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Nauser and Hodes

Nauser and Hodes: court rejects their “lame claim”

The state of Kansas won a summary judgment today in Shawnee County state court, upholding that the Pro-Life Protections Act of 2013 did not violate the Kansas Constitution’s “single subject” rule of legislative construction.

Attorneys for the Center for Women’s Health, the Overland Park offices of father- daughter abortion team Herb Hodes and Traci Nauser, lost a summary judgment from District Judge Rebecca Crotty. The abortionists’ legal team outrageously tried to argue that two sections of the law were unrelated to abortion. Those sections contained language:

  1. from the 1989 U.S. Supreme Court Webster ruling, that unborn children have interests that the state may protect in law, and
  2. expanding the state health department notices of resources available to mothers facing challenging prenatal diagnoses.

The first provision underscores what kind of laws for unborn children are allowed despite the Roe v Wade ruling, and the second prevents women from turning to abortion in frustration or due to ignorance of agencies assisting the disabled.  Abortion attorneys made the lame claim to the court that because the word abortion did not appear in those provisions, they were unrelated to abortion!

KFL State Executive Director, Mary Kay Culp stated:

“This ruling shows how ridiculous it was when the abortion industry tried a few weeks ago to lay the costs of defending this law at our feet when, in the first place, they are the ones who sued the law, and, second, the court agrees today that they did so without cause!”

RELATED FILINGS
Also filed today in Judge Crotty’s court was a formal stipulation from both the state and abortion attorneys, clarifying that women seeking Kansas abortions will receive the state “Woman’s Right to Know” abortion materials–as printed–24 hours prior to abortion, including information that the clinic does not support.

Although abortionists Hodes and Nauser lost round one, the lawsuit as originally filed makes a variety of claims against the constitutionality of the Pro-Life Protections Act and further court filings are expected in state court (read more here).

In June, Hodes and Nauser failed to win a permanent injunction against the Act, but secured a temporary injunction blocking

  • one definition of emergency abortion, and
  • a mandate to place a link to the state informed consent website on the clinic’s homepage.

The latter objection to the state weblink is also the subject of a suit in federal court by Planned Parenthood (read more here and here.)

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comp health PP (2)Last week we noted Kansas pro-life laws being taken to court without good reason, however it is encouraging that the federal lawsuit filed by Comprehensive Health/Planned Parenthood of Kansas & Mid-Missouri is moving relatively quickly.

The lawsuit focuses on Kansas’ 2013 Pro-Life Protections Act, specifically the “first-in-the-nation” requirement that the link to the state “Woman’s Right to Know” abortion information website be positioned on a clinic’s home page with this description:

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment maintains a website containing objective, nonjudgmental, scientifically accurate 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.

As background, women obtaining Kansas abortions since 1997 have been required to sign certification forms for their medical file that they “accessed” these WRTK materials 24 hours prior to abortion. The right to supply state-issued abortion information was upheld in the 1992 Casey ruling, in which the U.S. Supreme Court said the state has a role in ensuring abortion-seeking women are well informed.

Abortionists oppose WRTK information, as it not only indicates the clinics lack candor on full informed consent, but also can reveal alternative solutions to abortion. And, in fact, Kansas annual stats show hundreds of women do not have abortions after getting this info (see KFL post here).

In August, Planned Parenthood stipulated on record all their abortion clients are receiving the printed version of these WRTK materials.  Furthermore, all Kansas abortion clinics, including Planned Parenthood, voluntarily placed a link to the state website somewhere on their websites after the WRTK materials became accessible in that manner.

So, since Planned Parenthood affirms it distributes the printed WRTK materials (even while objecting to the content) and links to the state WRTK website, why do they oppose the weblink being positioned on their homepage?

They argue that such prominent positioning with an “accuracy” tagline gives the appearance they endorse the WRTK materials. They are particularly offended by WRTK facts about the pain capability of the unborn child and the statement that “abortion terminates the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.”

