ProlifePowerSurgeThe U.S. House passed two significant pro-life bills this morning with the support of all four Kansas U.S. Reps. The bills now head to the U.S. Senate.

  • H.R. 3504 strengthens penalties for those who don’t protect babies born alive during induced abortions. It passed 248 – 177.
  • H.R. 3134 defunds Planned Parenthood for one year, exempting facilities that do not perform abortions (with exceptions). It passed 241 – 187.

Born-alive abortion survivors and the defunding of Planned Parenthood are not new issues for legislation, but 10 undercover videos released by the Center for Medical Progress have renewed public outrage at abortion business practices. Three Congressional investigations of Planned Parenthood are underway.

Predictably, President Obama, who is a strong supporter of Planned Parenthood, has promised to veto both bills as “threatening the sacred doctor/patient relationship.” Read more here.

It is already illegal not to medically care for babies who have escaped death during an abortion attempt under both Kansas law since 1997 and federal law  since 2003 (read more here). Yet– in their own words on the videos– Planned Parenthood physicians and tissue procuring personnel reveal that born-alive babies are not given medical care, but treated merely as more valuable sources of organ harvesting:

  1. Dr. Savita Ginde, Medical Director of Colorado’s Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountains is taped saying, “sometimes we get—if someone delivers before we get to see them for a procedure—they are intact…”
  2. One fetal tissue broker describes watching a “fetus …just fall out. And left to die.”
  3. Procurement technician Holly O’Donnell shamefully admitted that she’d been ordered to harvest an intact brain from a late-term male unborn baby whose heart was still beating after the abortion at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte’s Alameda clinic in San Jose, California.

H.R. 3504, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act requires that the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence be exercised to preserve the life and health of the child as would be rendered by a reasonably diligent and conscientious health care practitioner. Violations include fines and/or up to five years jail time. The Act also provides for civil remedies for victims.

H.R. 3134, the moratorium on federal funding of Planned Parenthood, is based on the alleged criminality of the nation’s largest abortion business. This bill would remove more than $528 million dollars in tax money that goes annually to PP and specifically reallocates $200 million to Federally Qualified Health Centers. See more here.

We in Kansas enjoy a wonderful confidence that all our federal elected officials are strongly pro-life, without reservation. Please contact our Kansas U.S. Reps to thank them for standing strong for life: Dist.1 Tim Huelskamp, Dist.2 Lynn Jenkins, Dist.3 Kevin Yoder, Dist.4 Mike Pompeo.

judicial activismThe Kansas Supreme Court has deferred examining whether the Kansas constitution contains a right to abortion, as “discovered” in June by a lone district court judge. The state Attorney General’s appeal of the “discovery” thus stays in the state Court of Appeals.

Outside of the state political intrigue surrounding this development, it is symbolic of a national strategy: pro-abortion legal interests are forcing state courts to “discover” abortion rights in state constitutions. This is their backup plan–because absolute support for abortion over the past decades has eroded at the U.S. Supreme Court.

The horrific Roe ruling in 1973 that legalized the destruction of over 56 million innocent lives did not shut down dissent as abortion interests had hoped. Instead, not only has the population become more pro-life, states have gained more leverage in restricting abortion and have accrued legal footholds to overturn Roe.

In response, abortion strategy has been to get “mini” Roe rulings in the states by filing legal challenges to state pro-life laws that include claims that there is a state constitutional basis for abortion. It worked in Tennessee, where an overreach of their state supreme court declared a state constitutional basis for abortion did exist, blocking pro-life protections in that state for 15 years. It took tremendous efforts to eventually mount the successful ballot initiative that overruled that overreach.

In April, Kansas passed the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, to ban the barbaric method of ripping apart living unborn children until they bleed to death. The Act poses a huge threat to abortion interests, both financially and legally.stop dismembering poster

Enter the national Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), filing suit to preserve dismemberment abortions on behalf of Kansas City suburban abortionists Herb Hodes and Traci Nauser. The legal brief included claims about an as-yet-unacknowledged state right to abortion, as had other suits that Hodes & Nauser / CRR had filed against Kansas pro-life laws.

The lawsuit went to Shawnee County district Judge Larry Hendricks, who issued a temporary injunction on the Act June 25. Hendricks so thoroughly agreed with abortionists’ legal claims that he allowed the CRR to write his injunction ruling—a very rare occurrence.

That is how citizens of the very pro-life state of Kansas were informed that –unbeknownst to them, much less the authors of the state constitution– a legal right to abortion, separate and distinct from the one issued in Roe, has existed all along!

The office of Attorney General Derek Schmidt immediately filed to appeal Hendricks’ injunction with its bold pronouncements; the office has continually asserted that

the notion that our 1859 state constitution protects abortion “is a fantasy.”

