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Justice Beier

Justice Beier

Kansas is a “red” conservative state with a “blue” state Supreme Court and a liberal media supporting the latter.

But even the slavish Kansas media is having a hard time keeping the illusion alive that the behavior of Kansas’ top Court is ethically disciplined and above politics.

Last week the Court rushed to rule that the name of a Democrat candidate for U.S. Senate would not appear on the upcoming ballot. (more here)

No one disputes that the withdrawal was aimed at consolidating opposition to pro-life GOP Sen. Pat Roberts behind a newly-emerged, “independent-but-Democrat leaning,” pro-abortion, multi-millionaire challenger, Greg Orman.

The widely acknowledged impact of the Kansas Supreme Court’s decision could be to help unseat Roberts. The media gleefully positioned the ruling as slapping down a partisan Secretary of State who would not deem a candidate’s hasty withdrawal as legal.

But the Court was not done. It gave Democrats another gift: the time delay they needed to avoid selecting a replacement candidate for the Democrat ticket, as required by law. The Court on Tuesday sent that issue to a lower court with an indefensible excuse, read: The Kansas Supremes Give Democrats Exactly What They Wanted . . . Again

However, another story arose the same day, one the press groaned inwardly to report because it shredded what few excuses there were to insist the Court’s decision was above board: complaints from the GOP that a fundraiser for the extremely anti-life Democrat gubernatorial candidate would be held that night at the home of State Supreme Court Justice, Carol Beier!

The most incensed media outlet was the uber-liberal (and rather raunchy) “alternative” online source, The Pitch, based in Kansas City. Reporter Steve Vockrodt wrote

[Carol Beier is] often accused by the state’s Republican activists of advancing stridently liberal ideology on the state’s highest court.
A Tuesday-evening backyard barbecue at Beier’s house thrown in support of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Paul Davis, however, seems tailor-made to amplify such claims while calling into question the judge’s integrity.
“It’s my husband’s event,” Beier tells The Pitch. “I’ve taken pains not to be involved in it.”
But it’s hard to see the upside to holding a campaign event at the home of a top judicial official, someone who could have a say on the legal muster of legislation that Davis might sign as a future governor. At best, it’s reckless.
Both Beier and Davis are lawyers who should understand that even the appearance of a conflict of interest is a troublesome prospect. But neither seems bothered by the question today.

While it is true that no rule in the Kansas Code of Judicial Conduct limits the political activities of a judge’s family, the media is warning Beier, and the Court, such blatantly partisan stunts are nearly impossible for the media to spin as passing the smell test.

The media will, however, continue to help the liberals and anti-lifers. They sanitized the Paul Davis lap dance story and refused to link it to his role in opposing (and mocking) state proposals to regulate strip clubs over the past few years. (see Community Defense bill vote here)

The media has portrayed the Kansas state Supreme Court ruling as a rebuke to a partisan Secretary of State—not as inappropriate activism by a pro-Democrat Court wanting to help prevent the Republican Party’s takeover of the U.S. Senate. But consider….

  • There was no media mention that the Supreme Court majority are Sebelius-appointees unvetted by the Senate and selected by an elitist committee.
  • There was no questioning why a longtime Democrat advisor and long-time business partner with the state Democrat Party, Justice Dan Biles, didn’t recuse himself from an issue so critical to the democrat party interests.

It is supposed to be commonly held that the media and judges discipline themselves to be neutral. But consider, as a mental exercise, whether the Kansas Court rulings and media stories would be the same if it were the GOP overturning the results of a state primary to achieve a back-room-made deal disadvantaging the Democrats.

Sec. of State Kobach (l) tried to keep Chad Taylor on US Senate ballot

Sec. of State Kris Kobach (l) was overruled on keeping Chad Taylor (r) on ballot

As we predicted after Tuesday’s hearing, the Kansas Supreme Court ordered that the name of Shawnee County District Attorney, Chad Taylor, be removed from the ballot as the Democrat contender for U.S. Senate.

