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Posts Tagged ‘ACLU lawsuit’

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not health care (2) The Associated Press reported late Friday that the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) has withdrawn their failing lawsuit against a 2011 Kansas law which bars private health care insurance from covering elective abortions.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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Abortion supporters continue their brazen complaints that Kansas has already spent nearly $480,000 in legal fees defending 3 pro-life laws enacted in 2011.

But it’s those very abortion supporters that are forcing that drain in state resources, for profit and ideological motives, plain and simple.

Let’s look at the three lawsuits and examine what is really at stake.

1. The family planning funding prioritization is a new measure, attempted this year in differing forms by a half dozen states, with Kansas having arguably the strongest legal ground.  Wichita Judge Thomas Marten placed the law on hold by injunction and ordered supplemental money sent to the three businesses that did not meet the new criteria. The Kansas Attorney General has appealed those actions to the 10th Circuit appellate court, and a ruling on the merits of the appeal is expected at any time.

This lawsuit was filed because financially-failing Planned Parenthood branches in Wichita and Hays, and one independent business in Dodge City, were not going to get nearly $375,000 in Title X state subsidies under the new law. No services formerly provided to Kansas women were being eliminated.  In fact, the only change was that the state would only contract for reimbursements with public clinics serving the poor, and in fact, would provide BETTER access to a full range of health care.

This lawsuit is little better than extortion, backed implicitly by the pro-abortion Obama administration and the federal agency that controls Title X money–HHS, headed by former Kansas governor, Kathleen Sebelius.

2. The law banning coverage of elective abortion in private insurance plans without a separately purchased rider, is not new.  It survived past court challenges and has operated in other states, like Missouri, for decades. Part of eastern Kansas has been covered this way by Blue Cross during that time! This law is operating without an injunction, but is headed for trial next year.

This law was sued by the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) ostensibly on behalf of unspecified women who can’t afford to pay for their own abortions.  But the suit is really a steppingstone to changing the “privacy” basis that undergirds the so-called legal right to abortion. The ACLU is still searching for courts willing to rule abortion is healthcare that must be paid for under the constitutional guarantee of “equal protection.”

Although abortion lawyers have pressed this “gender equality” argument unsuccessfully for decades, they are back at it again, at OUR taxpayer expense.

3. The third lawsuit (actually a series of 3 suits) has blocked the new law instituting state licensure, oversight and inspection of abortion businesses sought by Kansans since 2002. Currently there are only 3 abortion sites in Kansas, all in the Kansas City area, although there are threats to open a new one in Wichita this summer.

After a public fuss (and a suit they filed and then dropped) the Overland Park Planned Parenthood met the new minimum standards for licensure. The other two clinics didn’t, and sued the preliminary agency regulations from KDHE, while securing an injunction. So the law is not currently in effect.

Now get this: the pro-abortion voices complaining loudly about legal fees, themselves wasted a bundle when they filed suit in federal court in July, and then switched their game plan to file suit in state court in November. So last week, lawyers for the 2 clinics formally dropped the first lawsuit and are itemizing months of legal expenses– which will get paid by state taxpayers– if the abortion team prevails in the newer suit.

Next post: the real reason the abortion clinics’ lawyers changed from federal court to state court.

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Why has the ACLU sued Kansas’ new health insurance law that won’t cover abortions except those truly needed to prevent the mother’s death?

It’s not because the law is unconstitutional or even novel– since similar laws have been operating in other states since 1979.

But abortion zealots cannot bear that abortion is viewed as so ethically unacceptable that employers and employees don’t want their health plans to pay for them.  Read this typical rant on the Ted Turner-funded pro-abortion website, RHrealitycheck:

“The only basis for viewing the decision of a woman not to carry every fetus to term as a “moral” or “ethical dilemma” is the unscientific lie that treats fetuses like people, rather than as a subordinate part of a woman’s body. Women need the truth: fetuses are not babies and women are not incubators for lack of medical options…[women] are reduced to breeders…all-too-often trap[ped] in oppressive, and even brutal, relationships with men.

The ACLU complaint argues that men aren’t denied health care coverage, but  “thousands of Kansas women…will soon lose their existing insurance coverage for abortion …[that] allows women to get the health care they need.

What these extremists define by HEALTHCARE is shown in the lawsuit’s listing why a woman needs abortion:

  1. too young to parent;
  2. would deplete resources for her other children;
  3. interferes with education or job; (more…)

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