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Archive for November, 2015

KS appeals court

Kansas Court of Appeals to probe dismemberment ban

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, all 14 judges of Kansas’ state Court of Appeals will begin analyzing all legal briefs, pro and con, for an expedited hearing on the grisly topic of dismemberment abortions.

That includes a “friend of the court” brief submitted by Kansans for Life in support of Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt. Schmidt is appealing a lower court decision that blocked implementation of the state’s first-in-the-nation Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act.

Oral arguments are set for December 9.

Last July, Shawnee County District Court Judge Larry Hendricks issued an injunction, blocking Senate Bill 95 from going in effect. (read more
here)

The Act bans a barbaric abortion method that tears apart living, well-formed unborn babies while in their mother’s wombs.

A.G. Schmidt

A.G. Schmidt

The preliminary injunction was obtained by the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights on behalf of Kansas’ father-daughter abortionists at the Center for Women’s Health in suburban Kansas City.

But the abortionists’ lawsuit was not filed in the federal court route that ends with the U.S. Supreme Court. The Kansas Attorney General’s legal team points out clearly in its filings that the abortionists logically should have taken that path, but instead are pursuing the state court path that ends with the state Supreme Court.

Why? Two reasons. Abortion attorneys:

  1.  recognize this Act could well be upheld for the nation, and
  2.  want to, instead, carve out a state right to abortion as interpreted into the Bills of Rights section of the Kansas Constitution.

The explanation for #1 is that dismemberment method abortions were examined at some length by the U.S. Supreme Court during their deliberations on partial-birth abortions. The Court assessed both methods as “brutal.”

In its 2007 Gonzales decision, the High Court upheld a prohibition on the gruesome partial-birth method, as furthering “legitimate interests in regulating the medical profession in order to promote respect for life, including life of the unborn.”

The explanation for #2 is that the Kansas state Supreme Court has shown a decidedly pro-abortion bias over the past two decades. Abortion attorneys are attempting to take advantage of that, hoping that the Kansas Supreme Court will “discover” a right-to-abortion in the state Constitution.

Everyone knows that is what is happening. The Nov. 15 “rebuttal” filing from the Kansas Attorney General observed that,

“[this suit invites] Kansas courts to take on a long rejected activist role: to change the people’s Constitution of the past 150 years in order to recognize “rights” that Plaintiffs may deem politically or morally expedient, but which an overwhelming majority of Kansans do not support.

APPEAL COURT CONSIDERATIONS
The Kansas Court of Appeals has been asked by the Kansas Attorney General to rule on whether the lower court– that opined dismemberment abortions cannot be banned –erred in two areas:

  • misstating the relevant U.S. Supreme Court findings, and
  • claiming that there exists a state right to abortion.

The abortion attorneys have clearly misstated the U.S. Supreme Court—and that’s why they don’t want to end up there.

DIsmembering a living unborn child

Dismembering a living unborn child

As to the claim that Kansas has a state abortion right, attorneys for the Center for Women’s Health argue that permitting abortionists to dismember living babies till they bleed to death is part of a woman’s liberty right, and a development of Kansas’ “pro-woman” history. They cite that, from its inception, Kansas gave women the right to hold property and vote in school elections.

How absurd is that stretch?!  Unless a baby is merely property that can be dismembered/shredded in the manner that is most convenient for abortionists. However, the Supreme Court’s most recent abortion ruling of 2007 doesn’t invest abortionists with veto power over the state legislature:

“Physicians are not entitled to ignore regulations that direct them to use reasonable alternative procedures. The law need not give abortion doctors unfettered choice in the course of their medical practice, nor should it elevate their status above other physicians in the medical community.[Gonzales v. Carhart, p.163]

“The medical profession, furthermore, may find different and less shocking methods to abort the fetus in the second trimester, thereby accommodating legislative demand.[p.160]

There is more yet to be aired on what attorneys are claiming in “friend of the court” briefs now being digested by the Kansas appellate court

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Teens at workshop

Rapt Teens for Life audience at KFL convention workshop

For a long time, Kansas was on the map as an abortion-friendly state. But the persistence of pro-life Kansans reversed that, and that indomitable spirit was on display Saturday at Kansans for Life’s state convention.