The State of Kansas has supplied strong rebuttal filings in defense of this lawsuit. They argue that the WRTK weblink does not interfere with any First Amendment speech rights as the abortionist is not prohibited from voicing or publishing opinions in disagreement with the Kansas information, as one clinic has notoriously done for years (see KFL post here).

Rather, defense attorneys say this WRTK weblink with accuracy description is permissible state regulation of abortion commerce. After all, Kansas Planned Parenthood is a business; the “Who we are” section of their website reads: “Our primary service is providing abortion services from 4 to 22 weeks gestation.” And at a profit.

Americans experience the effect of government regulation of business every day, to name a few:

  • ads for pharmaceutical products must disclose the drugs’ side effects;
  • nutritional supplement labels contain disclaimers that their claimed benefits have not been verified by the FDA;
  • cigarette packages contain cancer warnings.

Abortionists may bristle at government consumer protection actions, but,“The well-being of people who may be unsophisticated in health care matters is a compelling interest of the state” under Kansas case law (Bolton, 1979).

Kansas defense attorneys point to four other rulings since Casey [Lakey (TX 2012), Rounds II (MN, ND,SD 2008), Summit (AL 2003), Eubanks (KY 2000)] where courts denied abortionists’ claim that state informed consent regulation violated their free speech.

Both Planned Parenthood and the state of Kansas have filed formal requests that federal Judge Kathryn Vratil rule without a trial– as a matter of judging on the law—whether the weblink is permissible.  We believe Kansas will prevail.

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baby money (2)Yesterday’s national abortion story was the periodic report/complaint about the high legal expenses the state of Kansas has incurred in defending the constitutionality of four pro-life laws.  Under the title, “Kansas Abortion Lawsuits Cost $913K,” AP’s John Hanna writes, “Kansas has paid more than $913,000 to two private law firms that are helping the state defend anti-abortion laws enacted since conservative Republican Gov. Sam Brownback took office, and such expenses appear likely to grow.”

The reality is, that after the U.S. Supreme Court Roe decision legalized abortion, every state law trying to regulate abortion– no matter how carefully crafted– is subject to court challenges.  Of our seven recent pro-life laws, four have been sued. We expect to prevail, but court action moves slowly, sometimes at a snail’s pace.

Lengthy, and even patently ludicrous, legal arguments that our opponents propose in litigation must be answered.

The first recent Kansas pro-life law that went to court was our 2011 law ending coverage for elective abortion as part of standard private health insurance. This was a law that had already been on the books in other states for decades, yet the ACLU and Kansas N.O.W. insisted on filing a challenge. We WON, but with a legal defense cost of $149,000.

Defense expenses Kansas has paid to two outside law firms for three other ongoing pro-life cases include:

  1. $126,000 for two challenges to the 2013 Pro-Life Protections Act;
  2. $386,000 for the Title X budget case with an initial ruling favoring Planned Parenthood, and now under appeal;
  3. $252,000 for defense of the 2011 law establishing minimum abortion clinic safety and sanitary regulations, including a ban on webcam abortions.

Kansas’ 2013 comprehensive Pro-Life Protections Act is in the initial stages of two suits, one brought in federal court by Planned Parenthood and the other in state court by the Center for Women’s Health. Both clinics have so far only gained a temporary block on two minuscule provisions, instead of stopping the entire law. Our state defense attorneys have had to rebut a multitude of claims, including:

  • misrepresentations about how the law was passed,
  • ridiculous assertions about abortion–related topics,
  • opposition to a states’ rights position the U.S. Supreme Court approved 25 years ago, and
  • complaints about informed consent provisions that clinics have already complied with for years!

The Title X case should have been the national abortion story …how Planned Parenthood is propping up two of its financially failing clinics with approximately $400,000 in tax money that it is not properly eligible for!

