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A state court has ruled that the Kansas ban of dismemberment abortion of a living unborn child violates our State constitution. In response, the legislature will consider putting a proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot that would allow the State to pass laws on abortion. The constitutional amendment will make it clear that the legislature can regulate abortions, including limiting late-term abortions, partial birth abortions, and ban the dismemberment abortion of a living unborn child.

If you read the Kansas Constitution, you would not find the words “right to an abortion”. The court looked at Section One and Two of the Bill of Rights and interpreted these sentences to include the right to an abortion. Section Two deals with equal protection. Section One reads, “All men are possessed of equal and inalienable natural rights, among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. Odd that the court found the right to an abortion in a sentence talking about the right to life.

A constitutional amendment will save thousands of lives. Here is why.

A series of U.S. Supreme Court decisions limit state legislatures from passing laws regulating abortion. Our President will appoint additional pro-life judges to the U.S. Supreme Court.  It is foreseeable that the U.S. Supreme Court will reverse its previous decisions, and state legislatures would be able to regulate abortion. However not in Kansas because our Kansas courts “found” the right to abortion in our State Constitution.

This new constitutional right could potentially threaten all our pro-life laws on the books today. So, if we pass this amendment thousands of lives will be saved, and if we do not, thousands of lives will be lost.

Sadly, Kansas law forbids the live dismemberment of a lamb, cow, horse, calf, hog, and mule unless it is rendered incapable of feeling pain, but Kansas law does not provide the same protection for living unborn babies.  Passing this amendment will allow lawmakers to stop dismemberment abortions of living, unborn children in Kansas.

Contact your legislator and ask them to support this constitutional amendment that makes it clear the legislature, not the courts should make abortion policy.

You can make a donation to this effort by  clicking on this link

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#prolife

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Did our federal courts make a ruling last week on Planned Parenthood funding in Kansas?

Yes. Various State governments including Kansas attempted to cut Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood after the release of videos about the sale of fetal body parts. On February 21, 2018, the 10th circuit federal appeals court* ruled against the Kansas attempt to cut off Medicaid funds for Planned Parenthood. **

Why did the State of Kansas cut Planned Parenthood funding under Medicaid?

Then Governor Brownback had issued orders that Planned Parenthood would not be a provider that could use Medicaid funds as there were other providers available. *** Our Kansas Government officials alleged in the lawsuit that “Planned Parenthood manipulates abortions to harvest organs with the highest market demand” and that “PPFA executives are willing to negotiate fetal-tissue prices to obtain profits.” Planned Parenthood is one of the nation’s largest abortion providers.

What was the legal issue?

The case turns on what is called a choice of provider provision and whether an individual has the right to bring a lawsuit when the choice of provider is restricted. The decision in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals was decided against the State of Kansas on a 2 to 1 split with an Obama appointee in the dissent.

Will the State of Kansas appeal?

The State could file for what is called a Writ of Certiorari which is a legal paper asking for the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case. The U.S. Supreme Court is not required to take the appeal. The U.S. Supreme will sometimes take a case for review when the lower courts split on a legal issue. The Federal Court of Appeals split on this legal issue. The 8th circuit in an Arkansas case ruled in favor of the State. Because of this split between the Courts, there is a fair chance the U.S. Supreme Court will take the case on review, and President Trump may weigh in on the case. The predictions are that the Justices would be split 4 to 4 with Kennedy as the swing vote.

When would the U.S. Supreme Court decide the case?

The case if accepted would not be reviewed by the court until it’s next term. A term of the Supreme Court begins, by statute, on the first Monday in October. Kennedy might retire before the next term, and if so the President would be able to make a new appointment.

We applaud the Kansas government for looking out for taxpayer’s money by questioning contracts made with Planned Parenthood.

 

*Planned Parenthood of Kansas, et al. vs. Anderson 16-3249

** Medicaid funds are not used to pay for abortions with certain exceptions. Starting in 1977, the Hyde Amendment banned the use of any federal funds for abortion, allowing only exceptions for pregnancies that endanger the life of the woman, or that result from rape or incest. The legislature removed from our Kansas state budget direct funding of Planned Parenthood years ago.

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The courts have now blocked enforcement of the Kansas live dismemberment abortion ban. A lawsuit was filed challenging the ban on live dismemberment abortion with a claim that our state constitution contains a right to abortion. This court decision represents a radical change in our Kansas public policy.

In a Republic, laws and public policy should not be made by unelected Judges. The people should make laws and public policy through their elected representatives, not unelected, unaccountable Judges.