It remains unsettled whether the final ballot for the Kansas U.S. Senate seat will include a Democrat because Secretary of State, Kris Kobach, asserts that the state Democrat Party is legally obligated to submit a replacement candidate for Taylor. At a press conference Thursday, Kobach announced the new Democrat name must be received by noon, Sept. 26.

UPDATE, 5pm, Fri. Sept.19: The AP now reports that Kobach’s office sent a directive to county officials, telling them to move ahead with mailing the ballots without having a Democrat nominee listed for the U.S. Senate race.

Taylor had filed at the last possible hour to remove his name (see more here) and has not yet commented on the reason he withdrew. The Kansas law on this matter was supposedly strengthened to prevent such late withdrawals of candidates for purely partisan calculations that disenfranchise those who voted in the primary.

The state Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling late Thursday remained very narrow and focused, declaring that Taylor’s official request to remove his name “pursuant to” the statute was acceptable, without a declaration of his “incapability to serve.”

Kobach told Bloomberg News he was disappointed:

 “The court’s decision essentially nullifies what the legislature did in 1997 when they inserted 14 words into the law to require a candidate declare that he is incapable of fulfilling the duties of office.”

Incumbent Republican U.S. Senator, Pat Roberts, is the only pro-life candidate for that office. He commented about the ruling, “This is not only a travesty to Kansas voters, but it’s a travesty to the judicial system and our electoral process.”

Pundits point out that elimination of a Democrat nominee will benefit lately-entered “independent” candidate,  Greg Orman. Multi-millionnaire Orman has already spent over $900,000.00 on TV commercials.

The state Supreme Court did not rule Thursday on the legal duty to supply a Democrat substitute for Taylor, but a motion for the Court to address this issue has now been filed by a disgruntled Democrat.

KS Supreme Court, currently awaits installation of Calb Stegall

Kansas Supreme Court, 6 current members- top row and bottom right selected by former Gov. Sebelius.  Caleb Stegall to join Dec.5.

As it was a decade ago, the Kansas Supreme Court is smack dab in the middle of a controversy affecting pro-lifers.

Back then, the top Court was being utilized by abortion attorneys to halt then-Attorney General Phill Kline’s battle to enforce state late-term abortion laws.

Today, the state Supreme Court held a hearing over an election law. Their ruling will affect efforts to retain a true pro-life Kansas Senator, and to thwart the anti-life agenda of President Obama and Sen. Majority leader, Harry Reid.

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, a stalwart pro-life Republican, is on the ballot for re-election in November. The Democrat opponent, Chad Taylor, caused a shockwave when he filed to remove himself from the race during the last hour of the last possible legal day to do so, Sept. 3.

It is not debated that Taylor, without state-wide name recognition and funding, was urged by anti-Roberts interests to bow out, in hopes of clearing a path for recently-declared, ‘independent’, candidate Greg Orman. The political bosses calculated that a lone, multi-millionnaire candidate might better take down incumbent Roberts, following his bruising GOP primary fight.

What the Kansas Supreme Court heard today, was whether Taylor properly effectuated his request under state law. In 1997, Kansas altered the law which had allowed candidates to leave the race at any time.

Testimony showed a rash of “placeholder” candidates who got on the ballot by primary, and then relinquished their candidacy–allowing party bosses to secure rising, more viable candidates on the ballot at the last minute. Such “placeholder” candidates violate the integrity of elections, and undermine voters in favor of back-room dealing.

Thus, the legislature changed Kansas statute 25-306a to require that candidates can only get their name off the ballot– after the primary– by

  1.  death, or
  2. declaring they are “incapable of fulfilling the duties of office if elected.”

Taylor is alive—although not talking to media. He remains the Shawnee County (Topeka) District Attorney. The legal disagreement is whether it was sufficient for him to request that his name be deleted “pursuant to” the relevant statute, without claiming any incapacity to serve.

