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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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Federal Judge Kathyrn Vratil

Federal Judge
Kathryn Vratil

Six weeks ago, Kansans for Life characterized the Planned Parenthood lawsuit against the newly-passed Pro-Life Protections Act as “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.”

Developments in the court of Federal Judge Kathryn Vratil show that KFL was right–the filing was not justified, just grandstanding and Planned Parenthood is now withdrawing two-thirds of its lawsuit’s complaints!

In a 20-minute phone conference Monday afternoon with Judge Vratil, attorneys for Comprehensive Health/Planned Parenthood of Overland Park confirmed that they are amending their original filing to:

  1. withdraw opposition to the statement “abortion terminates the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being”;
  2. withdraw opposition to the information about the pain-capability of the unborn child; but
  3. retain opposition to a requirement that each clinic’s online home page feature a hyperlink to the state’s informed consent website.

Planned Parenthood’s “backpedaling” amendments will be filed formally on Wednesday and the state of Kansas defense attorneys plan to accept them. A hearing before Judge Vratil on the hyperlink issue will happen later this fall.

In the meantime, the entire Pro-Life Protections Act has gone into effect except the hyperlink mandate and one medical emergency definition, both of which were temporarily enjoined by Shawnee County District Judge Rebecca Crotty. Judge Vratil has acknowledged that Judge Crotty’s injunction is in effect– the result of a separate lawsuit filed in state court by the Overland Park Center for Women’s Health (owned by abortionists Herb Hodes and Traci Nauser).

During the two years of hearings for the Pro-Life Protections Act, abortion supporters maligned it as ‘sweeping’, ‘extremist’, ‘a mandate that abortionists lie to women’, and ‘support for obstetricians to trick women into birthing disabled children’.  They wailed about provisions of the Act that removed tax-funding for abortion training, ended tax benefits for abortionists and restricted abortionists from teaching classroom sex-ed. They huffed and puffed about language the U.S. Supreme Court approved in 1989 that human life begins at fertilization.

Yet now we see that their ONLY legal complaint (other than a hyper-technical misinterpretation of one of the medical emergency definitions) is that they must acknowledge the scientific accuracy of the state health department’s informed consent website –a website to which abortion clinics have voluntarily linked for years!

Abortion businesses are a commercial enterprise subject to government regulation.  It is an extremely weak argument they put forth (in both federal and state court) that their “free speech” rights are being violated when required to label the state information in the hyperlink as medically accurate.

We expect Kansas to win both the federal and state lawsuits, but it’s a shame that tax payers have to pay to defend good, protective legislation from abortion business nuisance suits.

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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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pinochioTestimony last Wednesday to the Kansas House Federal State Affairs committee from opponents of this year’s version of the Pro-Life Protections Act, HB 2253, showed they don’t know how to read a legislative bill.

Pro-abortion conferees so misunderstood which parts of the bill include existing statute that they were asking the committee not to pass provisions [the pre-abortion 24-hour waiting period, and definitions of medical emergency and bodily health] that already exist as state law!

Of course, the other explanation is that the abortion lobby doesn’t care about accuracy as long as the spin works. Some examples follow.

ABORTION SPIN: Up again for consideration in Kansas is “70 pages of anti-abortion regulations”.

FACT: In Kansas, bill drafts must include the entire statute that is relevant– even for just a one-word change. The lengthiness of HB 2253 is due to the necessary inclusion of the revenue tax code plus the  “Woman’s Right to Know” (WRTK) handbook, issued by KDHE (the state health department).

ABORTION SPIN: This bill “forces doctors to lie” and “contains a huge amount of medically inaccurate information that doctors should never have to repeat.”

FACT: HB 2253 does not mandate abortionists “tell” women anything, period. The abortionist is free to disagree with KDHE materials, even mock them—as one KCK clinic has done on its website for years. By law since 1997, the abortion-seeking woman signs a paper for her clinic file that she has ‘accessed” these materials 24 hours prior to the abortion. HB 2253, codifying the WRTK handbook, conforms to the ‘reasonable patient standard’ in law covering potential risks needed to be revealed. If breast cancer and pre-term birth risks are nonexistent, KDHE can say so under this bill.

ABORTION SPIN: “No credible evidence exists” linking abortion with future pre-term birth.

FACT: In 2006 the Institutes of Medicine listed induced abortion as an immutable cause of premature birth in its publication on prematurity. A 2009 analysis of international studies concluded prior induced abortion, especially repeat abortions, as associated with a significantly increased risk of low birth weight and preterm births. KDHE finds this persuasive.

ABORTION SPIN: This bill says “abortion causes breast cancer”.

FACT: HB 2253 does not say that! It requires that the WRTK handbook “shall also contain objective information… including risk of premature birth in future pregnancies, [and] risk of breast cancer.”  The information currently provided is one short paragraph on each topic, based on medical and scientific evidence. To read the pertinent section from the WRTK booklet go here.

ABORTION SPIN: “Claims linking abortion and breast cancer fly in the face of scientific evidence.”

FACT: That sentence was taken from the national ‘fact sheet’ issued by Planned Parenthood and submitted by their Kansas facility as defending their opposition to WRTK info. However, two paragraphs further on that ‘fact sheet’, the section on breast cancer reads:

“reproductive factors have been associated with risk for the disease since the seventeenth century…it is known that having a full-term pregnancy early in a woman’s childbearing years is protective against breast cancer.”