The Court has basically amended the constitution by interpretation. There is a procedure to amend the Kansas Constitution which the people have used often. If the Judges want to amend our constitution to include a state right to abortion, they may do so properly but not by judicial decree.

How ironic. Our Kansas law forbids live dismemberment of a cow, horse, calf, hog, mule, or sheep unless it is rendered incapable of feeling pain. However, since the court in Kansas “discovered” the right to an abortion in the Kansas constitution, the state legislature may not afford similar humane protection to unborn humans.

We have passed 29 pro-life laws making Kansas the most pro-life state in the union. This new interpretation of the Kansas constitution threatens these laws. We have passed a law that bans live dismemberment abortion, stopped taxpayer funding of abortion, banned partial birth abortion, banned late-term abortion, promoted informed consent, and regulations that would improve the health and safety standards of facilities performing any abortion. We will support a constitutional amendment clarifying that our constitution does not block this type legislation.

 

Footnote Supporting material:

The protection against cruelty also extends to animals. See Kan. Stat. Ann. 21-6412 (2017). Kansas law recognizes the legality of killing farm animals, but restricts such killings to those conducted in accord with “normal or accepted practices of animal husbandry.” Kan. Stat. Ann.  (2017). The practices of animal husbandry are subject to the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, 7 U.S.C 1901 et seq. (2012), which requires that livestock by “rendered insensible to pain by a single blow or gunshot or an electrical, chemical or other means that is rapid and effective, before being shackled, hoisted, thrown, cast, or cut.” Id. at 1902. Federal law forbids live dismemberment of a cow, horse, calf, hog, mule, or sheep unless it is rendered incapable of feeling pain.

 

 

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US MDDS expert Michio Hirano

Around the world, millions are holding their breath during this crucial two day period for baby Charlie Gard, still on life-support in a London hospital, despite the hospital’s strong opposition.

Charlie is being examined onsite Monday by Michio Hirano, a neurologist at Columbia University Medical Center, who is a world-renowned expert in myopathies and other neuromuscular diseases similar to Charlie’s devastating problems, and at least one other outside physician.

Dr. Hirano is meeting with Charlie’s current immediate care team and other specialists, including a doctor from the Vatican children’s hospital.  According to the Daily Mail, the two doctors “will examine Charlie and will have access to his notes and clinical data, including medical images.” Another story suggests a third doctor, from Spain, will also take part in the evaluation.

As reported this morning in the Times/the Brief, “there is still a chance for a mediated settlement” in the legal proceeding surrounding Charlie, because Mr. Justice Francis of the UK High Court said Friday,

that if all parties agreed on Charlie being transferred to the U.S. for treatment, ‘I will agree it with you.’ ”

The problem, obviously, is in the “all” part. It is almost inconceivable that the hospital which has held Charlie virtually hostage will agree to allow him to travel to the U.S. (See below.)

It would appear that the transfer out of London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) for alternative treatment  (sought since January by Charlie’s parents Chris Gard and Connie Yates) can only happen if the original judge now rehearing the matter–Justice Nicholas Francis–becomes convinced:

  1. that a multi-disciplinary panel agrees that recent scientific developments merit a new look at Charlie’s situation, and
  2. GOSH clinicians change their mind that Charlie is in an irredeemable condition, unworthy of experimental therapy.

Charlie Gard has MDDS

That is why, at this moment, a uniquely qualified New York scientist, Dr. Michio Hirano, is in London evaluating Charlie, who has MDDS (Mitochondrial DNA Depletion Syndrome). After thirty years of studying this condition, the Harvard-trained Dr. Hirano has pioneered an oral additive that mitigates the MDDS deficiency in which every cell of the body cannot process and replenish essential energy.

In testimony given Thursday via videoconferencing, Dr. Hirano said there was an “11% to 56% chance of clinically meaningful improvement” in muscular function with the proposed treatment and that he expected a “small but significant” improvement in Charlie’s brain function.

According to the Times’ report, Dr. Hirano is meeting today with the GOSH team treating Charlie,  “and possibly two other specialists – one from the Pope’s pediatric hospital in Rome and one from Barcelona.”

Dr. Hirano was given GOSH privileges and ushered onsite through the back door this morning, reports the Daily Mail. A meeting with all clinicians and Charlie’s mother will take place either today or tomorrow.

The High Court will then rule on Charlie’s case on or about July 25, ironically ten days before Charlie’s first birthday.

PARENTS’ UPHILL BATTLE
GOSH is a children’s hospital whose slogan is “the child first and always.” Here are some excerpts from the website’s updated statement on the Charlie Gard matter.  None of them suggest they are open to releasing Charlie.

