Feeds:
Posts
Comments

mad scientist warningIn a disturbing but not unpredicted development, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) last Thursday announced its support for expanded tax-funding of experiments in which human genetic material is combined with animals.

NIH will take public comment on the matter until Sept. 4 but—sadly– the agency has never changed directions based on negative public input.

For decades, researchers have engaged in ethically-noncontroversial mixing of human and animal cells such as growing human cancer tumors in mice to study disease processes and evaluate treatment strategies.  Also ethically-noncontroversial are therapies that utilize animal tissue, for example, using a pig’s heart valve for human heart repair, or other use of mammalian tissue in humans.

Stem cell research, however, is fundamentally different. “Pluripotent” stem cells can turn into any cell in the body, and when injected into animal embryos (as the new NIH proposals would allow) scientists don’t know what kind of new species will result. (See KFL post on hybrid creation controversy.)

UC-Davis stem cell researcher Paul Knoepfler, told the New York Times,

we lack an understanding of at what point humanization of an animal brain could lead to more humanlike thought or consciousness.”

David Prentice, board member of the Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center in Kansas raised concerns about the results of injecting stem cells into animal embryos:

 “[N]ew forms of life—human-animal hybrids—could then be in view, or even the development of an animal with a largely human or fully human brain. NIH’s answer to objections like these seems to be to preclude such animals from breeding (this would likely not be 100 percent effective—just ask anyone who has run an animal facility)…If human-animal chimeras are allowed to be intentionally created for research, the door is also open to reproductive experiments, creating part-human organisms or designer animals to, say, carry out dangerous or degrading tasks human beings do not want to perform. Or donate organs these creations sacrifice for their human betters.”pigmanface

Research into creating animal–human hybrids is ongoing with private funding. Last September, NIH looked around at what was developing there and issued a moratorium on government funding of such projects. But after holding a November 2015 workshop, apparently all questions of acting responsibly have been abandoned and NIH is ready to plunge into this ‘brave new world’ of interspecies experiments.

Bioethics author Wesley J. Smith is not optimistic  about these developments:

“If we had a science sector that believed in the intrinsic dignity of human life, we could explore these potentially beneficent avenues of biotechnology with little concern that scientists would begin to blur vital distinctions or cross crucial ethical lines dividing human beings from fauna. Alas, we don’t live in that milieu and we can’t trust our regulatory bodies–which can be more controlled by the sectors they are supposed to regulate than the other way around–to maintain strict boundaries.”

DESTRUCTION OF EMBRYOS
Beyond the moral quagmire of mixing species, this kind of experimentation would destroy many human embryos. Read our KFL fact sheet about animal-human hybrids (also called chimeras), which includes reasons why pro-lifers should be opposed:

  1. The research on these procedures would destroy many human embryos. No matter what we might learn from watching cells grow in the conditions created by a chimera, the fact remains that researchers would be killing human embryos to get their cells.
  2. If the purposeful creation of human-animal chimeras is allowed for research purposes, it opens the door to abuse of the technique for reproduction, as well as creation of part-human organisms as bizarre designer humans or animals.
  3. It could produce an animal that produces human sperm or eggs.
  4. It could produce an animal with a human brain.

NIH should be halting these ethically-unmoored manipulations of the human-animal boundary. Instead, this agency is moving to sanction them and promote them with our tax dollars.

God help us.

elections matterTurnout in the Kansas primaries was extremely low and the results rested heavily on economic issues, as AP writer John Hanna reported:

“The voting occurred against the backdrop not only of the state’s fiscal woes but ongoing legal and political disputes over funding for public schools. Kansas has struggled to balance its budget since the GOP-dominated Legislature slashed personal income taxes in 2012 and 2013 at Brownback’s urging to stimulate the economy.”

U.S. Senator Jerry Moran won his primary with 79% support, and Congressman Kevin Yoder won his 3rd District primary with 64%. Both have a 100% pro-life voting record.

Huelskamp loss for pro-lifers

KFL mourns Huelskamp primary  loss

However, embattled conservative and pro-life champion, Congressman Tim Huelskamp, lost in a fierce primary that saw multi-million dollars’ worth of ads from non-Kansas special interest groups. Challenger Roger Marshall, an Ob-Gyn doctor who describes himself as pro-life, won the GOP 1st district spot with 57% of the vote.

