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Archive for December, 2015

Gov. Brownback signs historic Act

Gov. Brownback signs ban
on dismemberment abortion

The National Pro-Life Religious Council will honor Kansans and Gov. Sam Brownback on Jan. 22 with the National Pro-Life Recognition Award for the enactment of the “Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act.”

The presentation is part of the annual events at the Washington, D.C. March for Life, marking the tragic 1973 U.S. Supreme Court Roe v Wade ruling that legalized abortion and the destruction of an estimated 58 million unborn children.

Fr. Frank Pavone, head of Priests for Life and president of the NPR Council, has announced that Gov. Brownback will be a guest of honor at the prayer gathering at Constitution Hall, 1776 D Street NW, in Washington, D.C., opening with a Catholic Mass at 7:30 a.m., and followed by an interdenominational service from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. The event is free and open to the public, with no tickets required.

Members of the NPR Council Host committee include representatives from the National Right to Life Committee, Family Research Council, Alliance Defending Freedom, Bott Radio Network, and other pro-life groups.

Gov. Brownback released this statement:

“As Governor of Kansas I have signed 15 Right to Life bills reaffirming our commitment that life at all stages is sacred and valuable. I appreciate the efforts of the National Pro-life Religious Council, Priests for Life and their allied organizations in recognizing the people of Kansas and their elected officials at the National Prayer Service. Kansas has enacted legislation protecting unborn children from dismemberment abortions, and I encourage other states to do the same. I ask you, therefore, to join me at this prayer service, so that the action we have taken in Kansas can be an encouragement to similar efforts throughout this great land.”

2015 Rally for Life 2015 Rally for Life urges ban on dismemberment abortion bans

2015 Rally for Life in Topeka

The historic “Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act”  prohibits a gruesome method in which the abortionist tears apart a living, well-formed, unborn child– piece by piece –with sharp metal clamps and scissors.

The draft legislation for the “Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act” was developed by Kansans for Life with the National Right to Life Committee; Sen. Garrett Love (R-Montezuma) was lead sponsor. Public support for the bill was overwhelming and ceremonial bill signings by Gov. Brownback were held in four Kansas cities.

  • The Act is currently blocked in Kansas by a temporary injunction, awaiting a ruling from the State Court of Appeals.
  • Oklahoma passed the Act and it is under injunction in federal court.
  • The Act is being considered in several other state legislatures and has been filed in the U.S.House of Representatives.

The “Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act” was crafted to be upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, with the same reasoning they cited for upholding a ban on partial-birth method abortions in 2007 (emphasis added):

“[W]hen it has a rational basis to act, and it does not impose an undue burden, the State may use its regulatory power to bar certain procedures and substitute others, all in furtherance of its legitimate interests in regulating the medical profession in order to promote respect for life, including life of the unborn.” [Gonzales v Carhart, 550 U.S. at 158]

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Solicitor General Steve McAlister

Solicitor General Steve McAlister

While Wednesday’s full court hearing of the Kansas Court of Appeals was characterized by one of the 14 judges as “merely a whistle stop on the destination to justice,” it would be a mistake to underestimate the significance of the 90-minute hearing.

At issue is Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s appeal of a temporary injunction granted June 25 by a state court which blocked Senate Bill 95, the “Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act,” from going into effect.

The lawsuit was filed by father-daughter abortionists at the Center for Women’s Health, Herb Hodes and Traci Nauser, who attended the hearing along with a raft of attorneys, reporters, representatives of the other two Kansas abortion businesses, and members of Kansans for Life. Court staff had added extra chairs and a “cheat” sheet with the judges’ photos and names. No electronic devices are allowed, so notes had to be taken with old fashioned paper and pen.

This hearing was focused on the process of awarding an injunction, and not the content of the law enjoined. So it was not too surprising that not one word was uttered describing the horrific abortion dismemberment method that uses sharp metal clamps and scissors to tear apart, piece by piece, a well-formed, living unborn child.

Rather, the focus of the oral argument (45 minutes each, pro and con) was on pretty heavy-duty legal language–for example,  how federal “substantive due process” and “equal protection” (upon which Roe is based) are interpreted in state constitutions.

In simpler terms, will this court uphold the injunction by Shawnee County Judge Larry Hendricks that blocked the dismemberment ban from going into effect?

The Attorney General’s appeal alleges the injunction cannot hold because it is based on

  • a hitherto-undeclared “right to abortion” under the Bill of Rights section of the Kansas Constitution; and
  • misinterpretations of federal abortion decisions.

The pro-life side was represented by State Solicitor General, Steve McAllister– an experienced litigator, constitutional scholar, past law school dean, and former clerk to two U.S. Supreme Court justices.