  • Our doctors have explored every medical treatment, including experimental nucleoside therapies.
  • Independent medical experts agreed with our clinical team that this treatment would be unjustified.
  • [we’re] bound by the ruling of the High Court which expressly forbids us from transferring Charlie for nucleoside therapy anywhere…
  • The ruling also states that it is in Charlie’s best interests for artificial ventilation to be withdrawn, and for his clinicians to provide him with palliative care only.

Officially, GOSH has not changed its mind about the “futility” of treating Charlie. Its own staff admittedly had considered using Dr. Hirano’s nucleoside bypass therapy on their own premises for Charlie, but reversed course in January, after what they said was a 17 day occurrence of epileptic seizures that left him irreversibly brain-damaged.

Expert testimony last Friday, however, raised doubts that there was MRI confirmation of that. Justice Francis ruled that if Charlie’s parents agreed, another scan could be taken this past weekend.

Also on Friday, Charlie’s parents exploded with frustration in court when the hospital said they should be excluded from this week’s make-or-break physician meetings. The Daily Mail recounts that, after GOSH attorney Katie Gollop said clinicians may not be able to “speak freely” with the couple present, Chris Gard shouted, ”’He’s our son!”

Justice Francis initially agreed with Gollop, but then was persuaded by the argument from the parents’ attorney,

“that it would be unfair for the baby’s mother to be excluded while Great Ormond Street doctors – with their ‘incredibly entrenched view’ of Charlie’s fate – were allowed in.”

The judge granted permission for Connie to attend the meeting with her promise not to “disrupt” the experts’ debate.

Atty Butler-Cole

What continually astounds followers of this saga is how Charlie’s admirable parents are at the mercy of the government, and are denied decision-making rights. Chris and Connie believe strongly that they should be their son’s voice in court proceedings deciding his fate.

Instead, as examined in the Telegraph, Charlie’s “voice” in these adversarial proceedings is a guardian represented by a publicly-appointed attorney with “what looks like a profound conflict of interest.”  The attorney,  whose role is to protect Charlie’s “best interests” in court, has been Victoria Butler-Cole, chairman of Britain’s Compassion in Dying, the sister body of Dignity in Dying, formerly known as the Voluntary Euthanasia Society. This disturbs the Gard family, according to the Telegraph’s inside source.

Against unprecedented adversity, Chris and Connie have fought to secure “just a chance” for Charlie to get the pioneering MDDS oral treatment from Dr. Hirano. Today, against all odds, that result is closer than ever.

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Charlie Gard’s parents, fighting to remove him from London hospital

UPDATE, July 14: Judge announces today he’ll rule July 25, following results from Columbia Univ. neurology prof. Michio Hirano, who will examine Charlie July 17&18 in London hospital.

A decision whether London parents Chris Gard and Connie Yates, will be allowed to leave the country to obtain experimental treatment for their rapidly failing son Charlie  will be held off at least another day or two after a hearing this afternoon in the UK High Court of Justice Nicholas Francis.

That hearing was not without fireworks and a dramatic exit by the parents who vehemently insisted their views had been misrepresented by Justice Francis.

No final court ruling is expected for days, for at least two reasons:

1)   further measurement of Charlie’s head–to verify/repudiate brain loss– was ordered to be provided tomorrow. The hospital is insisting that there has been no growth in the size of Charlie’s skull over the past three months since Judge Francis gave the hospital permission to disconnect Charlie’s ventilator. The parents say flatly that is not so.

2)   an interdisciplinary panel is now to be convened immediately to attempt to bridge the gap between what the hospital is contending and what the parents and other outside experts on their side are saying.

UK Justice Francis

Charlie is very ill. He has an exceptionally rare and debilitating chromosomal condition –encephalomyopathic mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome (MDDS)–in which his cells cannot replenish essential energy. However a natural compound, orally administered, has shown some success as a treatment in the United States. Chris and Connie have been working feverishly since January to get their son to the U.S. to receive that alternative treatment.

New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and one other unnamed medical facility have offered to treat Charlie, either as an inpatient or by shipping the experimental nucleoside therapy drug to London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH). But GOSH insists that the therapy has only worked on a variant of Charlie’s condition and would be pointless, if not also painful to the eleven month old child.

COURT VOLATILITY
Justice Francis emphasized going in that Thursday’s  proceeding was focused solely on new medical developments relevant to Charlie’s current status.

GOSH had requested the hearing after British Prime Minister Theresa May told Parliament she was confident the hospital would not ignore new developments. GOSH subsequently acted to request this hearing after receiving two letters – one from seven doctors and another from an attorney representing Charlie’s parents – claiming the chances of the treatment being successful were higher than previously thought.

