Bad Medicine in Kansas and Oklahoma

How a Political Agenda is Undermining Abortion Care and Access

In Kansas and Oklahoma, anti-abortion politicians are disregarding evidence-based medical practices, the judgment of health care providers and the needs and preferences of patients and families. Today, the National Partnership for Women & Families and advocates and providers at Trust Women released two issue briefs detailing some of each state’s most egregious abortion restrictions. Bad Medicine Kansas and Bad Medicine Oklahoma explain how politicians in each state pass laws that restrict and undermine quality abortion care in order to advance an ideological agenda that blatantly disregards medical evidence and scientific integrity. These restrictions include:

  • Ultrasound requirements that directly undermine a provider’s ability to make health care decisions with a patient based on what is medically appropriate in her circumstances.
  • Biased counseling requirements that force providers to mislead their patients by giving them state-drafted information that is contrary to medical evidence and scientific research.
  • Mandatory delay laws that force providers to delay time-sensitive care regardless of the provider’s medical judgment or the patient’s needs.
  • Bans on providing medication abortion via telemedicine, disregarding medical evidence demonstrating that it is safe and improves access.
  • Targeted regulation of abortion providers (TRAP laws) that force providers or clinics to conform to burdensome requirements that are not based on scientific evidence and do not further patients’ health or interests.

"These bad medicine laws display how far politicians will go to limit access to abortion care," said Sarah Lipton-Lubet, vice president for reproductive health and rights at the National Partnership for Women & Families. "Politics have no place in the exam room. With new legislatures in Kansas and Oklahoma, it’s time for lawmakers to turn the page, repeal bad medicine laws and take steps to remove barriers to abortion care."

"The Kansas and Oklahoma legislatures are notorious for passing restrictions on abortion that have nothing to do with quality health care standards, evidence or best practices," said Trust Women CEO and Founder, Julie Burkhart. "Trust Women works every day to ensure women can get access to care in spite of all the Bad Medicine laws that exist in Kansas and Oklahoma."

These laws are part of a dangerous trend of state lawmakers prioritizing politics over women’s health care. Taken collectively or individually, these laws create significant burdens on women’s access to abortion care — and are the most harmful for low-income women, women of color, rural women and young people. The National Partnership and Trust Women are working together to fight back against these restrictions until every woman is able to access the care she needs with dignity and without barriers.

You can find out more about Bad Medicine laws across the country at NationalPartnership.org/BadMedicine.

About the National Partnership

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, reproductive health and rights, access to quality, affordable health care and policies that help all people meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at NationalPartnership.org.

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Amaya Smith
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