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Archive for May, 2012

Gallup poll findings this week showed a range of Americans opinions on abortions: all should be legal (25%), ‘most’ should be legal (13%) only ‘few’ should be legal (39%) and all should be illegal (20%).

In the previous post, it was asserted that the 13% wishing to preserve ‘most’ abortions can be a convenient middle ground position to answer a pollster, but that such a conviction is not evidenced as a guiding premise in letters to the editor or in testimony for abortion legislation.

Perhaps there do exist people who consistently believe legal abortion to be a good thing, but are so disturbed at the existence of one facet (like partial-birth abortion) that they identify themselves to pollsters as the 13% wishing to preserve ‘most’ abortion. But that is open for speculation since Gallup never asks what abortions the 13% don’t want to be legal.

Similarly, what are the ‘few’ abortions acceptable for those 39% in the poll who want abortion illegal with reservations?   While not specified by Gallup, legislative battles nationwide over the past decades have shown the major “exceptions” that pro-life advocates have tolerated:

  • the mother’s life is threatened,
  • rape/incest caused the pregnancy,
  • the unborn child is diagnosed with medical problems.

Twenty years ago these three situations held greater weight during debate toward achieving legislative consensus, today they no longer (more…)

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Tuesday’s Gallup poll results from May 3–6, show that 50% of citizens label themselves as “pro-life,” as compared with a new low of 41% calling themselves “pro-choice.” (see NRLC analysis here) Other Gallup questions attempt to further characterize abortion positions:

  • 20% of Americans said abortion should be “illegal in all circumstances,”
  • 39% said that it should be “legal only in a few circumstances,”
  • 13% said it should be “legal under most circumstances,” and
  • 25% said it should be “legal under all circumstances.”

However, the polling questions don’t specify which abortions are not supported by the 13% who want to be distinguished from the group of 25% accepting all abortions.

Other than representing a convenient construct on the pollsters’ continuum, we see no evidence of such a sector of opinion supporting “most, but not all” abortions. Certainly, the Kansas mainstream media does not belong to this group, as they never recommend even qualified support for any abortion-restricting provision. 

Supporters of “most, but not all” abortions never show up to testify about abortion-restricting measures at the Statehouse!  We only hear from the all-abortion crowd, and they oppose every abortion restriction.

As an example, after an eight-year federal battle (more…)

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A.G. Schmidt

Kansas pro-lifers got good news from a federal court May 18th: two Kansas city-area abortion clinics will have to pay their own attorney fees of over $220 thousand dollars without Kansas’ taxpayer reimbursement. Judge Carlos Marguia ruled the clinics had not “prevailed on the merits,” and thus did not qualify for state reimbursement.

Attorneys from the Center for Women’s Health (CWH) and Aid for Women (AFW) had been petitioning for state payment of their attorney fees incurred when the clinics filed to halt both the new state abortion facility licensure law and the provisional clinic regulations written by the Kansas health department (KDHE).

The clinics had sought a permanent injunction in a rushed proceeding July 1, 2011 in front of federal Judge Murguia, claiming irreparable harm would ensue if the law went into effect that day. Judge Murguia awarded only a temporary injunction, largely in order to “maintain the status quo” while issues moved forward.

In November 2011, KDHE issued permanent abortion facility regulations, using a slightly modified version of the original set. Both clinics dropped the federal lawsuit, but the injunction was retained and the lawsuit was refiled in state court by only one clinic CWH (the business of abortionists Herb Hodes and Traci Nauser).

The office of Attorney General Derek Schmidt had filed motions in opposition to paying all the abortion attorneys involved, arguing they were not entitled because such reimbursement is available for “claimants who had prevailed on the merits” in civil rights cases.  [Yes, this is a civil rights case because (hold your groans) one of the claims is that clinic regulation violates a woman’s civil right to obtain an abortion.]

Beyond ineligibility for reimbursement, the Attorney General claimed national and local abortion attorneys had inflated billable hours and wage rates to make a “windfall” off of Kansas taxpayers.  The irony is evident: abortion advocates have been complaining that the defense of pro-life laws is a wasteful depletion of the treasury, and then their own attorneys try to rip-off that same treasury!

Thankfully, that won’t happen at this juncture, due to the litigators working for the AG office.

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The Healthcare Rights of Conscience Act, H sub 62, was signed it into law last Friday by Gov. Sam Brownback. The law is basically a modest update of a conscience law Kansas has had on the books since 1969.  Seven other states have similar protective laws.

The new law will provide job loss protection for medical practitioners who might otherwise be penalized for refusing abortion involvement, and provides protection from lawsuits against medical facilities which do not perform or refer for abortions.

