Kansas officials have agreed not to enforce a new restriction on medication abortions for at least five weeks before a state court judge decides whether to put it on hold until he decides a lawsuit challenging it and other existing rules.
Providers and their attorneys announced the agreement Tuesday. For now, providers won’t have to tell patients that they can stop a medication abortion using a regimen that providers and major medical groups consider unproven and potentially dangerous. The new rule was set to take effect July 1.
The agreement, filed Friday in Johnson County District Court in the Kansas City area, does not prevent the state from enforcing other, existing restrictions the providers have challenged, including a requirement that patients wait 24 hours after seeing a doctor in person to terminate their pregnancies. District Judge K. Christopher Jayaram has set an Aug. 8 hearing to consider whether the newest restriction or others should be blocked while the lawsuit is pending.
For more than a decade, abortion opponents have touted a medication “reversal” regimen developed by a veteran California doctor using the hormone progesterone, long given to prevent miscarriages.
The new Kansas law was set to take effect less than a year after a decisive August 2022 statewide vote affirming abortion rights. The Republican-controlled Legislature enacted it over Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s veto.
Also sued were the chairman and top staffer of the state’s medical board, which can suspend or revoke doctors’ licenses for breaking state law.