Soon after, Schmidt’s office filed a motion to move the appeal straight to the state Supreme Court, due to the gravity of the effects on Kansas law that would follow under this constitutional “discovery.”

On Aug 30, without explanation, and by a 4-3 vote, the Kansas State Supreme Court rejected the A.G.’s request to intervene now. The Supreme Court should have complied with the request because it would inevitably be asked to rule on it from the loser of the appellate case. Thankfully, the appellate court has promised to act on an expedited timeline.

Ks Supreme Court

Kansas Supreme Court

Large political considerations are in play.

There has been growing unrest with anti-life justices on the state supreme court chosen under the least representative nomination method in the nation.

Kansans for Life has repeatedly called out that Court for their preferential treatment of abortion clinics in statewide legal cases going back to 1998.

In theory, citizens would show their opposition to judicial activism at the ballot box, where the judges of the supreme and appellate courts stand for “retention” every six years. Unfortunately, there has been a reluctance to vote them out and they are reliably retained by comfortable margins. Even the publicized death of a judge (whose name could not be removed from the printed ballot in time) did not keep voters from supporting his retention!

Kansans for Life has made court reform a top pro-life priority and pushed hard to improve the nomination process of the state’s highest courts. We have achieved a new selection method for the appellate court (by statute) but not yet for the state supreme court (which requires a legislative super majority and statewide ballot).

We educated the public about anti-life judges before the 2010 and 2014 elections; although none were defeated, a significant dent was made in their retention margins.

Five of the seven supreme court justices and six of the fourteen appellate judges in Kansas are up for retention in 2016. Those who are so extreme as to ratify the invention of a state right to abortion in our pre-Civil War Constitution –at a time when abortion was illegal in every state—may very well be a little nervous about losing their seats on the bench.

Wed. House Hearing on Planned Parenthood spotlights barbarism of dismemberment abortions

The first of several hearings convoked to investigate Planned Parenthood was held Wednesday in the U.S. House Judiciary committee and spotlighted barbaric dismemberment abortions used to obtain aborted baby body parts for procurement businesses. Kansas was the first state to ban such barbaric abortions at any stage in gestation.

The hearing–entitled, “Planned Parenthood Exposed: examining the horrific abortion practices at the nation’s largest provider,”— was triggered by nine undercover videos released weekly since July by citizen journalists of the Center for Medical Progress (see full content here). The focus was whether any law-breaking is occurring in the trafficking of aborted baby “specimens” at Planned Parenthood, which corporately receives annual government funding of over $520 million dollars.

Testifying from the pro-life position were:

  • National Right to Life attorney Jim Bopp, offering commentary about the legal and ethical questions raised in the videos, and
  • saline ‘abortion survivors’, Gianna Jessen and Melissa Ohden, offering their personal stories on behalf of aborted children who are not dead after abortions .

Planned Parenthood did not attend the hearing, but their position was ardently advanced by Yale attorney /professor, Priscilla J. Smith, who asserted that Planned Parenthood “is beloved, not just by me, but by most Americans.”

Smith’s “claim to fame” was her role as the lead attorney in attempting to persuade the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the federal ban on barbaric partial-birth abortions. She failed, and the ban has been in effect since 2007; but her commitment to the brutal destruction of unborn children has not flagged.

In fact, far and away the most noteworthy and breathtaking exchanges at the hearing from the pro-life perspective were those between Smith and several pro-life committee members who could not shake her steadfast defense of dismemberment abortions as “humane.” (See excerpt here)

In fact, Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) began his questioning of the witnesses by reading two descriptions of dismemberment abortions :

  • the first was from Justice Anthony Kennedy (taken from Supreme Court rulings in 2000 and 2007) describing how unborn children in such abortions are torn “limb from limb” and “bleed to death” –often, with their hearts still beating according to ultrasound monitors; and
  • the second came from the current abortionists’ lawsuit against the Kansas ban on dismemberment abortions.

Smith claimed that dismemberment abortions (what she insisted on calling “D&E” abortions) are very humane, although at one point she qualified her statement to pertain to dismembering of unborn children who were not “viable.”

A somewhat astonished Goodlatte replied, “Ms. Smith, your view of “humanity” and mine are different.” Witness Jessen was also taken aback by Smith’s comment and replied to Goodlatte, “I’m speechless with Ms. Smith’s reply that she thinks that’s a humane way to die.”

The committee pro-life members were outraged that the undercover CMP videos indicate live babies were escaping abortion, but were then destroyed — in violation of the Infant Born Alive Protection Act and also, in some cases in violation of the federal ban on partial-birth abortions.

But the hearing also gave significant exposure to the barbaric procedure of dismemberment abortion, which –as a moral issue–goes well beyond questions of whether Planned Parenthood is fully obeying federal law governing fetal tissue procured after induced abortion.