A big turnout at the Wichita Hyatt Regency began with a prayer breakfast and closed with a concert. In between, convention-goers were the beneficiaries of intense tutorials, workshops, panel discussions, and camaraderie.

There were three different program tracks throughout the day—General Audience, Latinos for Life, and Teens for Life.

close in teens

Teens at KFL convention

“Latinos and Teens,” said Convention organizer, KFL’s Development Director David Gittrich, “were especially energized to get equipped to educate and involve their peers in the effort to defend innocent human life.”

Comments from participants in all three tracks were extremely positive and many expressed their gratitude for the event.

The opening general session featured two of NRLC’s top talents: Burke Balch, director of the Robert Powell Center for Medical Ethics, and Mary Spaulding Balch, director of state legislation. The husband and wife team offered a joint exposition on “Pro-Life Lessons from Lincoln.”

This was a riveting explanation of the role the courts played in the civil rights movement, and how we can match those successes in the courts today using NRLC-supported legislation. One attendee said, “This is an absolutely remarkable defense of a strategy that will succeed!”

The afternoon general session featured international stem-cell expert, Dr. David Prentice, now at the Charlotte Lozier Institute, presenting an update on the successes of ethical stem cell therapies. Dr. Prentice is a founding member of the first-of-its-kind Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center at the University of Kansas Medical Center, now in its third year of operation.

Gov. Brownback, NRLC's Mary & Burke Balch, Lt. Gov. Colyer

Gov. Sam Brownback, Mary & Burke Balch, Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer

The audience was enthralled with the amount of stem cell clinical trials that are helping patients, including Kansans, and the medical marvels now occurring.

There was a broad selection of workshops available, including The Unborn Child’s Pain Capability, Why Judicial Reform is a Pro-life Issue, Threats to Receiving Life-sustaining Care in Kansas, and An Obamacare Alternative.

Latino and Teen tracks included topics tailored to their viewpoints and strengths.

Latinos for Life workshop

Latinos for Life workshop

Kate Gruver, from Pure and Simple, was a convention presenter and facilitated the Teens for Life track.  She said she was gratified to have so many people — including attendees from another state! “The teens were full of passion in their ‘standing for life,‘ and enjoyed learning from new perspectives,” she said.

Mary Spaulding Balch, did the “lifeboat” rationing exercise with the Teen track, and was very impressed to see so many young people who are passionate about protecting the lives of unborn children and the medically dependent.

“Their zeal is contagious,” she said. “Their participation is encouraging. The future looks bright.”

The Latinos for Life events “were very well received, with enthusiastic interaction,” reported Anna Myers, KFL’s Director of Hispanic Outreach.  The entire Latinos for Life track was in Spanish and attendees came from the far west to east end of the state.

It was Myers’ inspiration to close the convention with a highly successful Rondalla concert/rally featuring a variety of stringed musicians, and gospel singers.convention, Latinos for Life rondalla

Closing remarks for the day were delivered by Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell, Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, and Gov. Sam Brownback. The Governor detailed 15 pro-life measures he had signed into law and told the happy crowd, “Kansas is pro-life and we are not going back!”

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stop dismembering posterKansans for Life today submitted an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief, supporting Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s position in the matter of the ground-breaking Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act.

The A.G. is appealing a lower court block on the law with a hearing scheduled Dec. 9 in front of the full, fourteen-member state Court of Appeals. The fact that this appeal is being expedited to the full court, instead of a 3-member panel, is extremely unusual and shows the high stakes involved.

The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act was enacted in Kansas this April (followed within days by Oklahoma). The Act is model legislation developed by the National Right to Life Committee that is designed to pass U. S. Supreme Court scrutiny and would prohibit the brutal shredding of unborn children while still alive inside their mothers.

According to state reporting data, Kansas has seen a rise in such horrific abortions, from 584 in 2013 to 637 in 2014. All three abortion businesses in Kansas offer such procedures, with one admitting on national television they cost around $2,000.00 apiece.