The attorney for the plaintiffs seeking to keep dismemberment abortions legal was Janet Crepps, from the New-York-based Center for Reproductive Rights. Crepps is an experienced pro-abortion litigator, but she struggled to answer judges’ questions regarding Kansas law.

KANSAS CONSTITUTION PROTECTS UNBORN
The arguments Wednesday dealt nearly exclusively with the Kansas Constitution, and not the federal abortion rulings related to partial-birth and dismemberment abortion methods. McAllister strongly asserted that this court’s task was to assess prior Kansas rulings and not try to guess which way the Kansas Supreme Court might rule on this case in the future –as it is expected they surely will do at some point.

He presented strong evidence that the state framers particularly sought to protect natural rights, not un-enumerated, newly-evolved “rights.”

This stood in opposition to Judge Hendricks’ ruling which asserts a state abortion right that is “fundamental,” broader than that of Roe, and which bars any ban on the dismemberment method.

McAllister noted that abortion was illegal at the 1859 adoption of the state constitution, so how can any authentic reading of it re-interpret abortion to be protected? Moreover, abortion was criminally prosecuted in Kansas up until Roe.  Kansas case law, he argued, has interpreted the state constitution as specifically protective of the unborn child.

As a comparison, McAllister pointed out that doctors had filed—and lost—a lawsuit to find a “right” to practice medicine within the Kansas Constitution, so it seems absurd for abortionists to assert there’s a “right” to abortion found there!

Abortion attorney Janet Crepps

Abortion attorney Janet Crepps

WEAK LEGAL CLAIMS
Several judges pushed Crepps to defend why her clients were seeking to have Kansas courts secure a state right to abortion. Since the intended purpose of a temporary injunction is to prevent “harms” during litigation, they asked how was she really helping her clients by not using the federal court system where Roe already supports abortion claims?

Crepps’ reply was that every citizen has the right to ask the courts to find such individual protection under their state constitution. She noted that interracial marriage and gay rights were not originally acknowledged as rights.

At one point, Crepps was asked to elucidate specifically what was the “undue burden” involved from the Act: was it safety? cost? geographic access?

Crepps responded that the banned method took only one day to complete instead of three and that the Act left only “unreasonable alternatives” for women seeking second-trimester abortions. Throughout the hearing she repeatedly described one alternative method as requiring the insertion of a “spinal, 18-gauge needle into the stomach or vagina” to “cause demise.”

She didn’t say “fetal demise.” Just demise. Did the judges notice she left out the unborn child?

The chief Judge of the appellate court, Thomas Malone, promised a quick ruling but was unable to say when that would occur.

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U.S. Senators Roberts & Moran

U.S. Senators Roberts & Moran

Although the major TV networks didn’t tell the public, Thursday night was historic for pro-lifers. That was when, for the first time ever, the United States Senate passed a bill to defund Planned Parenthood. HR 3762 also dismantles large chunks of Obamacare.

HR 3762 passed 52-47 under a process called “reconciliation,” allowing a bill to pass by a simple 51-vote majority, without the possibility of a filibuster requiring 60 votes for passage.

Kansas U.S. Senators Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran supported the bill and did not vote for either of two hostile amendments, which were narrowly averted.

National Right to Life, the nation’s largest pro-life organization, applauded approval of the bill,

which will block approximately 89% of all federal funding to Planned Parenthood – about $400 million in the next year. The amounts denied to Planned Parenthood are reallocated to community health centers.

Because of changes made by the Senate, the House of Representatives must approve the bill before it reaches the desk of President Barack Obama, who will undoubtedly veto it.

Legislative director for National Right to Life, Douglas Johnson said, “While this bill faces the implacable opposition of President Barack Obama, it blazes a trail that can be followed to victory in the future – once we have a pro-life president.”

The bill would close the largest pipeline for federal funding of Planned Parenthood, Medicaid, and apply as well to the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the Title V and Title XX block grant programs.

Based on data from their own annual report from 2013-2014, nearly one in eight women walking through the door of a Planned Parenthood clinic has an abortion. A background memo from National Right to Life is available here, which addresses the fallacious claim that abortion comprises only 3% of Planned Parenthood business.

KANSAS BEATS PLANNED PARENTHOOD
In Kansas, Planned Parenthood of Kansas- Mid Missouri (PPKMM) no longer receives federal reproductive health grants under Title X—which (in 2011) amounted to more than one third of a million dollars annually. Kansas instead sends those funds to full-service clinics and hospitals, under a pro-life state budget provision that was repeatedly vetoed until Sam Brownback became governor.

After three years in litigation, Planned Parenthood lost its court challenge to the measure at the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. Following that blow, they closed their Hays clinic, which referred for–but did not perform– abortions. Currently, PPKMM operates one Wichita abortion-referring clinic and an Overland Park abortion-performing clinic.

