In a 5-4 decision, the court found unconstitutional a Louisiana law that requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. Had the court upheld the Louisiana law, the state would have been left with just one abortion clinic.

TOPEKA, Kansas — Kansans will likely vote this August on whether to become the fourth state to enshrine in their constitution that abortion isn't a right.

Anti-abortion activists say Kansas needs the change to protect its current abortion laws against potential court challenges.  

Their abortion rights counterparts warn many of those laws already go too far, and the constitutional amendment would pave the way for making abortion illegal.

Where does Kansas law stand on abortion today?

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Republican lawmakers in Kansas pushed a proposed anti-abortion amendment to the state constitution through the state Senate on Wednesday even as abortion rights advocates argued that it would lead to a ban on most abortions like a measure being pursued in Tennessee.

TOPEKA, Kansas ⁠— Lawmakers are fast-tracking a push to amend the state constitution and undo a Kansas Supreme Court ruling that said women have the right to abortion.

The goal, with voters’ approval in August, is to add a line to the state bill of rights saying abortion isn’t constitutionally protected ⁠— and that legislators can regulate abortions, including when a pregnancy results from rape or incest or threatens a woman’s life.

The proposal already is awaiting floor votes in both chambers, just over a week after the 2020 session began. 

Chris Neal for the Kansas News Service

Kansas lawmakers spent years imposing ever tougher restrictions on abortion and then saw the state Supreme Court declare that women hold a right to the procedure.

Now Republicans and abortion opponents appear determined to amend the Kansas Constitution to reverse that ruling.

A day after Kansas notified Planned Parenthood in May 2016 that it would cut off its participation in Medicaid, the nonprofit group sued to block the move.

So Kansas hired three high-powered East Coast law firms to defend it in a case that would slog on for nearly three years before Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s administration agreed to drop the termination effort in April.

Kansas has dropped its effort to terminate Planned Parenthood’s participation in Medicaid, ending a three-year-long court battle that the state lost at every turn.

The change in policy wasn’t announced publicly but rather came in the form of a joint stipulation to dismiss Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit challenging the state’s move.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service/File photo

A proposed constitutional amendment introduced this week would effectively ban all abortions in Kansas by declaring that life begins at fertilization.

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A judge ruled Monday that Kansas cannot stop telemedicine abortions, thwarting the latest attempt by state lawmakers to prevent doctors from providing pregnancy-ending pills to women they see by remote video conferences.

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