Explanation?  Planned Parenthood sued the 2011 Kansas budget provision that requires Title X federal family planning money go to full service health facilities that best serve the indigent. District court Judge Thomas Marten ruled in Planned Parenthood’s favor, and –without proper authority– ordered funding of Title X money for their “feeder”clinics in Hays and Wichita that were losing  nearly one quarter million dollars annually.

And while Kansas has waited over a year for an overturning of that ruling from the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, we are compelled to keep sending non-recoverable money to Planned Parenthood while also keeping lawyers busy battling this ruling.  It is a steep price, but the end result is important for Kansas’ state sovereignty as well as for other states with similar laws.

Then there’s the lawsuit fighting our 2011 clinic regulation bill which, outside the webcam ban, largely imitates the South Carolina version that the U.S. Supreme Court let stand twenty years ago.  The case is creeping along in state court.

That fact that our pro-life Attorney General, Derek Schmidt, pays for the assistance of two private law firms does not “offend good financial stewardship” as complained by Planned Parenthood’s CEO, Peter Brownlie.  Mary Kay Culp, executive director of Kansans for Life observes that, for our opponents to complain about the cost expended on lawsuits they filed, is ridiculous!

It is appreciated that our AG sought highly qualified defense firms.  State AG offices aren’t generally populated by attorneys with abortion expertise—and as our readers know—the rules for abortion seem to be different than for every other field.

States that pass pro-life laws only to have their AG undermine the defense of such laws are truly in a bind. Thankfully, Kansas is not now in that spot, as we were when former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius’ hand-picked, pro-abortion Attorney General Steve Six failed to properly prosecute George Tiller for violating late-term abortion statutes.

When it comes to passing life-protective laws, logic and public support cannot protect them from costly litigation, but the price is worth paying.

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Father/daughter abortionists Hodes & Nauser

Traci Nauser & Herb Hodes

The Kansas 2013 Pro-Life Protections Act creates pro-life public policies permissible under U.S. Supreme Court abortion rulings, but that hasn’t stopped abortionists Herb Hodes and Traci Nauser from trying to stop it.

Last week, attorneys for the father-daughter abortion team at the Kansas City-suburban Center for Women’s Health asked the district court to throw out the entire law before their lawsuit goes to trial.  They want a ruling on whether the Act contained more than one subject, violating the rule of statutory construction.

AP’s John Hanna reported on the filing and cites several recent (non-abortion) state court cases that show little support for any success by lawsuits claiming Kansas laws violated the “single subject” mandate.  This is not surprising, as the state’s drafting department is well aware of this requirement and is very careful to advise when proposed legislation might need to be segmented into separate bills.

The Pro-Life Protections Act states that it “concerns abortion” and contains a sex-selection abortion ban, abortion-related tax funding limits, and abortion informed consent provisions. Nevertheless, abortion lawyers call it a “hodgepodge” and specifically—and absurdly –claim that two sections have no relation to abortion because they do not actually use the word ‘abortion’ in the provisions.

The sections they criticize are:

  1. Section 2, asserting the state will protect interests of the unborn child and his/her parents (taken verbatim from the 1989 U.S. Supreme Court Webster ruling), and
  2. Section 9, adopting the 2008 Kennedy-Brownback federal bill to provide enhanced counseling for medically challenging prenatal diagnoses.

The abortion filing desperately tries to convince the court that these two sections wander from the abortion subject by describing Section 2 as a “legislative policy statement concerning the legal status of fertilized eggs” and Section 9 as authorizing “the provision of supportive services to parents and prospective parents of children with disabilities.”

Aside from both sections’ logical connection to abortion, Section 2 uses ‘unborn child’ and Section 9 repeatedly uses ‘prenatal’, yet the court is supposed to accept the abortion attorneys’ claim of irrelevance to abortion?

