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Archive for July, 2014

Aid for Women closes

KCK’s Aid for Women clinic

As confirmed by the Associated Press today, the Aid for Women (AFW) abortion clinic has closed abruptly, citing the retirement of its abortionist, Ronald Yeomans (age 73), as the reason.

The closure was announced on the AFW website, which was infamous for its churlish remarks undermining Kansas informed consent statutes. AFW’s website dissed state health agency abortion information as forced by “Republican misogynist (women-hating) bullies” and asserted that cancer was a living human organism like the unborn child. (read more here)

AFW was ripe for state oversight. The Kansas clinic licensure and regulation law– long fought for by Kansans for Life– was twice vetoed by past Gov. Kathleen Sebelius before finally being approved by Gov. Sam Brownback in 2011.

AFW applied for– and failed to attain –a state-issued license in June 2011.

This was hours before the new law was blocked in federal court from going into  effect. Aid for Women was quoted they’d “have to gut the place” to be in compliance.

Although the licensure law is stalled in state court, yet to be litigated, AFW did stop provision of abortion pills after the law’s passage.

As has been the case for so many previous Kansas abortionists, Yeomans was trained at the University of Kansas medical school (KUMed) and worked at Planned Parenthood. The Kansas legislature sealed off that sad legacy by ending onsite abortion provision at KUMed in 1997 and onsite abortion training at KUMed in 2013.

AFW abortionists had a long history of malpractice cases and disciplinary actions issued by the Kansas State Healing Arts Board, including original co-owner abortionists Malcolm Knarr and Sherman Zaremski, as well as later staff abortionists, Kris Neuhaus, and Krishna Rajanna.

SORDID HISTORY
Knarr, a convicted drug felon from Oklahoma, opened the business as a Medicaid and abortion facility in the impoverished inner city of Kansas City, Kansas in the early 1980’s. In 1993, KFL orchestrated the citizen petition drive that resulted in a grand jury convened to force government agencies to take action against Knarr.  During this time, he was averaging a malpractice suit every few months.

Although the grand jury was derailed, Knarr was forced out of medicine in 1994, and the state Healing Arts Board has kept him on a permanently suspended license. However, Knarr was able to keep ownership of the clinic with the Board restriction that he not enter any Kansas doctor’s office, hospital or other health-care facility except as a patient or as a visitor of a patient.

Zaremski, a failed lung doctor, joined AFW as Knarr’s business partner and fabricated years of non-existent prescription records. Zaremski performed at least one abortion, if not more, on young sisters who were repeatedly victimized by their step-father (see details here). He took retirement after years of battling licensure penalties and restrictions.

Neuhaus worked for AFW in the mid 1990s, in Kansas City and a Topeka branch. She staged a media event “locking out” Knarr at his own clinic. She then parted company, and worked –and  failed– at two abortion businesses in Lawrence and Wichita. During those years, the Healing Arts Board twice labeled her a “danger to the public” but let her keep her license, enabling her to provide “approval referrals” for late-term abortions at the George Tiller clinic in Wichita. Neuhaus lost her medical license two years ago but is litigating the revocation.

Rajanna was a failed internist who trained at AFW until he left to set up a competing mill down the street—a rat-and-rodent-overrun facility with open syringes of drugs and bags of fetal parts kept in the staff lunchroom refrigerator.  Rajanna lost his license in 2005 (read more here). Five years later, Rajanna caused a media ruckus when he was caught dumping old patient abortion files with personal information into a school dumpster.

SUDDEN CLOSINGS
With abortion rates dropping each year, many abortion businesses across the nation are closing or consolidating. In August 2010, Planned Parenthood of Kansas Mid-Missouri announced the sudden closing of its small Lawrence clinic merely with a note posted on the door, explaining only that continued operation was no longer “financially feasible.”

Yeomans’ Kansas annual medical license renewal was filed and accepted this month by the Healing Arts Board. But that begs the question of why an aging abortionist would pay for a state license if he knew his sole Kansas facility, AFW, was imminently closing?

Yeomans has been an itinerant abortionist for years, for a long time in West Virginia, so he may not have retired from abortions, only at the AFW Kansas City location. The SouthWind abortion clinic appears to need an abortionist—they opened last year in Wichita, Kansas, with three non-Kansas resident abortionists but only one remains on staff. We wouldn’t be surprised to find Yeomans on their roster.

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Justice Alito

Justice Alito

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld conscience protection for certain businesses to refuse to provide abortifacient drugs and devices through employee insurance, as mandated by an HHS rule under Obamacare.

The Hobby Lobby ruling applies narrowly to “closely held corporations,” which the IRS defines as firms where half of the value of the corporation is held by five or fewer individuals. The Obama administration had argued that ‘for-profit’ corporations couldn’t have religious beliefs, but the Court disagreed, finding that,

“Protecting the free-exercise rights of closely held corporations…  protects the religious liberty of the humans who own and control them.”

The Court also noted that the Evangelical owners of Hobby Lobby and the Mennonite owners of Conestoga Wood Products (both “closely held corporations”) professed “sincere Christian beliefs that life begins at conception and that it would violate their religion to facilitate access to contraceptive drugs or devices that operate after that point.”

Specifically, the Hobby Lobby lawsuit sought an exemption to providing 4 of the listed 20 forms of contraception that HHS mandates under “preventive services.”

Gov. Brownback

Gov. Brownback

KANSAS PROTECTIVE LAWS
Of note to Kansas pro-lifers is that the Hobby Lobby majority opinion was written by Justice Samuel Alito.

Alito’s appointment to the Court would not have occurred had not our governor, then-U.S. Senator Sam Brownback, led the resistance to President Bush’s 2005 nomination of Harriet Miers to replace the retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. O’Connor had provided the fifth vote in the 2000 Stenberg decision striking down a Nebraska partial birth abortion law but Alito became the fifth vote to uphold the federal partial birth abortion ban in 2007.

The backdrop of the Obama administration’s aggressive abortion agenda further incentivized Kansas to pass particular pro-life laws, signed by pro-life Gov. Brownback, elected in 2010.

After the passage of Obamacare that included abortion coverage, Kansas enacted laws in 2011 to prevent abortion coverage in any future Kansas health exchange and in all private health insurance plans unless a separate abortion ‘rider’ is purchased.

In the wake of the HHS mandate and an increase in contraceptive promotion, Kansas medical professionals faced a growing ethical problem: some pills and devices marketed as preventing pregnancy also disrupt the implantation of the human embryo—called a post-fertilization abortifacient effect.

Because Kansas’ abortion statute defines legal contraception as, “the use of any drug or device that inhibits or prevents ovulation, fertilization or implantation of an embryo,” in 2012, Kansas passed conscience protection for medical professionals and facilities: “No person shall be required to perform, refer for, or participate in medical procedures or in the prescription or administration of any device or drug which result in the termination of a pregnancy or an effect of which the person reasonably believes may result in the termination of a pregnancy.”

In 2013, Kansas passed further barriers to government promotion of abortion in healthcare in the Pro-Life Protections Act, which

  • declares that human life begins at fertilization and that Kansas public policy will promote and protect the interests of unborn children and their parents;
  • prevents state agencies from discriminating against individuals or health care institutions that do not provide, pay for, or refer for abortions;
  • more effectively bans abortion performance and abortionist-training at the tax-funded KUMed Center.

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