THE TRUTH OF DISMEMBERMENT
Abortions by dismemberment are done mainly after the first trimester, when the unborn baby is too large to pass through the suction tubing of the abortion machine. In a dismemberment abortion, the abortionist continually reaches into the mother’s womb with a variety of sharp-edged metal clamps and tools, yanking off parts of the child and pulling them out onto a tray.

Infamous abortionist LeRoy Carhart (who still holds a medical license in Kansas) has described this procedure in court as “dismembering” and recounts how he uses ultrasound guidance so he knows that these unborn victims are still alive, with hearts beating, as the procedure unfolds.

medical arm with abortion toolAlthough pro-abortionists (and nearly every media outlet) refer to these abortions as D&E abortions, D&E is actually a broader term, encompassing the removal of baby body parts—whether parts are torn off of still-alive unborn children or taken off unborn children already dead through the intentional administration of a feticide or by the snipping of the umbilical cord. The Kansas and Oklahoma Acts only bar dismemberment abortions performed on a still-living unborn child.

Abortion attorneys are claiming that women’s health demands this barbaric procedure. This was also their claim when it came to partial-birth abortions, which the U. S. Supreme Court rejected in their 2007 Gonzales ruling. In that decision, the Court upheld that the federal ban on partial-birth abortions — forbidding an inhumane abortion procedure in order to show respect for the developing unborn child and to regulate medicine — was a proper exercise of legislatures.

The impetus for a ban on dismemberment abortion was the actual written comments by the Justices in the Gonzales decision, and in an earlier partial-birth ruling, Stenberg, that acknowledged the horrific abortion procedures.

Ginsburg

Justice Ginsburg

Justice John Paul Stevens, an abortion supporter, in comparing partial-birth abortion to dismemberment abortion, said, “that the State furthers any legitimate interest by banning one but not the other, is simply irrational.” [Stenberg v. Carhart, 530 U.S. 914, 946-947]

Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsburg, an abortion supporter, said both methods “could equally be characterized as ‘brutal,’… involving as it does ‘tear[ing] [a fetus] apart’ and ‘rip[ping] off’ its limbs.” [Gonzales v. Carhart, 550 U.S. 124, 181, 182]

The Court essentially encouraged states to bar abortion methods that, ”might cause the medical profession or society as a whole to become insensitive, even disdainful, to life…” Stenberg v. Carhart, 530 U.S. 914, 961

Barbarism is exactly what the Kansas and Oklahoma legislature intended to stop when enacting the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, yet both states have been blocked by court injunctions from allowing this law to go into effect.

LOWER COURT ADOPTS ABORTION POSITION
Shawnee District Court Judge Larry Hendricks has apparently not read the relevant U.S. Supreme Court rulings. His decision to issue an injunction in June (read more here) blocking the Act declared that it:

  • would be an unacceptable limitation (“undue burden”) on the so-called right to abortion created by Roe in 1973 (as the abortion attorneys interpret it) and
  • violates an even broader “right” to abortion that the judge says exists in our 1859-adopted Kansas Constitution.
Judge Hendricks

Judge Hendricks

The argument that Kansas has any right to abortion enshrined in our state Constitution has repeatedly been rebutted and called “a fantasy” in filings from the Attorney General.

Furthermore, the U.S. Supreme Court said in Gonzales that abortionists do not have any right to demand certain procedures: Physicians are not entitled to ignore regulations that direct them to use reasonable alternative procedures. The law need not give abortion doctors unfettered choice in the course of their medical practice.” [Gonzales v. Carhart, 550 U.S. 124, 163]

The abortionists’ argument that the Dismemberment Abortion ban restricts a “common” method is actually a plea that they be allowed to keep methods that are more expeditious and profitable for them.

Kansans for Life’s amicus brief amplifies why this Act conforms to the U.S. Supreme Court’s position that some abortion methods are unacceptable and “will further coarsen society to the humanity of not only newborns, but all vulnerable and innocent human life, making it increasingly difficult to protect such life.’ “[Gonzales v. Carhart, 550 U.S. 124, 156-157]

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