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Planned Parenthood sues Kansas over abortion reversal claims


By Brendan Pierson

(Reuters) – Planned Parenthood on Tuesday sued to block a new Kansas law requiring healthcare providers to tell patients that medication abortion can be reversed, a potentially dangerous claim not supported by evidence.

The lawsuit in the District Court of Johnson County, filed against state and local authorities on behalf of a group of doctors, also challenges older mandates requiring providers to warn patients that abortion is linked to breast cancer, and to wait at last 30 minutes after meeting with a patient to perform an abortion.

Reviews of evidence by the U.S. National Cancer Institute have concluded that there is no link between abortion and breast cancer.

The office of Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Kansas Republican lawmakers passed the medication abortion reversal bill in April, amending a longstanding law that already required a raft of mandatory patient counseling and a waiting period before abortions. The legislature later overrode a veto by the state’s Democratic governor, Laura Kelly.

Medication abortion involves taking the drug mifepristone followed by misoprostol. The Kansas law requires doctors to state that the effect of mifepristone, before misoprostol, can be reversed with a high dose of the hormone progesterone.

The only clinical trial of the process was halted early after three of 12 patients experienced severe bleeding requiring them to go to the hospital.

Planned Parenthood said in Tuesday’s lawsuit that requiring doctors to suggest “experimental and potentially dangerous treatments violates medical ethics and subjects plaintiffs to potential disciplinary action or liability.”

It also said the entire patient counseling law for abortion “undermines the principles of bodily integrity and decisional autonomy that underlie the doctrine of informed consent,” and violates doctors’ free speech rights.

Medication abortion has been in the national spotlight since a Texas federal judge suspended mifepristone’s approval in April. The U.S. Supreme Court has put that ruling on hold while the Biden administration appeals.

Many Republican-led states have banned abortion since the Supreme Court eliminated the federal constitutional right to abortion last year. Abortion remains legal in Kansas.

(Reporting By Brendan Pierson in New York, Editing by Alexia Garamfalvi and David Gregorio)

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