In 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.
- 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.
Specifically, Planned Parenthood complains about 3 items in section 14:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.