Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for June, 2014

Hobby Lobby, I stand with (2)The U.S. Supreme Court today upheld, by a 5-4 majority, the right of business owners to operate their family companies without violating their deeply held religious convictions against abortion.

The decision in the Sebelius (now Burwell) v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. ruling, is here, with legal comment here.

Justice Samuel Alito authored the majority opinion, declaring that the ‘HHS contraception mandate’ (a regulation issued under Obamacare) substantially burdens the Constitutionally-protected free exercise of religion.

The essence of this ruling is that the government may not create an artifice of a health mandate to force citizens to underwrite and promote abortion.

Although regularly termed as litigation against the HHS contraceptive mandate, Hobby Lobby (and other businesses) filed suit specifically in objection to being forced to provide some contraceptives—those that act to abort human embryos—under the HHS mandate.

Specifically, they objected to 2 drugs and 2 IUD devices, labeled as contraceptive, that actually can prevent implantation of the already-formed human embryo into the womb for gestation, also called a ‘post-fertilization abortifacient function’. (Read a thorough analysis of contraceptives from pro-life OB/GYN, Donna Harrison here.)

Furthermore, when evaluating the governmental interference with religion, the Court found that the HHS mandate violates the “least restrictive means” test of the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). RFRA demands that interference with religious freedom must be based on a compelling governmental interest, and be executed in the least restrictive means needed. Without ruling whether the goal of insurance provision of contraception is really a compelling governmental interest, the Court ruled that the HHS mandate, as a means of achieving that goal, is out of bounds.

The Court affirmed that freedom of religious expression is not limited to a person in his/her private, individual capacity, but –as set out in RFRA — extends to him/her when acting as a corporation, whether for-profit or non-profit.

Read Full Post »

Hon. Thomas Malone

Hon. Thomas Malone

A rotten district court ruling is too hot to handle and the proper court of review doesn’t want to deal with it. Guess why? The revoked medical licensee is an abortionist.

In a technical legal dodge on Friday, the Kansas Court of Appeals ruled that that it is too early for them to review an appeal by the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts in the matter of abortionist Kris Neuhaus.

The Board revoked her license in July 2012, after a six day hearing under State Administrative Law Judge Edward Gashler in which he found that, “the care and treatment of 11 patients [obtaining late-term abortions in 2003] was seriously jeopardized” by Neuhaus. (More posts here, here, here and here)

But that finding was blocked March 7, 2014 by Shawnee District Court Judge Franklin Theis, opining that the Board ‘over-punished’ Neuhaus for “being sloppy,” taking “short cuts,” and showing “inconsistent attention to proper protocols.”

Days later, the Board appealed. Kansas Court of Appeals chief Judge Thomas Malone issued a 2-page order Friday, claiming Theis’ order did not constitute a “final ruling” that they can review and that the Board had not yet reconsidered sanctions –as ordered by the district court.

The Court of Appeals wants the Board to go away and follow Theis’ order—but that order is exactly what the Board wants the higher court to reverse!

The Board is left with 3 legal options:

  1. ask for reconsideration by the same Court of Appeals that doesn’t want to do so,
  2. ask the state Supreme Court for review of the Court of Appeals position,
  3. go back in session to issue a revised sanction of Neuhaus.

Neuhaus’ lawyers found arguably the best activist judge in the state to take review –Shawnee District Court Judge Franklin Theis. Theis’ sympathies were revealed early on, when the state asked for a bond to recoup further court costs from Neuhaus and Theis said the appeal would proceed without any hope of repayment. He later ruled on the abortionist’s behalf, “there is not sufficient proof to support the board’s findings of ‘professional incompetency’…based on Neuhaus’ failure to maintain adequate records to support the diagnosis.”

NEUHAUS’ LONG-TIME INCOMPETENCE
The inability to do proper patient intake was the subject of disciplinary action against Neuhaus from 1999-2001, when the Board labeled her,“a danger to the public.” Unfortunately, the Board allowed her to keep her license, and she used it to rubber-stamp “mental health” exemption referrals –onsite –for George Tiller, enabling him to proceed with post-viability abortions.

Concerning those notorious referrals, Judge Gashler’s decision upholding the revocation included this:
“There is no indication that the Licensee [Neuhaus] on any occasion actually conversed with a patient concerning the items necessary for a competent mental health examination to be completed… In some cases, the patients were, according to the Licensee’s diagnosis, suicidal. Yet, in not one single case did the Licensee make any recommendations that the patient be seen by a psychiatrist, a psychologist, or any other type of mental health worker. The Licensee simply referred each patient for a pregnancy termination.”

The Kansas Board of Healing Arts needs to keep its new-found resolve to discipline dangerous abortionists, and challenge this new Court of Appeals ruling.

Read Full Post »

Cheryl Chastine

Cheryl Chastine

Last Friday was the fifth anniversary of the slaying of George Tiller, notorious for performing late abortions up through the ninth month of pregnancy. There were a number of stories lauding Tiller.

