Planned Parenthood in Kansas announces telemedicine abortions

A Planned Parenthood affiliate announced Tuesday that its clinics in Kansas are offering medication abortions through telemedicine as the state’s abortion providers say they are seeing an influx of appointment requests from women in states with stricter abortion laws.

The move comes after voters in Kansas chose to retain state constitutional protections for abortion rights in August, and less than a month after a state-court judge blocked enforcement of Kansas’ ban on telemedicine abortions.

‘This will allow us to better meet the needs of more patients, in an even more timely manner, by greatly increasing the number of physicians available to deliver care – in a region that has long-faced gaps in provider coverage,’ Planned Parenthood Great Plains tweeted.

The affiliate said patients seeking medication abortions through telemedicine will still have to be seen at a clinic in person.

‘While patients receiving a medication abortion via telehealth will be seen in person at a health center in Kansas to complete consent requirements and an evaluation, the telehealth physician may be in any state where abortion is legal,’ the abortion provider said.

The Planned Parenthood affiliate already offers some telehealth services, such as refilling birth control prescriptions or gender-affirming care visits for transgender patients.

Eighteen states have bans on telemedicine abortions in place, according to national groups on both sides of the debate. They include Arizona, Indiana, Nebraska and North Carolina.

President and CEO Emily Wales said the long-term goal is to work with a network of doctors or clinics across the state so that women don’t have to travel to Wichita or the Kansas City area to obtain abortion medications.

Patients in states with more restrictive abortion laws still would have to travel to Kansas, as they do now. Doctors doing the teleconsulting also would have to be licensed to practice medicine in Kansas, as they must be now.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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