Planned Parenthood also lost its legal challenge in federal district court to a KFL-sponsored bill passed in 2013, the Pro-Life Protections Act. Under the law, all Kansas abortion clinics must feature a live link on their website homepage that offers fetal development information from the Kansas health department, KDHE.

More and more, citizens—through their elected officials– are refusing to partner with the nation’s largest abortion business.

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CWH, the father-daughter duo

Kansas’ father-daughter abortionists fight to keep dismemberment method

Hopefully, you are following with deep interest the legal battle surrounding the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, enacted in Kansas April 7 and, less than a week later, in Oklahoma. Naturally, pro-abortionists are challenging both laws in court.

The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, is a law that prohibits the horrific abortion method in which a living unborn child in her mother’s womb is ripped apart into pieces by an abortionist using sharp metal tools.

Kansas abortionists are waging their attack in the state court system. In a highly unusual move that indicates the national importance of the proceeding, the entire 14-member Kansas Court of Appeals will hear oral argument on the issue next Wednesday. (see more here)

Not since the epic campaign to end gruesome partial-birth abortions have pro-lifers had such an opportunity to provide the Supreme Court with a reason to curb abortion on demand.

The Act outlaws an immeasurably painful and barbaric procedure and bases its legal foundation on the High Court’s very own words (emphasis added):

“[W]hen it has a rational basis to act, and it does not impose an undue burden, the State may use its regulatory power to bar certain procedures and substitute others, all in furtherance of its legitimate interests in regulating the medical profession in order to promote respect for life, including life of the unborn.” [Gonzales v Carhart, 550 U.S. at 158]

The “rational basis” for the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act is simple: dismemberment abortions are repugnant and unacceptable in a civilized society. Kansans asserted their right to curb medical abuse and show respect for the Unborn.

All abortions are not precluded by the Act– only one method—and therefore, there is no “undue burden” on a woman’s “right” to abortion.

However, abortionists are hoping against hope that the Gonzales Court didn’t really mean that the state can regulate abortion and that the nebulous term “undue burden” means anything that inhibits abortionists’ preferences.

Judge Hendricks

Judge Larry Hendricks used wrong evaluation standard

LOWER COURT EMBRACES ABORTION CLAIMS
Were they allowed to choose their own judge, Kansas’ father-daughter abortionists– Herb Hodes and Traci Nauser at the Center for Women’s Health– could not have done better than Shawnee District Court Judge Larry Hendricks. On June 25th, at the first hearing on the dismemberment bill, Judge Hendricks hardly paused for even a second after oral argument ended before slapping an injunction on the Act for a variety of wrong reasons.

Lawyers for Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt adamantly maintain that Judge Hendricks’ most fundamental error was failing to assume at the outset that the Act was valid. When “rational basis” laws like the Act are examined, the standard is to PRESUME validity and then attorneys for the challengers must prove to the court that the Act is not valid.

This principle was clearly reiterated this week in a different abortion lawsuit by noted 7th Circuit Appellate Judge Daniel Manion (see here). Manion also points out that it is only for abortion—unlike all other areas of medicine—that a practitioner may bring a suit on behalf of a patient solely because the physician finds a regulation cumbersome!

Yet that’s exactly what’s happening in Kansas. Abortionists want to continue doing dismemberment abortions in their office for as much as $2,000 each. And because alternative abortion techniques are less profitable, they advance a public propaganda campaign that “the alternatives lack proof of improved safety.”

“DOCTOR-PATIENT RELATIONSHIP”
ACOG (the American College of Obstetrician-Gynecologists) is strongly pro-abortion and has a legislative policy that opposes any state “interference” with medical recommendations. They especially oppose mandates for pre-abortion ultrasounds and cancer warnings.

ACOG logoACOG filed a ‘friend of the court’ brief for the Center for Women’s Health– as did a group of one dozen abortionists and abortion-referring practitioners (all but one from the Kansas City area). The singular message of both briefs was that a ban on the dismemberment procedure would have “adverse impact on the doctor-patient relationship.”

But how absurd is the use of the word “relationship” in the abortion context? What kind of a relationship is it when the mother is not told that her son or daughter will be shredded while she is sedated? What kind of relationship is it when the littlest patient is ignored and called a “pregnancy that will be removed?”

Also consider that the so-called relationship is really a one-way decision by “a highly qualified specialist” (according to the Kansas practitioners’ brief!) who insists that the Legislature may not weigh in on grizzly, inhumane abortion methods.

The Kansas district court has misinterpreted the Gonzales standard and invented a state right to abortion. Let’s hope the Kansas Court of Appeals rectifies it.

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