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Archive for April, 2012

UPDATE, May 18:  Court denies abortion attorney fees.
Abortion supporters, including the Wichita Eagle editorial staff (here, here, here, here, and here and now here) take every opportunity to complain that Kansas tax money is being spent on litigation to uphold pro-life laws enacted in 2011. However, evidence now shows that it is actually abortion clinic attorneys who are trying to cheat taxpayers.

The most recent defense filing from the state of Kansas– in the lawsuit attacking a licensure law upheld in other states– is asking the court to deny any fee award to national and local attorneys for two abortion businesses:  the Center for Women’s Health and Aid for Women.

At issue is a “windfall” for clinic attorneys– according to the State– including over $78,000 for ineligible legal work as well as using indefensible attorney rates of $400 per hour.  All but one of the clinics’ attorneys lack ANY experience in this type of litigation, yet they charged nearly double what attorneys experienced in this specialty would charge- $225 per hour.

State attorneys (including the office of Attorney General Derek Schmidt) demonstrated how the court is being wrongly asked to pay (more…)

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A final ruling on the long-sought revocation of Kansas abortionist Ann Kristen (Kris) Neuhaus has been delayed until the next meeting of the state Board of Healing Arts in mid-June.

The Associated Press reported Friday that Board President Gary Counselman said Board members were “very uncomfortable proceeding at this point,” because members didn’t receive copies of 70 pages of previously submitted legal arguments from Neuhaus’ attorneys until Thursday afternoon. They wanted more time to review them.

The petition to revoke, filed in April of 2010, “accuses Neuhaus of negligence in conducting mental health exams for 11 patients, ages 10 to 18, who terminated pregnancies from July to November 2003,” according to the Associated Press’s John Hanna.

“Neuhaus diagnosed the patients with acute anxiety, acute stress or single episodes of major depression, concluding their conditions met requirements in Kansas law for late-term abortions.” However, state law required independent referrals to verify that such abortions were obtained only to prevent the death of, or irreversible and substantial injury to, the mother.

All the 11 young women were in their sixth or seventh month of pregnancy when they met with Neuhaus at the Tiller facility.  Neuhaus was never trained as a psychiatric consultant, and ended up utilizing an online ‘answer tree.’

Evidence from the patient files repeatedly indicated such diagnoses were logged in and completed within 2 to 3 minutes.

Thus the teens were (more…)

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The stakes are high for Planned Parenthood of Kansas Mid-Missouri, as the prosecution for allegedly illegal late term abortions in 2003 inches closer to trial under Judge Stephen Tatum. After years of fits and starts, and with a July 11 scheduling hearing, the judge has still not confirmed whether there will actually be any trial.

Steve Howe, the District Attorney for the Kansas-City suburban district of Johnson County, is pursuing 58 of 107 criminal charges initiated by Howe’s predecessor, Phill Kline.  In November, the prosecution had to abandon 49 charges, including felony false-writings (forged patient forms), when it was discovered that both the Kansas health department (under Gov. Sebelius) and the Attorney General’s office (under Steve Six) had shredded paper evidence crucial for conviction.

The charges remaining are 29 counts for “unlawful failure to determine gestational age” and 29 counts of “unlawful late-term abortions”. On Tuesday, seven filings by Planned Parenthood attorneys were “unsealed” (made publicly available) and include

pre-trial special requests by Planned Parenthood attorneys for extensive written jury questionnaires, with special one-on-one closed door interviews with potential jurors.

While technically permissible to poll jurors on their fitness to serve (i.e. citizenship, ties to litigators or their own criminal record) this specific request –if granted– would prevent the public from hearing in open court how Planned Parenthood attorneys ask invasive questions including (according to the filing)

the juror’s “religious” concerns and “personal, as well as family members and close friends’ experiences with abortion”!

Planned Parenthood attorneys also (more…)

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Ginsburg & Obama (CNN)

Days ago, President Obama warned the U.S. Supreme Court against judicial activism on their part in examining the federal health care act known as Obamacare. He said the justices should not forget the millions who have already gained, and will attain, health benefits.

Not only did the President insult the High Court by inferring they will not be issuing a determination based on the constitutionality of Obamacare, he redefined judicial activism. As a former constitutional law professor, Obama knows better.

Judicial activism is deciding cases OUTSIDE of the framework of Constitutional validity, by vacating or contorting duly passed legislation in order to accomplish some social engineering or otherwise ‘beneficiary’ goals. Thus, it would be judicial activism if the Court were to uphold Obamacare because of some ‘misery’ index or perceived health inequity.

Of course it was the judicial activism in the Roe v Wade ruling that declared a ‘penumbra’ of privacy that trumps the primary right to life. However, the Roe ruling did allow a few counterbalancing state interests that have prevailed in subsequent litigation, including, but not limited to, the state’s right to promote childbirth and regulate the integrity of the medical arts.

During the past decades, the women’s movement, led by Ruth Bader Ginsburg as an ACLU attorney, fought to make the Court constrain laws that are gender-biased, patterned after the policy on race-bias. But the Court has not allowed that principle to trump abortion, and (more…)

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