Kansas Secretary of State, Kris Kobach, whose office oversees electoral matters, insists he was forced to do his duty and refuse to remove Taylor’s name because Taylor had not made any “declaration” of any “incapability.” Kobach also contends that this is not a case of him trying to help fellow Republican Roberts.

The Kansas Supreme Court, whose members generally hold themselves out as being able to overcome their own personal partisan influences [LOL] will attempt to rule very narrowly on the smallest legal point. They aggressively questioned the Secretary of State’s contention that Taylor’s request was not in “substantial” compliance. Substantial was not defined, but contrasted with absolute compliance to every provision of the statute. The fact that past candidate removal requests had not been notarized, for example, was illustrative that Kobach’s office had made some judgment calls—inferring that this was a step too far.

It is assumed that the Court will issue its ruling tomorrow; they are in “emergency” mode as the state ballots must be printed by Friday. It’s dangerous to predict these things, but it seems likely that the Court will uphold Taylor’s request –and surely it will not be because four of the seven justices were selected by past-Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius!

If the Court does rule that Taylor is off the ballot, a related issue that was not discussed in today’s hearing, is whether the state Democrat party must supply a substitute candidate. Stay tuned!

Kansas WRTK site has interractive ultrasound

Ultrasound featured on KS- WRTK

For decades, we have heard tearful testimony from post-abortive women who were misinformed about the humanity of their unborn child by the abortionist and staff. Far too many mothers have looked at sonograms of their current “wanted” pregnancy only to realize in private horror that the abortion they had years before, did not merely remove a “blob of tissue,” but destroyed a recognizably human, unborn child.

In the pursuit of selling an abortion, clinics cannot be trusted to promote medical accuracy. Unlike other acts of consumer deception, for which lawsuits would be entertained, abortion clinics fear no legal repercussions.

Instead, the one significant bar to total manipulation of abortion information came from the U.S. Supreme Court in its 1992 Casey decision. Casey allows the states to provide “objective, nonjudgmental, scientifically accurate” information relevant to making an informed abortion decision.

Kansas implemented that right in 1997 by creating a “Woman’s Right to Know” division of the state health department (KDHE), to maintain a 24-hour phone hotline and publish official informational booklets.  Every legal abortion in Kansas requires the woman (whether a Kansan or non-resident) to sign a paper that she “accessed” this information prior to abortion.

In 2009, the Kansas legislature was able to enact updated pro-life provisions for informed consent that were not vetoed –as had been the pattern under then-Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius. During a few-weeks window of time when she awaited confirmation as HHS secretary (and having described herself to the Senate Confirmation committee as pro-life!), Sebelius signed a pro-life law containing these main provisions:

  1. required clinics using ultrasound technology to honor the woman’s request to see the child’s ultrasound and receive a hard copy, 30 minutes prior to abortion; and
  2. instructed the KDHE to update all WRTK printed materials to a website.

[Unsurprisingly, after confirmation to the HHS post, Sebelius vetoed another pro-life bill, a late-term abortion ban. And both her administration, and that of her replacement, Gov. Mark Parkinson, botched the WRTK website project.]

IMPROVED 4-D ULTRASOUND
More importantly, however, was the fact that the WRTK website was indeed properly implemented in 2011, under pro-life Gov. Sam Brownback. Notably, the WRTK website was the first in the nation to include an independently-produced,  4-D ultrasound educational tool about prenatal development.

There has been significant traffic to the WRTK website, but the quintessential point is to provide “one-click” access to women at the crucial moments they are considering abortion. (Read more here.)

When women experience a lack of support for maintaining their pregnancy–or downright coercion to abort–they need every tool they can get. The WRTK website is a source of objective facts about pregnancy and a list of assistance centers. It is designed to enlighten and empower women, especially those being pressured by partners, friends or family members. Such information is best contemplated away from the abortion business, and a privately-accessible, trustworthy web source is ideal.