KDHEContrary to an editorial blast today from the Lawrence Journal World, and an Associated Press story last Friday, Kansas is not suffering a permanent loss of federal assistance for reproductive health services. Open record information requested by Kansans for Life shows:

that the state’s Title X funding exceeds what it was during the last year when Planned Parenthood was getting part of it under court order.

The Title X award for Kansas in fiscal year 2016 is $2,472,000, just slightly higher than its award of $2,471,250 in 2014.

First, a little background. Title X is federally-dispersed money designed to assist low income-qualifying women for non-abortion reproductive health services, including contraceptives and health screenings. In Kansas, Title X is distributed by the Kansas Department of Health & Environment (KDHE).

Any licensed physician can do the elementary exams and blood draws covered under Title X; it is certainly not anything for which Planned Parenthood is uniquely capable.

It also is good stewardship for the state to allocate financial support for medical facilities that provide the poor with the full range of well-woman care (not just gynecological services, but nutritional, cardio, mental health, etc.)– as well as pediatric and geriatric care for both sexes.

Since 2007, the Kansas legislature had tried to insure that full-service health entities, especially public clinics, received Title X funding.  To accomplish that goal, the legislature annually passed a budget instruction– called a proviso– which prioritized Title X grants to full-service medical facilities.

However, pro-abortion governors Sebelius and Parkinson annually vetoed that proviso so that Planned Parenthood would not be disqualified from accessing the Title X funds.

The proviso for prioritizing Title X grants was finally signed into law under pro-life Gov. Sam Brownback in 2011. Planned Parenthood then challenged it in federal court.

While litigation ensued, Judge Thomas Marten ordered that Title X funding be guaranteed, not only to the plaintiff (Planned Parenthood clinics in Wichita and Hays) but also to an  independent Dodge City Family Planning (DCFP) clinic!

That judge-ordered temporary payment to three financially-failing businesses is what the AP story references as a “$370,000.00 loss.” And despite this judicial “monetary lifeline”  to all three limited-service businesses (in violation of the proviso), the small DCFP clinic closed and both Planned Parenthood clinics remained deeply in the red.

In March of 2014, the Kansas Title X prioritization proviso was upheld as valid by the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. Planned Parenthood dropped their legal challenge and accepted that both clinics were no longer eligible for Title X in Kansas.

Subsequently, the 2015 Kansas Title X federal award was reduced by $229,950, a one time adjustment after the two Planned Parenthood clinics were removed from the Kansas grantee eligibility.

The 2016 Title X funding federal award, in effect as of July 1, exceeds the 2014 award. In other words, the current award is just above our state’s pre-litigation amount.

Back to the AP story that has been generating headlines. The meme that Kansas is being denied Title X funding and that women are therefore underserved is unsubstantiated. The assessment relies on a self-serving claim by Planned Parenthood and a suggestion by the Sedgwick County Health Department Director that, “People have fewer places to go, and for those with limited means that may make utilizing those services even more difficult.”

Fewer places? Only 2 limited service medical clinics have closed: DCFP and the Hays Planned Parenthood clinic. KDHE funds 47 facilities under Title X.

Any speculation about how health care decisions are being made –without examining the effects of the initiation of Obamacare, the HHS contraceptive mandate, and other changes in Medicaid– are without solid factual basis at this point.

The bottom line is that tax funding belongs to true, full-service medical providers–not as a subsidy to a private chain of abortion providers.

A new video exposing Planned Parenthood’s trafficking of aborted baby body parts was released today by the Center for Medical Progress, featuring a former StemExpress tissue technician, Holly O’Donnell.

An excellent summary of O’Donnell’s revelations and a critique of the failure of the media to properly air this series of explosive undercover videos is here.  Some highlights:

  • tissue “technicians” were allowed access to Planned Parenthood patient records, even those of women who had not yet received results from pregnancy tests;
  • clinic counselors insensitively pressed for “research  consent” from crying and vomiting women;
  • “specimens” from aborted babies were sometimes taken without the mother’s consent.

In todays’ video, O’Donnell details her work inside the abortion clinic, from order forms coordination through her taking shipments to Fed Ex . We hear how she was revolted by the money-grubbing attitude of the staff of Planned Parenthood and her associates in the tissue collecting business. She also shares disgust at the assembly-line mentality of one particular abortionist who aborted “viciously fast,” and got upset when there weren’t enough patients to keep him busy.

O’Donnell’s first person admissions of how women are manipulated at Planned Parenthood certainly shows the hypocrisy of their new corporate slogan, “Care. No Matter What.”

Roberts & Moran

U.S. Sens. Pat Roberts & Jerry Moran from Kansas voted to defund PP

Yesterday, the U.S. Senate fell seven votes shy of the 60 votes needed to defund the nation’s largest abortion business–Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and its affiliates.