Section 2 is the backbone for the Act, showing that—even under Roe v Wade—the state has the right to defend the unborn in tort law and to set spending priorities for promoting life. Attorneys for the state defending the Act, assert in their filing that Section 9 provides services to parents of disabled children “in order to promote childbirth and carrying an unborn child to term.”

In testimony supporting the Act, Kansans for Life explained Section 9 as answering the need for the health department to assist families confronting disability diagnoses, in the face of ever-escalating prenatal diagnostic tests that encourage the elimination of individuals with challenging conditions. [As an aside, under Obamacare, prenatal testing, but not counseling, is authorized.]

The shock of certain prenatal diagnoses can too often drive a mother to agree to abortion, especially when ObGyn doctors are themselves not well informed about the medical condition and available services.  Providing more immediate access to information about specialized treatments and community support allows a more fully informed decision to be made by families coping with unexpected news. This is obviously an abortion-related provision, although the counseling services extend past delivery.

It is exceedingly frustrating that the abortion industry can waste court time on such shoddy legal claims and we are glad that both the federal and district courts (in two separate suits, see here and here) have not blocked the entire Pro-Life Protections Act.

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District Judge Rebecca Crotty

District Judge Rebecca Crotty

Nearly 99 % of the Kansas Pro-life Protections Act, HB 2253, will go into effect on Monday after the Center for Women’s Health (CWH) in Overland Park failed to get the entire law enjoined in state court.

Two minor provisions have been blocked while the case proceeds under Shawnee District Judge Rebecca Crotty. Judge Crotty ruled that CWH had not met the legal standard for winning a restraining order against the entire law –even though they had submitted an “everything but the kitchen sink” legal filing.

What will not go into effect from HB 2253 is

  1. a specific medical emergency definition already in Kansas statute that needs clarification for abortions before 22 weeks gestation, and
  2. a new requirement that the clinic website’s homepage put a descriptive label on a hyperlink to the state’s right to know website .

Neither provision is substantive and clarification of the definition can easily be remedied.

As to the hyperlink, Kansas abortion clinic websites have long included the state link, but object to the labeling of the state information as medically accurate. The U.S. Supreme Court , in its 1992 Casey ruling, established the state’s right to force clinics to provide access to scientifically accurate information prepared by the state concerning gestational development and medical risks of abortion since women had routinely been given misinformation, including that their unborn child was “only a clump of cells.”

In related litigation, another clinic is suing HB 2253. Comprehensive Health/Planned Parenthood of Kansas Mid-Missouri last week filed in federal court to obtain an injunction against section 14 of the law, which governs the state-prepared informed consent. Their legal filing also objects to the hyperlink labeled as medically accurate, as well as the information about the pain capability of the unborn child at 22 weeks gestation, and the sentence “abortion terminates the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.”

Kansas City federal judge Kathryn Vratil denied Planned Parenthood an immediate injunction on Wednesday but the matter is not closed, with another hearing scheduled for July 29.

CWH is the medical office of Overland Park abortionists, Herbert Hodes and daughter Traci Nauser, who sued to block implementation of the 2011 Kansas abortion clinic licensure law.

In the new suit against HB 2253, they assert that they are motivated by their Jewish religion to perform abortions. They also complain that the law

  • wrongly states pregnancy begins at conception;
  • unfairly bans funding for abortion, ends tax breaks for abortion businesses, and protects pro-life entities from retaliation; and
  • prevents abortionists from attending school functions or from volunteering. [This is a misstatement of the provision that prevents school sex-ed classes from using abortion staff and their materials, which is a law that Missouri enacted several years ago]

Although Kansas taxpayers must now defend this law in court, during that time almost the entire law will be in effect.  We are confident of prevailing against baseless clinic objections and are relieved that the court limited intervention to two very minor issues.

UPDATE: ABORTION LAWSUITS vs KANSAS
The state Attorney General’s Office has promised to “rigorously defend” HB 2253, assisted by the same law firm utilized in three other suits filed against pro-life laws enacted in 2011.