It is noteworthy that the websites of all four Kansas abortion clinics did include this WRTK link voluntarily from 2011-2013–even the (recently-closed) Aid for Women clinic whose website commentary roundly bashed the WRTK information. No doubt the clinics found that burying this link somewhere on their web pages would legally allow them to not physically hand out the WRTK booklets to their clients.

With the link thus so unevenly treated, and even scorned, the Kansas legislature in 2013 mandated that every abortion clinic in the state feature a live link to the WRTK site on their homepage, with a short descriptive tagline. The weblink tagline (tweaked in 2014) reads:

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment maintains a website containing information about the development of the unborn child, as well as video of sonogram images of the unborn child at various stages of development, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment`s website can be reached by clicking here.

Two Kansas City suburban abortion clinics sued the weblink mandate as an infringement of the First Amendment. The injunction governing the weblink–obtained in state court by the Center for Women’s Health, in June 2013– was dissolved this summer. Notice of this action was sent to federal court, which has not yet acted upon a request by Planned Parenthood of Kansas & Mid Missouri for a similar injunction.

Maddow weighs in on clinic closing

Maddow weighed in on abortion clinic closing

Reporters are still contacting Kansans for Life to ask what we think is the real reason the Aid for Women clinic closed abruptly last Saturday.

Our executive director, Mary Kay Culp, responded,

“It’s hard to know for sure why the clinic closed, but if it’s as we suspect– that women are better informed and more protected from clinic exploitation due to new state laws–clinic owners and operators would be the last to admit it.” 

Culp is referencing the state of Kansas-provided “Woman’s Right to Know” information.

Aid for Women so hated having to post the statement

 “The abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being”

on their website’s consent form, that they added this ‘commentary’:

This [statement] is untruthful because the fetus is quite dependent upon, not separate from, the maternal placental oxygen and nutrient acquisition and kidney’s waste disposal. The word “whole” implies “complete” but the fetus is not truly completed until birth. Also, cancer is unique, human and living, yet not deserving of life.

In response to such abortion clinic “factoids,” the state of Kansas enacted a law, effective July 2013 (tweaked slightly in May 2014), that requires each Kansas abortion business to post this on its homepage:

“The Kansas Department of Health and Environment maintains a website containing information about the development of the unborn child, as well as video of sonogram images of the unborn child at various stages of development, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment`s website can be reached by clicking here.”

Isn’t it instructive that not just the abortion clinic but other abortion proponents are reduced to hysterically bad-mouthing scientifically accurate information?

When women go to an abortion clinic’s website, they should be able to see the truth about their unborn baby before they commit to further action.

It is a fair inference, is it not, that equipped with accurate information, fewer women would chose abortion?

On Monday’s show, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow recycled some of Aid for Women’s criticism. For example, Maddow said

“[T]he state of Kansas newly requires all abortion clinics to post this about the state’s official ‘talk you out of an abortion’ website…. And the clinic has made clear as day in context that they think that is hooey… that you shouldn’t believe, but they made us put it out.”

To emphasize the “burden” on the abortion clinic of having to provide an informational link, Maddow shows how Aid for Women added an ‘introduction’ to the mandated link on their homepage (archived here):

“We’re being forced by Republicans to use our website resources to say untruthful things about the state’s pro-life website in hopes you will visit their website and change your mind away from having an abortion. We must have this signage or go to jail. Republicans also don’t believe that rape causes pregnancy, nor that there can ever be too many children. They are stupid. Let’s vote them out of office. However, here goes.”

Maddow is obviously highly sympathetic to the Aid for Women business, quoting the clinic manager as revealing that they had struggled for eight years to find a replacement for the aging abortionist.

