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Archive for September, 2015

ProlifePowerSurgeThe U.S. House passed two significant pro-life bills this morning with the support of all four Kansas U.S. Reps. The bills now head to the U.S. Senate.

  • H.R. 3504 strengthens penalties for those who don’t protect babies born alive during induced abortions. It passed 248 – 177.
  • H.R. 3134 defunds Planned Parenthood for one year, exempting facilities that do not perform abortions (with exceptions). It passed 241 – 187.

Born-alive abortion survivors and the defunding of Planned Parenthood are not new issues for legislation, but 10 undercover videos released by the Center for Medical Progress have renewed public outrage at abortion business practices. Three Congressional investigations of Planned Parenthood are underway.

Predictably, President Obama, who is a strong supporter of Planned Parenthood, has promised to veto both bills as “threatening the sacred doctor/patient relationship.” Read more here.

It is already illegal not to medically care for babies who have escaped death during an abortion attempt under both Kansas law since 1997 and federal law  since 2003 (read more here). Yet– in their own words on the videos– Planned Parenthood physicians and tissue procuring personnel reveal that born-alive babies are not given medical care, but treated merely as more valuable sources of organ harvesting:

  1. Dr. Savita Ginde, Medical Director of Colorado’s Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountains is taped saying, “sometimes we get—if someone delivers before we get to see them for a procedure—they are intact…”
  2. One fetal tissue broker describes watching a “fetus …just fall out. And left to die.”
  3. Procurement technician Holly O’Donnell shamefully admitted that she’d been ordered to harvest an intact brain from a late-term male unborn baby whose heart was still beating after the abortion at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte’s Alameda clinic in San Jose, California.

H.R. 3504, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act requires that the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence be exercised to preserve the life and health of the child as would be rendered by a reasonably diligent and conscientious health care practitioner. Violations include fines and/or up to five years jail time. The Act also provides for civil remedies for victims.

H.R. 3134, the moratorium on federal funding of Planned Parenthood, is based on the alleged criminality of the nation’s largest abortion business. This bill would remove more than $528 million dollars in tax money that goes annually to PP and specifically reallocates $200 million to Federally Qualified Health Centers. See more here.

We in Kansas enjoy a wonderful confidence that all our federal elected officials are strongly pro-life, without reservation. Please contact our Kansas U.S. Reps to thank them for standing strong for life: Dist.1 Tim Huelskamp, Dist.2 Lynn Jenkins, Dist.3 Kevin Yoder, Dist.4 Mike Pompeo.

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judicial activismThe Kansas Supreme Court has deferred examining whether the Kansas constitution contains a right to abortion, as “discovered” in June by a lone district court judge. The state Attorney General’s appeal of the “discovery” thus stays in the state Court of Appeals.

Outside of the state political intrigue surrounding this development, it is symbolic of a national strategy: pro-abortion legal interests are forcing state courts to “discover” abortion rights in state constitutions. This is their backup plan–because absolute support for abortion over the past decades has eroded at the U.S. Supreme Court.

The horrific Roe ruling in 1973 that legalized the destruction of over 56 million innocent lives did not shut down dissent as abortion interests had hoped. Instead, not only has the population become more pro-life, states have gained more leverage in restricting abortion and have accrued legal footholds to overturn Roe.

In response, abortion strategy has been to get “mini” Roe rulings in the states by filing legal challenges to state pro-life laws that include claims that there is a state constitutional basis for abortion. It worked in Tennessee, where an overreach of their state supreme court declared a state constitutional basis for abortion did exist, blocking pro-life protections in that state for 15 years. It took tremendous efforts to eventually mount the successful ballot initiative that overruled that overreach.

DISMEMBERMENT BAN IS THREAT
In April, Kansas passed the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, to ban the barbaric method of ripping apart living unborn children until they bleed to death. The Act poses a huge threat to abortion interests, both financially and legally.stop dismembering poster

Enter the national Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), filing suit to preserve dismemberment abortions on behalf of Kansas City suburban abortionists Herb Hodes and Traci Nauser. The legal brief included claims about an as-yet-unacknowledged state right to abortion, as had other suits that Hodes & Nauser / CRR had filed against Kansas pro-life laws.

The lawsuit went to Shawnee County district Judge Larry Hendricks, who issued a temporary injunction on the Act June 25. Hendricks so thoroughly agreed with abortionists’ legal claims that he allowed the CRR to write his injunction ruling—a very rare occurrence.

That is how citizens of the very pro-life state of Kansas were informed that –unbeknownst to them, much less the authors of the state constitution– a legal right to abortion, separate and distinct from the one issued in Roe, has existed all along!

The office of Attorney General Derek Schmidt immediately filed to appeal Hendricks’ injunction with its bold pronouncements; the office has continually asserted that

the notion that our 1859 state constitution protects abortion “is a fantasy.”