In the first case, Kansas won a challenge from the ACLU against the law banning private insurance from automatic coverage of elective abortion.

The second suit, opposing the state’s selection of full service public clinics and hospitals for Title X grants, is on appeal, awaiting a long-overdue ruling from the Tenth Circuit. In the meantime, taxpayers have been forced to send $343,000 to Planned Parenthood and the now-defunct Dodge City Family Planning Clinic.

The third suit, in which CWH blocked the long-sought state law regulating  abortion clinics, is moving at a snail’s pace.

Unfortunately, the abortion industry refuses to accept the democratic process of lawmaking, insisting on searching out activist courts in hope of undoing abortion regulation.

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WRTKIn a desperate move to appease its base–in the wake of increased pro-life laws that reflect the will of the people but jeopardize the bottom line of abortion businesses–Planned Parenthood has sued section 14 of the  Kansas 2013 Pro-Life Protections Act, claiming it violates first and fourteenth amendment rights to free speech and abortion access.

The press release from Planned Parenthood today, announcing the lawsuit, attacks the validity of state supervision of abortion clinic information as unwarranted legislation.  However, the Pro-life Protection Act is a response to the notorious omissions by clinics when it comes to abortion harms and the true gestational development of unborn children. The women considering abortion should be afforded all accurate data and they are the ones harmed by today’s litigation.

The money taxpayers are forced to use to defend all of the Constitutionally-sound Kansas pro-life laws are a result of the abortion clinics’ greed. This is the fourth challenge to Kansas pro-life laws, Kansas:

  •  won the suit against the abortion insurance law;
  • awaits a ruling  on appeal to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals on the 2011 Title X funding law;
  • is enduring an ongoing state court lawsuit opposing state health department oversight of abortion clinics, which–by precedent in other states– is a meritless suit.

We are confident that Kansas will prevail in these suits and the one filed today. Kansas should strongly oppose any injunction or potential consent order that would censor those few lines of information, and force the reprinting of the state Right-to Know booklets.

The Court should refuse the injunction sought by Planned Parenthood, based on several court rulings, notably the 1992 Casey ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. In that ruling, women were guaranteed abortion informed consent materials supplied by the state, and

the Court denied abortionists’ right of free speech was infringed as they could disavow any or all of the states’ content.

For example, the website for the Aid for Women KCK clinic has bashed the content of the Right to Know materials for many years; for just one example here, currently on the clinic’s ’24 hour consent’ page is this bullet point disputing the state info:
• 12. WE MUST UNTRUTHFULLY TELL YOU (KSA 65-6709(b)(5)) – “The abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.” This 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.”

Yes, this clinic equates an unborn child with cancer, which would be laughable were it not so tragic.  The point the Casey Court made 21 years ago is that the state has a right to issue medically accurate data, and the abortionist can refute it–as this clinic does.

INFORMED CONSENT

  • Under the Kansas Woman’s Right to Know statutes of 1997, women seeking abortion must be given informational materials relating to the abortion procedure and risks .
  • The information is available in printed form and online.
  • The informed consent information is prepared by the Kansas state department of health (KDHE) and is medically accurate information the woman deserves,  in accordance with abortion court rulings.
  • The woman must sign a paper in the abortionists’ office that she “accessed” this info 24 hours prior to the performance of the abortion. The abortionist is never required to quiz her about the content, or ‘tell” the woman anything from the materials.
  • Section 14 merely copies into statute the agency information that women seeking Kansas abortions have been reading for years.

