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Archive for July, 2013

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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Judge Franklin Theis

Judge Franklin Theis

Today, Shawnee County Judge Franklin Theis heard arguments for and against retaining the July 2012 revocation of the medical license of former abortionist Ann Kristen (Kris) Neuhaus. The judge said his ruling will not be ready for some time.

The complaint from the state Board of Healing Arts is that Neuhaus failed to follow the standard of care in recommending that eleven teens in 2003 were eligible to abort viable babies because continuing the pregnancy caused them to suffer substantial and irreversible mental harm.

At one point, Theis raised a somewhat rhetorical question to Board attorney Kelli Stevens of why the state was not prosecuting for fraud, instead of failed standards.

Stevens urged that while the context of the case was abortion, the issue was not whether these 11 teens were valid candidates for abortion, but whether Neuhaus, as a licensed medical physician, had failed her “duty to make a proper record”. All Kansas physicians must obey this duty in statute:

“keep written medical records which accurately describe the services rendered to the patient, including patient histories, pertinent findings, examination results and test results.”

The pathetic condition of Neuhaus’ files in these eleven cases were shown when, under direct testimony in earlier proceedings, Neuhaus herself couldn’t recollect some of these teens, using all her notes and records. Her attorney today, Kori Trussell, even admitted her records “were not as they should be” but then insisted that it doesn’t mean she did not properly evaluate the mental health of the teens.

Stevens pushed that it is not whether these teens were even medically eligible candidates under the abortion law, but that Neuhaus’ diagnoses are “unsupported.” Her files are inconsistent and some cannot even be reconciled with those of Tiller as to dates and patient profiles, said Stevens.

Kansas legislators in 1998 banned abortions on viable unborn children unless the women faced substantial and irreversible bodily damage (including mental health) as documented by a second independent physician. Legislators had thought that the second physician would bring accountability so that lone abortionists would not be inventing exceptions to the ban.

However, Neuhaus was neither independent nor a psychological expert. Not only was she the exclusive second physician signing off on late-term abortions for now-deceased Wichita-abortionist George Tiller, that was her primary– if not only— salaried job between 2003-2006.

The Board’s revocation had been finalized by Administrative law judge Ed Gaschler and Judge Theis has asked for a directed index of the 3,000 page transcript. The appeal is going forward even though Neuhaus claims she is penniless and cannot afford to pay legal costs.

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