At the statehouse, KFL-endorsed candidates stacked up 18 wins in the House and 6 in the Senate, with 17 losses in the House and 10 in the Senate. However– and notably–in some races, the winners who had not earned KFL endorsement have stated they are pro-life.

HOUSE RESULTS
Ten reliable pro-life reps won their primaries yesterday along with eight KFL-endorsed challengers. A key issue for KFL endorsement has been the candidate’s willingness to allow the public a vote to improve judicial selection for the state Supreme Court. Otherwise, Kansas’ pro-life laws are jeopardized by rulings from extremist judges selected without public accountability.judicial selection

Pro-lifers were dismayed to learn of the defeat of eight great state representatives: Rob Bruchman, Will Carpenter, Brett Hildabrand, Jerry Lunn, Kasha Kelley, Charles Macheers, Craig McPherson, and Connie O’Brien. Three of those races had the narrowest of margins and may be recounted.

KFL-endorsed primary challengers lost in House districts 21, 45, 52, 60, 64, 68, 89, 104 and 115.

SENATE RESULTS
Headed into November Senate elections are pro-life incumbents Don Kerchen, Ty Masterson, and Mike Peterson along with KFL-endorsed former state reps Bud Estes and Gene Sullentrop.

Five great pro-life state Senators retired in May: Senators Steve Abrams, Les Donovan, Mitch Holmes, Jeff King and Michael O’Donnell. Primary results indicate voters in four districts (15, 25, 27 and 32), will have pro-life candidates to replace them, but not so in district 33.

Six solidly pro-life incumbent state senators disappointingly lost their primaries yesterday: Tom Arpke, Terry Bruce, Forrest Knox, Jeff Melcher, Larry Powell and Greg Smith. Four districts will be left without pro-life representation:  districts 11, 14, 21, and 24.

Dismemberment schmidt postcard, editTwo of the 6 winning Senate challengers had told the public they were pro-life. In district 34, Ed Berger was the victor. In the campaign, Berger claimed he was pro-life because he was Catholic, but refused to fill out the KFL survey. In district 39, challenger John Doll, a former Democrat who lost a statewide office race before winning a seat as a GOP state rep, has a mixed voting record on the life issues.

In a very bitter result for pro-lifers, a GOP Topeka district remains in the hands of the sole GOP Senator to vote against a ban on dismemberment abortions, Sen. Vicki Schmidt. The bill was signed into law in 2015, but awaits the review of the state Supreme Court—which appears to be delaying their ruling until after the November elections in which 5 of the 7 justices are up for retention.

Kaine & Sebelius

Pro-abortion Catholics Kaine & Sebelius

There’s been a long line of abortion-supporting politicians who try to fool pro-lifers into believing that they were “catholic” and “personally pro-life” during campaign seasons.

Democrat Vice-presidential candidate Tim Kaine, who hails from Kansas, described himself in his 2005 gubernatorial campaign as,“I’m Catholic; I’m against abortion.” However, as governor of Virginia and as a Virginia Senator after that, Kaine’s record has been 100% pro-abortion.

Former Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius is another who was intentionally dishonest about her abortion support when she campaigned as a Catholic for governor in 2002. However, the abortion industry was not fooled.

The lobbyist for notorious late-term abortionist George Tiller bragged in fundraising letters in 2002 that Sebelius as governor would usher in a new era for abortion promotion.  And it did. Those were frustrating years for pro-lifers.

In the last few election cycles, thankfully, Kansans are voting out a great number of pro-abortion politicians. Which brings us to the Kansas primary elections on Aug. 2nd.

KANSAS DEMOCRATS
In 2004, there were at most two dozen Kansas pro-life Democrats. That was the last year that the Democrat Party’s national platform declared abortion should be “rare.” Their 2016 platform says abortion availability is a matter of “justice” and it should be tax-funded. Kansas Democrat pro-life lawmakers are now as rare as hens’ teeth.

Only six Kansas Democrat state reps voted last year to end the most vile and barbaric-dismemberment abortions that tear apart living, fully-formed unborn children. In the Senate, not even one Democrat voted for that same dismemberment ban. Not even one!

