Kansas abortion clinics impacted by new Texas law
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Some Texas women are now traveling to surrounding states, including Kansas, to have abortions. The increase comes after Senate Bill 80, a new abortion law, went into effect on Thursday. In the last couple of days, dozens of women from Texas reached out to Trust Women Clinic in Wichita.
”The phones were pretty much lit up all day,” said Ashley Brink, director of the Trust Women Clinic. “We saw a surge and patients calling from Texas and from other southern states who are being impacted by the hurricane that normally would go to Texas to seek abortion care but are now getting into other states. So, we’ve seen a huge increase in our city, calling and coming in for appointments.”
Brink said her office has begun purchasing more medical equipment and medications to keep up with the recent demand in patient care.
“We started working with staff to make sure there’s adequate coverage on our phones to take the incoming calls. Our building is soon going under renovation to make sure we can see more patients,” said Brink.
While abortion clinics are looking to expand services, abortion opponents are looking to restrict access to the procedures in Kansas.
Political analyst Neal Allen said, now, more focus will be placed on a new abortion law that will appear on Kansas ballots in 2022.
“We in Kansas are going to get to vote on whether or not abortion can be a right or not. Next year, an amendment to the state constitution, which is on the ballot in August. But in Kansas right now, it’s unlikely to see anything like the Texas law, at least for another year or so, because the state Supreme Court would likely block anything like the Texas abortion law,” said Allen.
A 2019 ruling by the Kansas Supreme Court said the state constitution does protect abortion rights in Kansas. The vote to put that on the ballot fell largely along party lines in the state legislature, passing in the Kansas Senate with just one more vote than the two-thirds needed.
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