The good news is that 55 Senators support S. 1881– one pro-life Senator was absent and another changed his vote to opposition only so that he would be eligible to enter a motion to reconsider. This greatly surpasses the 42 Senate votes garnered to defund PPFA in April 2011. And in that consideration, it shows the importance of defeating pro-abortion politicians.

The incentive for the introduction of  S. 1881 were four undercover videos released in July by the Center for Medical Progress that shined a bright light on abortionists’ discussions about dismemberment of living unborn children and trafficking in baby body parts. (A fifth video was released today (here).

S. 1881 would strip taxpayer support of PPFA and makes the funds available to other eligible entities to provide women’s health care services, notably Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC). This is a similar mechanism to how Kansas provides true health care using federal funding.

Passed first in 2007 as an amendment to the state budget, Kansas Title X funds were prioritized to go first to full service public hospitals and clinics, and secondarily to private full-service facilities. There was no reference to abortion or Planned Parenthood, just the state’s intention to best serve state health interests.

Planned Parenthood did not qualify for the 1/3 million dollars at stake under the Title X prioritization so that provision was deleted annually by pro-abortion Govs. Kathleen Sebelius and Mark Parkinson.

Planned Parenthood filed a legal challenge after the proviso was signed in 2011 by pro-life governor Sam Brownback. After extended litigation, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the provision in 2014.

There are several instructive takeaways from Monday’s vote on defunding PPFA.

  • Contrary to opponents’ misstatements, S. 1881 did not “end healthcare” for women, but indeed would have “ended corporate welfare” to PPFA in the form of $528 million annual government funds.
  • Compared with the number of PPFA affiliates, there are 13 times as many full-service public health facilities across the nation that are well-deserving of taxpayer support.
  • There is no equivalence between PPFA, where 94% of pregnant clients are sold abortions, and FQHCs that provide all kinds of healthcare to all ages–without any abortions.
  • PPFA likes to tout its cancer screenings but for breast cancer, they only provide a manual palpation and referrals to other facilities for mammograms, as they don’t have those machines or technicians.

In the discussions leading up to the Senate vote on S. 1881, many misleading statements were bandied by opponents, including the threat that the loss of Planned Parenthood as a contraceptive provider would overly burden the FQHC network and lead to a rise in abortions. But this has not occurred in Kansas.

After losing eligibility for Title X money, Planned Parenthood of Kansas Mid-Missouri kept two Kansas sites open and closed one location in Hays, which had been financially in the red for years.  A request to the state Health department verifies that Kansas has 15 FQHCs and 3 satellite clinics, with more opening soon. And the threat of increased abortions? Not in Kansas, with the annual abortion total continuing to decrease.

It is encouraging that more citizens are beginning to see, like Kansans, that the government has no business subsidizing the killing industry of Planned Parenthood.

A.G. Derek Schmidt

A.G. Derek Schmidt

The Kansas Attorney General’s office is fighting a court ruling last month that the 1859 state constitution contains a “fundamental” right to abortion,”independent and separate from” that declared by the U.S. Supreme Court.

On Wednesday, the office of pro-life A.G. Derek Schmidt filed a motion to rush that issue up to the Kansas Supreme Court, bypassing the state court of appeals. Abortion attorneys are expected to file a similar request.

The legal challenge at the heart of this was brought in June against the first-in-nation Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act.(read more here).

Dismemberment abortions are defined as intentionally causing the death of a living unborn child in the uterus by ripping him/her apart “through the use of clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors or similar instruments.”

The plaintiff is the Center for Women’s Health, the office of Kansas father-daughter abortionists, Herb Hodes and Traci Nauser. CWH attorneys couldn’t have asked for more from the ruling of Shawnee County Judge Larry Hendricks last month, who not only issued a temporary injunction that blocked the dismemberment ban from going into effect, but also grounded the decision on a hitherto-undiscovered state “constitutional” abortion right.

The Kansas A.G. attorneys assert that the state supreme court is the correct venue for ruling on whether a-never-before-declared right to abortion is found in the pre-Civil War constitution –adopted at a time when abortion was illegal in every state.

The A.G. seeks a ruling on the state constitutional question and whether federal abortion rulings were incorrectly interpreted.

The Kansas Supreme Court needs to move expeditiously for several reasons, urges the A.G. filing, including the existence of two other lawsuits filed by CWF (in 2011 and 2013) which are lagging in state court and would be directly impacted by a decision about this so-called fundamental state right to abortion.

Oklahoma enacted an identical dismemberment abortion ban due to go into effect in November, which abortion interests are also expected to challenge.

Of note recently in undercover video journalism (see here) is that dismemberment abortion is the prime method relied upon for trafficking in baby body parts.


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