COMPLAINTS REBUTTED
Specifically, Planned Parenthood complains about 3 items in section 14:

  1. The mandate to have a hyperlink to the state website on the abortion informed consent section of the clinic website.
    REBUT: Two of the three KC area clinics , including Planned Parenthood, have already included this link for a long time, and the third clinic has done so inconsistently. We are not aware of the website for the new Wichita clinic.
  2. The sentence “Abortion terminates the life of a whole, separate, unique living human being.”
    REBUT: This sentence was found medically accurate by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. This sentence is one line in many pages of the Kansas Right to Know materials, and has been part of materials for years.
  3. The information that unborn children of 22 weeks gestational age feel pain. The clinic claims it is irrelevant as they do no abortions at this stage.
    REBUT. Abortions at 22 weeks gestation are banned under Kansas law, with limited exceptions, but it is certainly relevant for a woman to consider whether her abortion at 21.6 weeks– or 18 weeks or less –may be inflicting some pain on her child. Again this information has been in the state materials for 2 years.

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Kari RInker

Kari Rinker

This is National Multiple Sclerosis Society (MSS) Awareness Week, but anyone who desires a positive public image for MS faces two problems: the MSS advocacy of embryonic stem cell (ESC) research and MSS’ choice of an abortion activist as a regional coordinator/lobbyist.

First, and unbeknownst to most donors and volunteers, is that MSS’ official support for stem cell research includes the embryo-destructive kind (see here). Two weeks ago in Georgia, an MS activist testified in opposition to an embryo protection bill even though there are no MS cures or promising clinical trials using ESC. In fact, adult stem cells are providing actual successful treatments for MS (see here, here and here).

Support for ESC is an unethical position that will alienate a number of pro-lifers, and likely dissuade them from joining with MSS to help promote the interests of MS victims.

Secondly, what explains why the MSS Mid America chapter (covering Kansas, Western Missouri, and Nebraska) hired an ACORN-styled street fighter, Kari Rinker, to be their voice at the state Capitol in Topeka this year?

Rinker lobbied from 2009-2012 on behalf of the Kansas National Organization for Women (N.O.W.) Her no-holds-barred style gained additional notoriety last year when she pounded a rubber stamp on the committee podium when testifying against a pro-life bill.

Rinker’s commentary is regularly found in national extreme liberal press outlets, including the Daily Kos, Huffington Post, and Rachel Maddow Show– due to her perspective as ‘speaking truth to power in an anti-woman Republican state’. In Rinker’s words:

Rinker organized online harassment of pro-life Gov. Brownback (see here and here). She complained about him attending a prayer summit and the national day of prayer. She regularly derided his vision for creating a Culture of Life, as coming “from his mansion…while pimp[ing] out poverty-stricken single mothers”.

‘Shaming events’ (here and here) were proudly organized by Rinker and broadcast nationally, against the sponsor of a 2011 Kansas pro-life insurance law– a law that she and the American Civil Liberties Union sued, and lost.

Rinker goes beyond advocating the standard N.O.W. position for gay marriage and mandatory emergency contraception when slamming ‘rabid-dog bishops’ for defending religious liberty. She recently Facebooked this: ‘Pope-schmope, I was sick of hearing about it before this conclave sh-t even started’ and posted other mockery of the Catholic church.

At the end of last year, Rinker announced she had quit as N.O.W. lobbyist, so her showing up at an abortion hearing and a pro-choice luncheon, while wearing the official lobbying badge for MSS, might be written off as coincidence.  But she continues, to this day, to publish aggressive misinterpretations of pro-life legislation in the most liberal media venues.

This inevitably leads to the question of whether she may be taking advantage of her (assumedly salaried) MSS staff position to keep her hand in abortion lobbying and to train her young N.O.W. replacement.  In fact, Rinker’s Facebook page features a large MSS awareness banner reading “connections count” but the postings below it are mainly abortion connections.

Certainly, she is entitled to her opinions, but does MSS, much less their donors, know that they hired a gal who continues to actively promote a radical social agenda that includes bashing the very Kansas officials with the power to help MS advocacy?

On Wednesday, when she was traversing the Capitol to publicize MS Awareness Week, Rinker filed this national post, which criticizes specific Kansas legislators and bemoans how our state has the most “harmful abortion restrictions”!