Courts have consistently ruled that the legalization of abortion in the Roe v Wade ruling does NOT simultaneously require that practitioners must perform abortions.  Under this law, refusing to make abortion referrals or to fill prescriptions for abortion-inducing drugs will be explicitly protected.

It is a medical fact that abortion takes a human life. The right to refuse is based on the first amendment right to exercise one’s conscience. That evaluation may or may not be based on religious tenets.

Unfortunately, a misleading story from CJOnline, wrongly interprets rights of conscience as a “Catholic thing”. The reporter then proceeds (more…)

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Gov. Brownback

Pro-life Kansas physicians and pharmacists will have less reason to fear retaliatory discharge due to the Healthcare Rights of Conscience Act signed into law by Gov. Sam Brownback late Friday. State Rep. Lance Kinzer (R-Olathe), chair of the House Judiciary committee, was the bill’s author and Sen. Garrett Love (R-Montezuma) was chief sponsor in the Senate.

Seven other states have similar conscience-protecting laws. Courts have consistently ruled that the so-called right to an abortion does not require that all medical professionals be forced to perform them.

Under the Healthcare Rights of Conscience Act, professionals will also not be forced to refer for abortions. The law also expands conscience protection to apply to all medical facilities, not just hospitals.

Kansans for Life targeted passage of the bill as a top priority especially since the current federal climate is showing increased hostility to religious liberty and is pushing healthcare to include abortion without exclusions.

Kansas law first extended the right to refuse to perform or participate in abortion in 1969, long before abortion-causing drugs were mainstream. Rep. Kinzer said the new law was intended to cover the abortion drug RU-486.

But adding to the moral confusion– especially for pharmacists– is the fact that drugs labeled contraceptive, like “Ella”  are more chemically identical to drugs specifically designed to induce abortion. Testimony supplied to the House Judiciary committee relayed that labels for oral contraceptives all include warning of a “post-fertilization” abortifacient effect.

This is why the bill’s language covers drugs and devices “reasonably believed” by the professional to  cause abortion. Rep. Kinzer  explained,   “If someone were fired or sued for refusing to provide a drug, he said, he or she could then litigate whether there was a basis for believing the drug would cause an abortion.”

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Cecile Richards

Planned Parenthood (PP) never misses a chance to misrepresent pro-life legislation for fund raising, so it is unsurprising what they’re telling national supporters about the Kansas Pro-Life Protections Act (introduced in February as HB 2598, now House sub 313).

In a national email appeal this weekend, PP president, Cecile Richards writes that this bill contains “outrageous attacks on women’s health [that] will spread to state after state.” Further, with bold emphasis, Richards says:

“Kansas state lawmakers are set to force doctors to lie to women about abortion — and allow doctors to withhold information from pregnant women.”

In fact, the Pro-Life Protections Act forces NO doctor to deceive women.

The Kansas Medical Society takes no position on abortion, but watches EVERY legislative proposal. Be assured that if ANY of their members were being forced to do ANYTHING, they would have stood up against it. Yet they have been silent about this bill, despite four months of internet agitation by abortion supporters.

The Pro-Life Protections Act does NOT mandate that any practitioner “tell women” anything, period. The bill codifies i (more…)

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Sen. Steve Morris

What kind of double-speak from Senate President Steve Morris (R-Hugoton) is being reported without question by the Kansas press corps?

Despite Morris’ (debatable) claim today that he will always fight for pro-life values,” he is using the University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC) propaganda as a pretext for NOT advancing a pro-life bill.

Morris has derailed Senate action on Hsub 313 (the Pro-Life Protections Act) and claimed that it was due to his concerns that it could negatively affect KUMC accreditation. This is a phony excuse.

Moreover, the KUMC language in Hsub 313 is the EXACT LANGUAGE that already exists in all of this year’s budget proposals in both chambers– including the versions Morris voted for!

Which raises the additional question, will Morris now also attempt to remove the KUMC language from the current budget proposals?

As Kansans for Life has repeatedly explained, accreditation of KUMC is not in jeopardy. 1996 federal legislation (the Coats amendment voted for by then-U.S. Senators Dole and Kassebaum) intentionally protects state med schools from losing accreditation when banning actual abortion participation.

That federal protection was created after the independent accreditation agency for medical schools kowtowed to abortion trade groups to demand all graduate medical training include actual abortion practice. (Read more here, here, here and here)

The Coats law was intended to counteract bullying of state legislatures by the accreditation agency and it focuses on states’ right to keep the entire graduate program out of abortion training, (more…)

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