PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE
As the heat soars in Kansas this summer, the climate of reproductive justice is also sizzling countrywide. These recent events have us reeling: 
 
A pharmacist at Walgreens in Arizona refused to fill a prescription to induce a miscarriage after a physician told the pregnant woman that her fetus had stopped developing. The pharmacist refused to give it to her, citing his own personal beliefs.
 
The United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of opponents of abortion on free speech grounds, stating that California may not require religiously-oriented ‘Crisis Pregnancy Centers’ to supply women with information on end their pregnancies.
 
Finally, the staunchly anti-choice Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, is an imminent threat to Roe v. Wade. The prospect of Kavanaugh on the bench — combined with President Trump’s past position on abortion — has raised the alarm over reproductive rights in the United States and the future of Roe v. Wade  to a new level.
 
Let’s be loud and clear--WE ARE the pro-choice majority. Since 67 percent of Americans support Roe v. Wade, we will not allow the criminalization of abortion in this country.
 
Remember the personal is political. If you haven’t already, do register to vote and please be sure to vote on Nov. 6.

-Sandy Brown
GRATITUDES
“The help that you extended helped out a lot. Thank you for helping women like me who can’t fully help themselves.”
 
“I want to truly thank you for all your help. Without your funding, I would not have been able to get the procedure, which was truly needed.”
 
“I was very afraid I couldn’t afford this, thinking I might have to bring a child into the world unable to care for it due to my financial standing. Thank you so much not just for helping me, but others as well.”
Kansas Telemedicine Update
The Kansas House and Senate ended this year’s session with a new bill that prohibits abortions by telemedicine. (Telemedecine is the remote diagnosis and treatment of patients by telecommunications technology.) Governor Colyer signed the bill, and it is now the law in Kansas.
 
The telemedicine bill has been in the works for several years, because it does the important work of establishing a definition of telemedicine, establishing payment parameters for providers, and institutes reimbursement rules for insurance companies. It took years of negotiation before legislators agreed on acceptable terms for this bill. Telemedicine has the potential to improve healthcare access to rural Kansans, who sometimes have to travel for an hour or more to see a doctor or visit a hospital.
 
However, during this session, Kansas lawmakers aligned with Kansans for Life inserted a gratuitous prohibition on abortion in the telemedicine bill.
 
Kansas law already requires all medication abortions to be performed in the presence of a physician, so inserting the abortion prohibition in the telemedicine bill only serves to make a political statement and serves no practical purpose.
 
Perhaps most importantly, this law could possibly impact public health for all of Kansas, because the abortion provision includes a “non-severability” clause. This clause requires the whole telemedicine law be nullified if a judge ever invalidates the provision that prohibits abortion.
 
There used to be a similar abortion prohibition in Idaho’s telemedicine law, but the provision was removed from the broader telemedicine law last year after a lawsuit from Planned Parenthood. A proposed anti-abortion provision never made it into Utah’s telemedicine bill, because Utah’s legislature stated they wanted to ensure the bill’s focus remained on improving health outcomes.
 
In Kansas, the severability clause means that all of the provider protections and consumer protections in the bill, which had been negotiated by provider and patient advocate groups for months, would be wiped out if the abortion prohibition is successfully challenged. Kansas would essentially have to start from square one to re-institute telemedicine legislation.
Trust Women shares facts regarding procedure costs & insurance hurdles
We asked the Trust Women Foundation Clinic in Wichita to answer a few questions about procedure options and costs for patients. They kindly provided some valuable insight:
 
How much does the average 1st trimester abortion cost?
 
The cost of a first trimester procedure starts at $650.
Additional costs for blood type, risk factors or sedation are between $50-$300.
 
What’s the price difference between a surgical and a medical abortion?
 
The cost for both types of procedures is the same. Various restrictions, policies and laws require a certain level of staffing at all times—essentially it costs us more to provide the medication procedure than the surgical procedure, but we price them the same so that cost is not the deciding factor for patients.
 
What percentage of surgical vs. medical abortions does your clinic perform?
 
The break down between surgical and medication varies from week to week. We are the only clinic in Wichita to offer both medication and surgical procedures, the other provider offers medication only.
 
What percentage of patients are able to use insurance to pay for their procedure?
 
Almost no patients have ever been able to use their private insurance to pay for an abortion. State law
prohibits insurance policies from covering for abortion care, except when it is a danger to the woman’s life or in cases of rape/incest. Medicaid and Medicare are both barred from covering for abortions—with the same exceptions. In the past 5 years of operation we have had two patients successfully use their private insurance to pay for an abortion—one patient was unaware she even had coverage.