We learn from the Wichita Eagle that a joint media conference call from Julie Burkhart, Tiller’s former Political Action Committee (PAC) director, generated the “Tiller legacy” tribute stories at NPR, MSNBC, Wichita Eagle, Salon, and other pro-abortion outlets.

These reports served several purposes: to portray Tiller as a hero, vilify pro-life legislation, and to promote the fledgling South Wind Women’s Center (SWWC) abortion clinic. SWWC is run by Burkhart, using an Illinois fly-in abortionist, Cheryl Chastine.

SWWC is located in the same Wichita, Kansas, building Tiller occupied for decades. Reporters were informed SWWC hopes to expand to Oklahoma City and possibly beyond.

The engine for the “Tiller legacy” media campaign is Burkhart, who ran Tiller’s ProKanDo PAC from 2002 until 2009. The PAC spent over $2.4 million dollars to elect pro-abortion candidates, including former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (see details here).

After the Kansas State Healing Arts Board initiated legal actions to revoke Tiller’s medical license for violating the Kansas post-viability abortion ban, Burkhart left for St. Louis to head Missouri ProVote, a pro-Obama / pro-abortion political activist coalition.

Within a year of Tiller’s death, Burkhart had created a new group -–the Trust Women PAC– with the mission of stopping pro-life legislation and increasing abortion businesses in the “underserved” Midwest and South.

When the Tiller clinic was still in business in 2009, the Kansas legislature passed additional “Woman’s Right to Know”(WRTK) provisions aimed, in part, at the many women who were being led into late abortions to “resolve” their medically-challenging pregnancy.

The improved WRTK provisions included:

  • where to get free medical help, including perinatal hospice, for grave or lethal fetal conditions, and
  • a mandate that the clinic accommodate women who want to hear the fetal heart tones or see a current sonogram before obtaining an abortion.

This WRTK law requires the state health department to prepare medically-accurate pregnancy and fetal development materials in booklet form and available online, and to maintain a 24 hour phone hotline. Of course, according to Burkhart, this is just another “measure designed to shame and guilt” women, and burden clinics.

WHAT ABORTIONIST CHASTINE TOLD MEDIA
Based on several of her statements recorded in Friday’s Salon article, the 32-year old Chastine seems especially uninformed about Kansas’ WRTK abortion law. She said,
“It feels like there’s a third party in the exam room that doesn’t belong there, and I’m very clear with patients when I tell them that. I tell them, ‘The state wants me to tell you this. They also you to do this.’ I don’t try to hide the intrusion. I make sure that they know so that they can understand how their care is being influenced by unnecessary legislation.”

Chastine is quite emphatic about giving SWWC clients a rebuttal to information that she wrongly believes Kansas law requires her to “tell” abortion clients. But Kansas does not require the abortionist to say anything.

WRTK information was in fact designed as an out-of-clinic resource to both counter misconceptions relayed by abortion personnel as well as remedy a lack of relevant information preventing a woman from a freely formed abortion decision. WRTK laws offer a counterpoint to a rushed, forced, and irrevocable abortion, which is why abortion clinics hate them so.

Salon interviewer Katie McDonough further prods Chastine with this:
“Kansas is passing legislation designed to shame patients and place barriers to access in their way. I’m thinking of the 24 hour waiting period here, which is both intended to be a logistical barrier but also an insult to a patient’s intelligence….You probably see people who have come a long way, who have saved up, who taken off work — and you then have to tell them, “I can’t do this for you today. You have to wait 24 hours…”

To which Chastine responds,
“That’s extremely frustrating… I tell the patients…I trust you as a moral decision-maker, and I’m sorry that the state doesn’t do the same.”

The reality is that Kansas’ 24 hour period of reflection is nothing new. It was passed seventeen years ago. Moreover,  it does not require two onsite clinic visits and, in all likelihood, women don’t make two trips to a Kansas abortionist.

They can call the abortion business, tell them their estimated age of pregnancy, get told via phone or clinic website where to access the state materials, and make one appointment. The fact that pregnant women can stay out of the clinic and contemplate medically accurate materials is to their benefit and to the detriment of the abortion clinic’s bottomline.

A legal Kansas abortion does require the woman to sign a paper that she accessed WRTK info 24 hours before undergoing the abortion. Hopefully, each woman does attentively review the WRTK info (including ultrasound images)—especially those who are young, conflicted about abortion, or being coerced. Past testimony to Kansas legislative committees, as well as letters to the U.S. Supreme Court, have expressed the negative effects upon women who did not recognize the humanity of the unborn until years after experiencing an abortion.

Chastine maintains abortion is a “decision” morally equivalent to delivering a child.
“The people who are having abortions and people who give birth are not different people; they are the same people. And they make both of those decisions with their full moral decision-making capacity and for the same reasons.”

That kind of messaging may impress the SWWC staffers who (we are told) have graduated college with gender or women’s studies degrees. Those viewing everything through a lens of “patriarchal repression” may also agree with Chastine’s opinion that,
“I am very, very terrified of the rollback in access to reproductive healthcare… because the people who suffer from this are the most vulnerable in our society and the most voiceless.”

The rest of us think that the most vulnerable and voiceless are the unborn.

Read Full Post »