It’s a no-brainer that lobbyists tasked with securing public support and helpful legislation are supposed to make friends and win over opponents. How can Rinker win over the 3/4 of the Kansas House and Senate who are pro-life, when she continues to slam them in the national press and on social media around the state? And will MSS donors and volunteers tolerate Rinker’s representation?

Whatever the answers, MS victims are not being well-served.

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abortion not health care (2) The Associated Press reported late Friday that the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) has withdrawn their failing lawsuit against a 2011 Kansas law which bars private health care insurance from covering elective abortions. The ACLU cannot file these claims again or appeal the earlier court rulings.

Under the law– like the court-approved law operating in Missouri and (de facto) in eastern Kansas for over two decades– abortions other than to save the mother’s life would not be covered unless individuals had separately  purchased “riders”. The law was sought as a “conscience” protection by

  1. employers who did not want to be forced to offer policies with abortion coverage, and
  2. employees who objected to having their health care dollars pooled into plans that paid out for abortions.

The plaintiffs were women (primarily two former Kansas abortion lobbyists) claiming they lost their abortion coverage under the new law and that it showed gender discrimination.  It was rough going for the ACLU side from the start: they did not merit an injunction, a variety of their legal claims were advanced and then scrapped, and they were told more than once that their claims “lacked evidence.”

On Jan. 7, 2013, federal Judge Julie Robinson soundly rejected the ACLU motion for a bench ruling instead of a trial, responding that, as a matter of law, the ACLU failed to provide any evidence that the Legislature’s predominant motivation in passing the law was to make it more difficult to get abortions.

Judge Robinson wrote, “Whether one agrees or disagrees with [the State's] asserted cost and/or “freedom of conscience” rationale, there is nothing in the record to show that this was not the legislature’s purpose in adopting the law. Moreover, the claimed interests are rational ones.”

Abortion supporters –who sued three of Kansas’ 2011 pro-life measures– are fond of complaining that too much money has been spent by the state on defense litigation. They argue that these pro-life laws were only sued because they are “wrong,” but in this case, the court has recognized that it was the ACLU wasting taxpayer money.

Abortion is always the taking of an innocent human life; and the upholding of  this law, which stops society from “normalizing” and mainstreaming abortion as health care, is a victory.

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judge julie robinson

Judge Robinson

It’s not news that a lawsuit weighing the validity of the Kansas pro-life insurance law has been headed for trial in March 2013, but new filings that could have precluded a trial were answered by federal court Judge Julie A.Robinson on Monday.

The law bars private health care insurance from covering abortion except those done to save the mother’s life — a law that seven other states have, some (including our neighbor Missouri) for decades. Under the law, those wishing abortion coverage could purchase individual, separate policy ‘riders’.

The Kansas law was passed in 2011, with the impetus being employers’ and employees’ conscience objections to including abortions as part of health care packages.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed suit on behalf of several women who “lost” abortion coverage they previously had. That legal complaint has been amended several times but has not prevented the law from going into effect.

In June, the ACLU filed for summary judgment, asking that the judge rule on the legal arguments without going to trial, claiming that the legislature’s predominant purpose in passing the law was simply to impede access to abortion. The ACLU tried to fortify their arguments by citing the high cost of abortion, the animus of the legislature and the difficulty in navigating the purchase of riders.

In July, the State’s attorneys argued against that claim that the law had no rational basis and offered their own reason why the law could be upheld from the bench, without a trial. Attorneys for Kansas have stated at least four state interests served by the law:

  1. promoting childbirth over abortion;
  2. protecting the consciences of Kansans;
  3. lowering insurance costs; and
  4. making the public more aware of the actual cost of abortion.

On Monday, Judge Robinson roundly denied the ACLU’s arguments, and supported the state’s rebuttal of it, quoting her own earlier ruling, “Whether one agrees or disagrees with this asserted cost and/or “freedom of conscience” rationale, there is nothing in the record to show that this was not the legislature’s purpose in adopting the law. Moreover, the claimed interests are rational ones.”