Now compare Planned Parenthood’s statement with the first 3 sentences in the WRTK booklet under breast cancer risk :

Your chances of getting breast cancer are affected by your pregnancy history. If you have carried a pregnancy to term as a young woman, you may be less likely to get breast cancer in the future. However, your risk is not reduced if your pregnancy is ended by an abortion.

Gee, sounds nearly identical; even the World Health Organization acknowledged over 50 years ago that the first, full-term birth gives women the “greatest lifetime protection” against breast cancer. When a woman is pregnant, it is her unborn child who sends the chemical signal (after the 32nd week) to the mother’s breast cells to “mature” and become milk-producing. This breast cell maturation brings resistance to cancer-causing agents.

Thus, if an already-pregnant woman deserves all relevant information, the fact that delivering this child will enhance her breast cancer protection and abortion will decrease it, is relevant. And the fact that abortion raises future pre-term birth risk is also relevant. The KDHE is on solid ground, as is the Pro-Life Protections Act. (read more here)

Abortion opponents are intentionally promoting deceit.

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Judge Arnold-Burger

Former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline is appealing a ruling last year by the state’s Board for Discipline of Attorneys that his Kansas law license be revoked for “misleading” actions undertaken when he worked to prosecute illegal late-term abortions.

This week, he is once again seeking recusal of a judge on the state Supreme Court panel scheduled to review his license appeal.  A few months ago, Kline’s legal team was phenomenally successful; they submitted documentation arguing that at least two of the seven state Supreme Court justices were hopelessly biased against him and the result was historic– five sitting justices recused themselves!

To fill those five positions, three district judges, and two appellate judges were selected. It is Court of Appeals Judge Karen Arnold-Burger that is now being asked to recuse herself in Kline’s filing, because she

“has already announced her views on these matters in a way to impugn Mr. Kline before the state judiciary.

As reported Monday in the Topeka Capital Journal, Kline’s attorney, Tom Condit, said the motion urging Arnold-Burger’s recusal “was filed Friday after Kline discovered the judge’s role in ‘publishing a factually inaccurate, if not dishonest, newsletter to judges throughout Kansas that further distorted and demeaned the professional conduct of Mr. Kline.’ ”

The newsletter in question is The Verdict, a publication for Kansas lower court judges, edited solely by Arnold-Burger, and which folded after she was appointed to the Court of Appeals in 2010. But in early 2009, The Verdict featured a negative article on Kline, including (according to Kline’s motion)“twelve statements [that] read like a pro-abortion editorial, and are famously inaccurate.”

Kline argues that two judicial ethics rules are in play: 1) a judge must not make public comments on impending cases, and 2) a judge is disqualified from any proceeding in which the judge’s
impartiality might reasonably be questioned.

The action to pull Kline’s license was a ‘payback’ virtually promised by Justice Carol Beier, the author of both state Supreme Court rulings for Planned Parenthood protracted lawsuits in which Kline prevailed. Justice Beier’s animus against Kline was so out of bounds in the majority opinion that the two most senior justices backed away from Beier’s “threatened penalties” to Kline and complained that the ruling had been used “as a platform from which it can denigrate Kline for actions that it cannot find to have been in violation of any law.”

Prosecution for some of those Planned Parenthood illegal late-term abortions in 2003 are still headed for trial. Unfortunately, it was only last fall that the current prosecutor of the suit discovered that crucial state evidence to secure convictions had been shredded by the Sebelius’ administration in 2005 and by her hand-picked attorney general in 2009.

Kline had to press the state supreme court justices to step aside from judging his appeal; now he is exposing the bias of one appellate replacement.

This is “another disturbing revelation about the lack of neutrality in the Kansas disciplinary and judicial systems,” said Condit. “I cannot say that those controlling the Kansas disciplinary process are deliberately stacking the deck against Mr. Kline. I just cannot imagine how things would be any different if they were,” Condit said.

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U.S. Reps Tim Huelskamp (Dist.1), Lynn Jenkins (Dist.2), Mike Pompeo (Dist.4), Kevin Yoder (Dist.3). Photo: CJOnline

The majority of the U.S. House–including all 4 members of the Kansas delegation– voted Thursday to ban sex-selection abortions, but the measure failed to reach the necessary 2/3 majority. The vote was 246-168 in favor of the bill.

The Prenatal Discrimination bill, (PRENDA) H.R. 3541, addresses a true “war” on women —the destruction of innocent little baby girls in the womb. Four states currently ban sex-selection abortions and Kansas offered such a ban as a provision in the Pro-Life Protection Act, which passed the House this session but was dropped for action in the Senate.

PRENDA would apply federal criminal penalties to any person who does any of the following four things:

  1. performs an abortion knowing that such abortion is sought based on the sex of the child;
  2. uses force or the threat of force to intentionally injure or intimidate any person for the purpose of coercing a sex-selection abortion;
  3. solicits or accepts funds for the performance of a sex-selection abortion; or
  4. transports a woman into the United States or across a State line for the purpose of obtaining a sex-selection abortion.

President Obama opposed the ban, (more…)

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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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