In addition, Maddow voices the clinic manager’s complaint of “ingratitude.” Maddow said,

“He told us, ‘We cannot seem to get some of these Gen Xers to take it seriously and vote. Why am I the only one fighting this?…The generation of patients whom we have helped need to step up and carry the torch instead of assuming clinic workers will always fight their battle.’ ”

So what do we learn from Maddow? That the poor abortion clinics are burdened by providing informational weblinks to pregnant women, when the unborn child is just like cancer, right?

Now that is hooey!

Aid for Women closes

KCK’s Aid for Women clinic

As confirmed by the Associated Press today, the Aid for Women (AFW) abortion clinic has closed abruptly, citing the retirement of its abortionist, Ronald Yeomans (age 73), as the reason.

The closure was announced on the AFW website, which was infamous for its churlish remarks undermining Kansas informed consent statutes. AFW’s website dissed state health agency abortion information as forced by “Republican misogynist (women-hating) bullies” and asserted that cancer was a living human organism like the unborn child. (read more here)

AFW was ripe for state oversight. The Kansas clinic licensure and regulation law– long fought for by Kansans for Life– was twice vetoed by past Gov. Kathleen Sebelius before finally being approved by Gov. Sam Brownback in 2011.

AFW applied for– and failed to attain –a state-issued license in June 2011.

This was hours before the new law was blocked in federal court from going into  effect. Aid for Women was quoted they’d “have to gut the place” to be in compliance.

Although the licensure law is stalled in state court, yet to be litigated, AFW did stop provision of abortion pills after the law’s passage.

As has been the case for so many previous Kansas abortionists, Yeomans was trained at the University of Kansas medical school (KUMed) and worked at Planned Parenthood. The Kansas legislature sealed off that sad legacy by ending onsite abortion provision at KUMed in 1997 and onsite abortion training at KUMed in 2013.

AFW abortionists had a long history of malpractice cases and disciplinary actions issued by the Kansas State Healing Arts Board, including original co-owner abortionists Malcolm Knarr and Sherman Zaremski, as well as later staff abortionists, Kris Neuhaus, and Krishna Rajanna.

SORDID HISTORY
Knarr, a convicted drug felon from Oklahoma, opened the business as a Medicaid and abortion facility in the impoverished inner city of Kansas City, Kansas in the early 1980’s. In 1993, KFL orchestrated the citizen petition drive that resulted in a grand jury convened to force government agencies to take action against Knarr.  During this time, he was averaging a malpractice suit every few months.

Although the grand jury was derailed, Knarr was forced out of medicine in 1994, and the state Healing Arts Board has kept him on a permanently suspended license. However, Knarr was able to keep ownership of the clinic with the Board restriction that he not enter any Kansas doctor’s office, hospital or other health-care facility except as a patient or as a visitor of a patient.

Zaremski, a failed lung doctor, joined AFW as Knarr’s business partner and fabricated years of non-existent prescription records. Zaremski performed at least one abortion, if not more, on young sisters who were repeatedly victimized by their step-father (see details here). He took retirement after years of battling licensure penalties and restrictions.

Neuhaus worked for AFW in the mid 1990s, in Kansas City and a Topeka branch. She staged a media event “locking out” Knarr at his own clinic. She then parted company, and worked –and  failed– at two abortion businesses in Lawrence and Wichita. During those years, the Healing Arts Board twice labeled her a “danger to the public” but let her keep her license, enabling her to provide “approval referrals” for late-term abortions at the George Tiller clinic in Wichita. Neuhaus lost her medical license two years ago but is litigating the revocation.

Rajanna was a failed internist who trained at AFW until he left to set up a competing mill down the street—a rat-and-rodent-overrun facility with open syringes of drugs and bags of fetal parts kept in the staff lunchroom refrigerator.  Rajanna lost his license in 2005 (read more here). Five years later, Rajanna caused a media ruckus when he was caught dumping old patient abortion files with personal information into a school dumpster.