However, while supporting the State’s rebuttal Judge Robinson did not allow Kansas attorneys their wish to also have her settle the matter without trial. She still wants to explore the issue of “undue burden,” and writes, “the Supreme Court held that showing that a statute will operate as a substantial obstacle in a large fraction of the cases in which it is relevant is sufficient, albeit not necessary, to show that the statute creates an undue burden.”

Trial submissions indicate that 137 women used insurance (not self-insured plans) to pay for elective abortion in Kansas in a one-year time frame from July 2010- July 2011. During that time, approximately 7,800 Kansas abortions were performed, so the State asserts the law does not impede a large fraction of the relevant cases. Robinson writes, “Absent more evidence, it is difficult to determine whether this burden is an undue one for a large fraction of these women,” and thus the trial is still scheduled for March.

Sadly, the question of the “burden” borne by those 137 aborted children is not up for discussion.

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After over a year of threats by ex-Tiller political operative, Julie Burkhart, to re-establish a Wichita abortion business, the Wichita Eagle reports that Burkhart’s Trust Women group officially owns the old Tiller clinic building.

The Eagle obtained no definitive information about how Burkhart would be using the building, but Kansans for Life had alerted its members September 12th of credible inside information that a Wichita clinic staffed with three non-Kansas abortionists would indeed be opening in January 2013.

If in fact Burkhart does open a business with itinerant abortionists, women will be in much jeopardy. Out-of-state physicians do not have

  • a stake in the community with family ties,
  • a medical reputation to maintain,
  • a permanent real estate investment.

Abortion clinics are notorious for sending abortion-injured women to the hospital without the necessary first-hand information for accurate emergency treatment– apparently what happened in the Tonya Reaves botched abortion death from a Chicago-area Planned Parenthood this July.

This is the reason that a provision requiring local hospital privileges for itinerant abortionists was passed in 2011 as part of the abortion clinic licensure law.  Unfortunately, this law is under injunction and thus not in effect, so the Eagle report is wrong that at least one of Burkhart’s abortionists would have to attain hospital privileges within 30 miles of the clinic.

An abundance of incidents across this nation have documented a variety of schemes with abortionists crossing state lines to take advantage of differing state laws governing abortion. Without a clinic licensure law in effect, the Kansas state health department cannot inspect, restrain, or penalize clinics.

Additionally, the Healing Arts Board cannot discipline a non-resident abortionist who drops his/her license and leaves Kansas.  Even if malpractice has occurred, the Board cannot chase abortionists into other states and force them to return to testify in Kansas, nor can the Board compel information from other state medical boards.  And certainly, personal lawsuits for injury and death on behalf of a woman or her family cannot be filed in other states.

If the information Kansans for Life received is true, the abortionists for the slated new clinic are residents of Missouri, Oklahoma and Nebraska. Nebraska abortionist LeRoy Carhart, a longtime Tiller-associate, still possesses a Kansas license.

Two other former itinerant Tiller abortionists, Shelly Sella and Susan Robinson, did not renew their Kansas medical licenses after Tiller’s murder.  Although this past year, Kansas State Board of Healing Arts did revoke the medical license of Tiller associate, Kris Neuhaus, for repeatedly violating the medical standard of care, they took no actions to discipline Carhart, Sella and Robinson for fraudulent late-term abortions.

Kansans for Life Executive Director, Mary Kay Culp, commented:

“It is tragic Burkhart appears poised to re-engage in destroying unborn children and exploiting women for money, again using out-of-state abortionists who can escape discipline from the Kansas Board of Healing Arts, and not yet subject to our new licensure law due to litigation; Burkhart knows that illegal abortions in Wichita were not penalized, and more recently, Planned Parenthood escaped prosecution when state documents were shredded with impunity–a situation that key legislators are currently investigating.”

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