Kansas Democrats also uniformly oppose reforming our Kansas judicial selection process– the process that has led to extremist pro-abortion court rulings that are decimating Kansas pro-life protections.

KANSAS REPUBLICANS
When it comes to Kansas Republicans, the national and state platform is pro-life. Kansans voted out a significant number of GOP politicians who supported abortion or played games with the issue. Some of those politicians want their power back and have formed “shadow” advocacy groups in campaign season to sow confusion among pro-lifers.

During the GOP primary is where these groups hope to remove 100% pro-life lawmakers.

These groups are backing self-described “conservative” candidates whose major appeal is on other issues, like taxes. Senate races in districts 34 and 39 are instructive.

100% pro-life Sens. Bruce & Powell

100% pro-life:  Bruce & Powell

In Senate district 34, pro-life incumbent Terry Bruce, is the Senate majority leader and a proven pro-life champion with a 100% voting record. Sen. Bruce has the endorsement of the KFL-PAC.

His challenger, Ed Berger has

  • no record of pro-life advocacy;
  • refused to fill out the KFL candidate survey;
  • supports keeping the current judicial selection model acknowledged as the worst in the nation.

Berger’s backers want voters to solely rely on Berger’s claim that his Catholic faith will insure he votes pro-life—while the sad reality is there are many pro-abortion Catholics in the Kansas State House.

In Senate district 39, 100% pro-life incumbent Larry Powell has a stellar voting record extending back into his days as a state rep. This is reflective of his district’s pro-life sentiment and Sen. Powell has the endorsement of the KFL-PAC.

Challenger John Doll–a former Democrat and current state rep– has a dismal pro-life record, contrary to what he may claim. In his four years in the House, he voted for the anti-life position nearly half the time!

Pro-lifers who put the pro-life issue on the back burner would betray all of the protections we have achieved in Kansas.

Serious pro-life voters cannot rely on candidates who merely proclaim they are “pro-life,“ due to their religious affiliation.
That is a smokescreen unless the candidate also supports reforming the judicial nominating system that is undermining all of Kansas’ hard-fought pro-life laws.

A complete list of candidates endorsed by the KFL-PAC is found at www.voteprolife.net.

vote babyAdvance voting for the Kansas primary elections began last week and the political advertising battles are in full swing in mailboxes, on TV and in deceitful, newly-created websites of advocacy groups the public has never heard of.

The authentic pro-life candidates have the endorsement of Kansans for Life. Period.

Those who do not, will try to confuse voters.

KEY FACT #1: Pro-life candidates do not merit your support if they do not support reform of the judicial nomination process to the Kansas Supreme Court. The current process is acknowledged as the worst in the nation, with a majority of non-elected attorneys selecting their favorites for the bench.

KEY FACT #2: Kansas courts are wrongly undermining all our hard-fought pro-life laws and supposedly “pro-life” politicians who deny this are either delusional or dishonest.

Right now, the Kansas Supreme Court should be overturning a horrible and ridiculous lower court ruling that dismemberment abortions are protected under the state’s pre-Civil War Constitution.

Instead of promptly denying that there is any state right to abortion, the Supreme Court justices appear to be delaying their ruling until after their November retention elections, and conducting an unprecedented state-wide self-promotion campaign.

CAMPAIGN TRUSTWORTHINESS
Kansans for Life is always upfront about its endorsement policies and all our efforts to describe the pro-life voting records of elected officials. The public trusts our judgment, because KFL:

  1. has been at the Statehouse for 33 years, accurately monitoring legislative action in committees and working with legislators for passage of excellent pro-life measures.
  2. puts the pro-life agenda ahead of partisan concerns;
  3. has a thoughtful and thorough candidate survey and a responsible vetting process;
  4. is honest in all our communications.

Many former politicians –mostly the kind who bitterly fought pro-life bills in the legislature– miss their political power and are “embarrassed” that Kansas is the nation’s model for pro-life laws.

These ex-politicians (with other self-proclaimed ruling elites) have formed a number of short-lived advocacy groups that spend a lot of money to intentionally confuse the public during the campaign season, with faulty pro-life claims about Kansas House and Senate races.

