The Kansas 2013 Pro-Life Protections Act creates pro-life public policies permissible under U.S. Supreme Court abortion rulings, but that hasn’t stopped abortionists Herb Hodes and Traci Nauser from trying to stop it.
Last week, attorneys for the father-daughter abortion team at the Kansas City-suburban Center for Women’s Health asked the district court to throw out the entire law before their lawsuit goes to trial. They want a ruling on whether the Act contained more than one subject, violating the rule of statutory construction.
AP’s John Hanna reported on the filing and cites several recent (non-abortion) state court cases that show little support for any success by lawsuits claiming Kansas laws violated the “single subject” mandate. This is not surprising, as the state’s drafting department is well aware of this requirement and is very careful to advise when proposed legislation might need to be segmented into separate bills.
The Pro-Life Protections Act states that it “concerns abortion” and contains a sex-selection abortion ban, abortion-related tax funding limits, and abortion informed consent provisions. Nevertheless, abortion lawyers call it a “hodgepodge” and specifically—and absurdly –claim that two sections have no relation to abortion because they do not actually use the word ‘abortion’ in the provisions.
The sections they criticize are:
- Section 2, asserting the state will protect interests of the unborn child and his/her parents (taken verbatim from the 1989 U.S. Supreme Court Webster ruling), and
- Section 9, adopting the 2008 Kennedy-Brownback federal bill to provide enhanced counseling for medically challenging prenatal diagnoses.
The abortion filing desperately tries to convince the court that these two sections wander from the abortion subject by describing Section 2 as a “legislative policy statement concerning the legal status of fertilized eggs” and Section 9 as authorizing “the provision of supportive services to parents and prospective parents of children with disabilities.”
Aside from both sections’ logical connection to abortion, Section 2 uses ‘unborn child’ and Section 9 repeatedly uses ‘prenatal’, yet the court is supposed to accept the abortion attorneys’ claim of irrelevance to abortion?
Section 2 is the backbone for the Act, showing that—even under Roe v Wade—the state has the right to defend the unborn in tort law and to set spending priorities for promoting life. Attorneys for the state defending the Act, assert in their filing that Section 9 provides services to parents of disabled children “in order to promote childbirth and carrying an unborn child to term.”
In testimony supporting the Act, Kansans for Life explained Section 9 as answering the need for the health department to assist families confronting disability diagnoses, in the face of ever-escalating prenatal diagnostic tests that encourage the elimination of individuals with challenging conditions. [As an aside, under Obamacare, prenatal testing, but not counseling, is authorized.]
The shock of certain prenatal diagnoses can too often drive a mother to agree to abortion, especially when ObGyn doctors are themselves not well informed about the medical condition and available services. Providing more immediate access to information about specialized treatments and community support allows a more fully informed decision to be made by families coping with unexpected news. This is obviously an abortion-related provision, although the counseling services extend past delivery.
It is exceedingly frustrating that the abortion industry can waste court time on such shoddy legal claims and we are glad that both the federal and district courts (in two separate suits, see here and here) have not blocked the entire Pro-Life Protections Act.