Soon after, Schmidt’s office filed a motion to move the appeal straight to the state Supreme Court, due to the gravity of the effects on Kansas law that would follow under this constitutional “discovery.”

JUDGE SELECTION MATTERS
On Aug 30, without explanation, and by a 4-3 vote, the Kansas State Supreme Court rejected the A.G.’s request to intervene now. The Supreme Court should have complied with the request because it would inevitably be asked to rule on it from the loser of the appellate case. Thankfully, the appellate court has promised to act on an expedited timeline.

Ks Supreme Court

Kansas Supreme Court

Large political considerations are in play.

There has been growing unrest with anti-life justices on the state supreme court chosen under the least representative nomination method in the nation.

Kansans for Life has repeatedly called out that Court for their preferential treatment of abortion clinics in statewide legal cases going back to 1998.

In theory, citizens would show their opposition to judicial activism at the ballot box, where the judges of the supreme and appellate courts stand for “retention” every six years. Unfortunately, there has been a reluctance to vote them out and they are reliably retained by comfortable margins. Even the publicized death of a judge (whose name could not be removed from the printed ballot in time) did not keep voters from supporting his retention!

Kansans for Life has made court reform a top pro-life priority and pushed hard to improve the nomination process of the state’s highest courts. We have achieved a new selection method for the appellate court (by statute) but not yet for the state supreme court (which requires a legislative super majority and statewide ballot).

We educated the public about anti-life judges before the 2010 and 2014 elections; although none were defeated, a significant dent was made in their retention margins.

Five of the seven supreme court justices and six of the fourteen appellate judges in Kansas are up for retention in 2016. Those who are so extreme as to ratify the invention of a state right to abortion in our pre-Civil War Constitution –at a time when abortion was illegal in every state—may very well be a little nervous about losing their seats on the bench.

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Wed. House Hearing on Planned Parenthood spotlights barbarism of dismemberment abortions

The first of several hearings convoked to investigate Planned Parenthood was held Wednesday in the U.S. House Judiciary committee and spotlighted barbaric dismemberment abortions used to obtain aborted baby body parts for procurement businesses. Kansas was the first state to ban such barbaric abortions at any stage in gestation.

The hearing–entitled, “Planned Parenthood Exposed: examining the horrific abortion practices at the nation’s largest provider,”— was triggered by nine undercover videos released weekly since July by citizen journalists of the Center for Medical Progress (see full content here). The focus was whether any law-breaking is occurring in the trafficking of aborted baby “specimens” at Planned Parenthood, which corporately receives annual government funding of over $520 million dollars.

Testifying from the pro-life position were:

  • National Right to Life attorney Jim Bopp, offering commentary about the legal and ethical questions raised in the videos, and
  • saline ‘abortion survivors’, Gianna Jessen and Melissa Ohden, offering their personal stories on behalf of aborted children who are not dead after abortions .

Planned Parenthood did not attend the hearing, but their position was ardently advanced by Yale attorney /professor, Priscilla J. Smith, who asserted that Planned Parenthood “is beloved, not just by me, but by most Americans.”

Smith’s “claim to fame” was her role as the lead attorney in attempting to persuade the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the federal ban on barbaric partial-birth abortions. She failed, and the ban has been in effect since 2007; but her commitment to the brutal destruction of unborn children has not flagged.

In fact, far and away the most noteworthy and breathtaking exchanges at the hearing from the pro-life perspective were those between Smith and several pro-life committee members who could not shake her steadfast defense of dismemberment abortions as “humane.” (See excerpt here)

In fact, Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) began his questioning of the witnesses by reading two descriptions of dismemberment abortions :

  • the first was from Justice Anthony Kennedy (taken from Supreme Court rulings in 2000 and 2007) describing how unborn children in such abortions are torn “limb from limb” and “bleed to death” –often, with their hearts still beating according to ultrasound monitors; and
  • the second came from the current abortionists’ lawsuit against the Kansas ban on dismemberment abortions.

Smith claimed that dismemberment abortions (what she insisted on calling “D&E” abortions) are very humane, although at one point she qualified her statement to pertain to dismembering of unborn children who were not “viable.”

A somewhat astonished Goodlatte replied, “Ms. Smith, your view of “humanity” and mine are different.” Witness Jessen was also taken aback by Smith’s comment and replied to Goodlatte, “I’m speechless with Ms. Smith’s reply that she thinks that’s a humane way to die.”

The committee pro-life members were outraged that the undercover CMP videos indicate live babies were escaping abortion, but were then destroyed — in violation of the Infant Born Alive Protection Act and also, in some cases in violation of the federal ban on partial-birth abortions.

But the hearing also gave significant exposure to the barbaric procedure of dismemberment abortion, which –as a moral issue–goes well beyond questions of whether Planned Parenthood is fully obeying federal law governing fetal tissue procured after induced abortion.

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