Certain pro-abortion Republicans have been involved in these shadow groups for many years, although the names of their shadow “coalitions” change. In targeted pro-life areas, these groups use masterfully deceptive media messaging, for example:

  • The just-arisen “Kansas Freedom Alliance” artfully cherry-picks some pro-life legislation to support their candidates who oppose the desperately needed court reforms that will actually uphold those pro-life laws.
  • The new “Save Kansas Coalition” is allied with new and old groups supported by anti-life forces, like the “Women for Kansas” group that failed to oust Gov. Brownback in 2014.

Every KFL-PAC endorsed candidate is proud of that support, and their names will be found at www.voteprolife.net.

To get your personally tailored pro-life ballot for all races, go to www.voteprolife.net.

comp health PP (2)Kansas cannot cut off Medicaid funding for two Planned Parenthood affiliates reports the Associated Press this evening.

“The Governor will continue the fight to make Kansas a pro-life state,” said Eileen Hawley, spokeswoman for Gov. Brownback,  “We will review today’s preliminary ruling and move forward with the litigation.”

U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson in Kansas City, Kansas, issued the temporary ruling late Tuesday which prevents the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) from cutting off funding Thursday for Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri and the organization’s St. Louis regional affiliate.

Mary Kay Culp, KFL executive director, commented,

“We oppose any public money that helps the abortion giant Planned Parenthood stay open. Planned Parenthood is not the trusted health-care provider they like to call themselves –everything they do is poisoned by their abortion business and advocacy .”

Planned Parenthood in Overland Park was indeed trafficking in baby body parts in the late 90’s, which caused Kansas to enact a law governing fetal tissue procurement.

Several ongoing bona fide lawsuits nationwide have found Planned Parenthood to be defrauding the public. See here.

The state of Kansas should have control of dispensing federal tax funded support to the indigent and have trustworthy partners. KDHE alleges they did not get respectful access to onsite inspection from Planned Parenthood that health care grantees must provide.

Unfortunately, the authorization language for Medicaid is not the same as for the Title X federal funding. Federal changes should be made to allow states more control over tax-funded health care distribution. The Medicaid amount involved appears to be under $50,000 this year.

Kansans for Life is happy, however, that

Planned Parenthood no longer gets Kansas Title X annual health care funding–well over one-third million dollars– that is now going to full-service public clinics and hospitals.

Kansas won that battle in court and this past session, the legislature made that funding priority a permanent statute. Read more here.

thumb_008

Now-closed Kansas City “Affordable Abortions”  lab specimen prep room in 2003 (photos by staff whistle-blower)

The U.S. Supreme Court 5-3 Whole Women’s Health v Hellerstedt ruling June 27th is not the huge victory abortion supporters claim. However, there is no question that “Hellerstedt” is a truly troublesome ruling, as it:

  • undermines the Court’s former support for the compelling interests of state legislatures,
  • makes the Supreme Court the nation’s medical board, and
  • encourages activist courts to indulge in subjective judgment of abortion regulations.

Ultimately, it’s a setback for the pro-life movement both nationally and in Kansas. However, looking at the long game, Supreme Court decisions are not set in stone.

As a reminder,  the Court struck down a ban on partial-birth abortions in 2000 and then in 2007 upheld the ban. Why? The language of the ban was tweaked, the public became educated (and outraged) and the composition of the Supreme Court changed. This is why presidential elections matter.

HORRIBLE RULING
Hellerstedt
has abandoned any pretext that the Court is only involved to guarantee “safe and legal” abortion. They have overruled protection for women in order to protect abortion business profits. The Court has reinforced its schizophrenia that demands abortion be treated as a medical procedure, but not be subject to the ordinary state oversight other medical facilities must obey.

Kansas City "Affordable Abortions"

“Affordable Abortions” unsterile surgical bedside with open trash and dirty carpet

Kansas has had plenty of abortion horror stories. A staff whistle-blower took photos in 2003 at the inner city “Affordable Abortions” clinic of Krishna Rajanna (now closed). She was so worried about the filth there she would wipe down the surgical bed with rubbing alcohol whenever she could.

Kansas had a duty to enact abortion clinic regulations, and it took ten years to get a licensure and inspection law— passed when we had a pro-life governor in 2011.
(Read more here and here.)

The abominable majority opinion last Monday, written by Justice Breyer, absurdly tries to justify striking down Texas’ clinic regulations, asserting that having such laws in place would not stop the “very bad behavior” of “determined wrong-doers” like Kansas had  at the “Affordable Abortions” clinic and elsewhere. With that logic, no laws would ever be passed.