SUDDEN CLOSINGS
With abortion rates dropping each year, many abortion businesses across the nation are closing or consolidating. In August 2010, Planned Parenthood of Kansas Mid-Missouri announced the sudden closing of its small Lawrence clinic merely with a note posted on the door, explaining only that continued operation was no longer “financially feasible.”

Yeomans’ Kansas annual medical license renewal was filed and accepted this month by the Healing Arts Board. But that begs the question of why an aging abortionist would pay for a state license if he knew his sole Kansas facility, AFW, was imminently closing?

Yeomans has been an itinerant abortionist for years, for a long time in West Virginia, so he may not have retired from abortions, only at the AFW Kansas City location. The SouthWind abortion clinic appears to need an abortionist—they opened last year in Wichita, Kansas, with three non-Kansas resident abortionists but only one remains on staff. We wouldn’t be surprised to find Yeomans on their roster.

Justice Alito

Justice Alito

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld conscience protection for certain businesses to refuse to provide abortifacient drugs and devices through employee insurance, as mandated by an HHS rule under Obamacare.

The Hobby Lobby ruling applies narrowly to “closely held corporations,” which the IRS defines as firms where half of the value of the corporation is held by five or fewer individuals. The Obama administration had argued that ‘for-profit’ corporations couldn’t have religious beliefs, but the Court disagreed, finding that,

“Protecting the free-exercise rights of closely held corporations…  protects the religious liberty of the humans who own and control them.”

The Court also noted that the Evangelical owners of Hobby Lobby and the Mennonite owners of Conestoga Wood Products (both “closely held corporations”) professed “sincere Christian beliefs that life begins at conception and that it would violate their religion to facilitate access to contraceptive drugs or devices that operate after that point.”

Specifically, the Hobby Lobby lawsuit sought an exemption to providing 4 of the listed 20 forms of contraception that HHS mandates under “preventive services.”

Gov. Brownback

Gov. Brownback

KANSAS PROTECTIVE LAWS
Of note to Kansas pro-lifers is that the Hobby Lobby majority opinion was written by Justice Samuel Alito.

Alito’s appointment to the Court would not have occurred had not our governor, then-U.S. Senator Sam Brownback, led the resistance to President Bush’s 2005 nomination of Harriet Miers to replace the retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. O’Connor had provided the fifth vote in the 2000 Stenberg decision striking down a Nebraska partial birth abortion law but Alito became the fifth vote to uphold the federal partial birth abortion ban in 2007.

The backdrop of the Obama administration’s aggressive abortion agenda further incentivized Kansas to pass particular pro-life laws, signed by pro-life Gov. Brownback, elected in 2010.

After the passage of Obamacare that included abortion coverage, Kansas enacted laws in 2011 to prevent abortion coverage in any future Kansas health exchange and in all private health insurance plans unless a separate abortion ‘rider’ is purchased.

In the wake of the HHS mandate and an increase in contraceptive promotion, Kansas medical professionals faced a growing ethical problem: some pills and devices marketed as preventing pregnancy also disrupt the implantation of the human embryo—called a post-fertilization abortifacient effect.

Because Kansas’ abortion statute defines legal contraception as, “the use of any drug or device that inhibits or prevents ovulation, fertilization or implantation of an embryo,” in 2012, Kansas passed conscience protection for medical professionals and facilities: “No person shall be required to perform, refer for, or participate in medical procedures or in the prescription or administration of any device or drug which result in the termination of a pregnancy or an effect of which the person reasonably believes may result in the termination of a pregnancy.”

In 2013, Kansas passed further barriers to government promotion of abortion in healthcare in the Pro-Life Protections Act, which

  • declares that human life begins at fertilization and that Kansas public policy will promote and protect the interests of unborn children and their parents;
  • prevents state agencies from discriminating against individuals or health care institutions that do not provide, pay for, or refer for abortions;
  • more effectively bans abortion performance and abortionist-training at the tax-funded KUMed Center.
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