The Hellerstedt ruling is harshly criticized by the dissenting justices (Thomas, Alito and Roberts) for breaking procedural rules and being so riddled with special exceptions for special rights” that it violates “the promise of a judiciary bound by the rule of law.”

Planned Parenthood has announced now they’ll fight abortion regulations in eight states: Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia– “with more to come” against similar laws across the country. National Right to Life Committee president, Carol Tobias, expects only measures identical to those blocked by the Supreme Court will be vulnerable to appeal.

HOW IS KANSAS AFFECTED?
The office of Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has so far announced that the legal team is studying the Hellerstedt ruling with respect to three ongoing lawsuits filed by Kansas abortionists. The A.G. team has prevailed in all other concluded abortion litigation since 2011.  (Read more about Kansas abortion clinics and lawsuits here.)

"Affordable Abortions" had blocked back exit with lawn mower in the mess as a "back-up generator"

“Affordable Abortions” fire-hazard blocked back exit with lawn mower (by door) as a “back-up generator”

Most directly related to Hellerstedt is the 2011 Kansas comprehensive abortion clinic licensure & inspection law which has never been in effect due to a “temporary” injunction and to an unjustifiable 4 1/2 year delay from Shawnee District Court Judge Franklin Theis.

That law includes building safety standards, injury & death incident reporting, abortion-specific protocols and a requirement that abortions be performed by Kansas-licensed physicians. Relative to Hellerstedt, it

  1. does mandate hospital privileges for abortionists within 30 miles of the abortion site, but
  2. does not require an abortion facility to be licensed as an ambulatory surgical center (ASC).

The admitting privilege (#1)  does mirror that of Texas, but the context in Kansas is not the same. All four Kansas abortion businesses  (2 in Wichita and 2 in Overland Park) claim to have access to abortionists with hospital privileges.

As for #2, although some of the Kansas facility requirements do resemble those of ASCs,  those provisions would not automatically need to be struck down. Also, two Kansas abortion businesses(Planned Parenthood and SouthWind) are already licensed as ASCs.

However, following Hellerstedt, activist courts will be more encouraged to subjectively critique –and potentially reject–duly-passed medical oversight laws.

 

"third world" conditions of inner-city abortion clinic

“sterilization room” of now-closed Kansas City abortion clinic

By a vote of 5-3 today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a  ruling protecting abortion profits above state health protocols.  Struck down are two provisions of HB2, a Texas law requiring abortion clinics to meet the same safety standards as ambulatory surgical centers and requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital in case of medical emergencies.

Similar provisions are part of a larger pro-life bill under injunction in Kansas.

This ruling was not unexpected because the majority of the nation’s highest Court supports abortion and will go to any lengths to preserve it—even self-contradiction. The Court both affirmed and then undermined this holding (from Roe): “the State has a legitimate interest in seeing to it that abortion . . . is performed under circumstances that insure maximum safety for the patient.”

In its pretzel logic the Court now dictates that state regulation must be subject to interpretation of how it might present an “obstacle” to abortion. The same standards any state uses to insure safe medical facilities —under today’s rulings—cannot routinely apply to surgical abortion facilities.

This is ridiculous.

Even disgusting, filthy hole-in the-wall clinics that won’t upgrade their facilities are now –in the Court’s eyes—protected by a veritable “necessity” exemption. Yet the existence of at least two such clinics in Kansas City were a main impetus for the Kansas abortion clinic licensure law passed in 2011.

That Kansas law was ten years in the making, including testimony of patient abuse, abortion malpractice and “third-world” caliber clinics. (read more)

Today’s ruling now guarantees more judges at every level will be involved in scrutinizing duly-passed pro-life laws to decipher whether they will pass muster with the U.S. Supreme Court’s subjective notion of what constitutes an “obstacle” to abortion.

Statement from KFL Executive Director, Mary Kay Culp:

“No one should applaud today’s decision. It shows in the starkest terms the so-called ‘safe and legal’ fantasy for what it always has been: a cover for abortion at all costs. Today’s decision is a real tragedy for mothers and as always, for their unborn children–something most women realize eventually.”

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 63 other followers