Grant Armstrong, the parents’ lawyer in today’s hearing, presented testimony from medical experts that the chances were between 90 and 100% that the treatment being sought in the U.S. could “cross the blood-brain barrier” with as much as a 60% chance of Charlie experiencing muscular improvement, and “meaningful brain recovery.”

Fireworks erupted two hours into the hearing, however, when the judge referenced previous comments to the effect that Charlie’s parents would not want their son to continue living in his current condition were there no prospect of improvement.

According to press accounts, (the Guardian, CNN and AP) Chris Gard punched a table, and Connie exclaimed,

I never said that! We said he’s not in suffering and in pain. If he was we wouldn’t be up here fighting for that.

The judge attempted to clarify that one or the other of the parents had said it, but the couple abruptly left the courtroom. “I thought this [hearing] was supposed to be independent [impartial],” Chris said,

The hearing broke for lunch shortly afterwards and Charlie’s parents subsequently returned.  Justice Francis apologized for the earlier conflict, assuring them that the transcript of what they said has been found and they won’t be misquoted. What exactly he meant by that–for example whether he was retreating from what he had said–was not clear.

OVERSEAS EXPERT REBUTTAL
Questioning of the United States professor of neurology and specialist in mitochondrial disease took place via separate audio and video links. (Under Supreme Court order, none of the medical specialists are named.)

As tweeted by Sky News reporter, Jim Old who was in the courtroom, the unidentified expert said this treatment was the compassionate option. A model using mice genetically altered to match Charlie’s exact genes wouldn’t be available for at least six months.

The expert also pointed to the results so far as showing five out of nine patients with a nearly identical condition were able to reduce the amount of time they spent on a ventilator by eight hours a day or more, and that one patient was weaned off the ventilator altogether.

He  also called into question GOSH’s assertion that Charlie had brain damage, saying that MRI and EEG scans indicated “disorganization of brain activity but that does not necessarily indicate structural damage”.

Ultimately,this U.S. professor rebutted the assessment put to the court in the past that the chances of improving Charlie’s condition were “vanishingly small.”

After some long consultations among the attorneys, the judge announced the need for a multi-disciplinary meeting to take place “in a matter of days” in an attempt to hammer out a “consensus” opinion on how to proceed.

Friday’s court session is set for 2 pm to assess how close both parties are to arranging that meeting.

Fox & Friends with Charlie Gard spox

PARENTS’ ORDEAL CONTINUES
Gard family spokesman, Alisdair Seton Marsden, relayed that Connie and Chris are working under trying conditions “just to give Charlie a chance”…they feel strongly that, “if he’s still fighting, we’re still fighting.”

According to an interview on Fox & Friends this morning with Mr. Marsden, the special compound that Charlie’s parents want him to receive would merely be added to his feeding tube and medical advisors expect a 2-8 week timeline for seeing results. “It’s an additive found in corn flakes, how controversial can that be?” remarked the interviewer.

Mr. Marsden expressed the couple’s deep gratitude for the U.S. hospital offers of aid and the support from President Donald Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence. He revealed that an Air Ambulance had been ready for weeks to usher the family overseas and that the new petition in support of Charlie (citizenGO.org) was racing toward one million signatures.

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Charlie & dad in hospital

After months of competing British headlines over the now international  battle to save baby Charlie Gard’s life, today’s UK Express  may clinch the title: “Donald Trump to roast Theresa May on the heartbreaking Charlie Gard situation’ at G20.”

The Express reports that President Trump has scheduled an hour long appointment with Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday, during the time that world leaders assemble for the G2- world summit in Hamburg, Germany.

Thomas Hunt reported, “Although the reasons for the meeting have not officially been disclosed, the insider suggested the hour–long meeting, which will occur during the G20 summit in Hamburg, will center on the desperately ill 11–month–old boy. The source added the US President is said to have ‘a very good understanding of the whole case’.”
 
The same White House source told the Daily Mail last night
“The President is deeply moved by the heartbreaking situation facing Charlie Gard and his parents. Although the President himself has not spoken to the family, members of the administration, assisted by British officials, have done so. As a father and grandfather, President Trump understands the limitless love one has for a child and he wishes to be helpful to Charlie Gard and his family, as does Pope Francis and millions of families worldwide….he is willing to provide assistance should they need any.”

Prime Minister May faces seemingly ironclad rulings from three UK Courts  (The High Court, Appeal Court, and Supreme Court) and the European Court of Human Rights,  all sanctioning the removal of Charlie’s life support. It would appear they have not given her any wriggle-room when they insist Charlie’s “best interests” dictate he must die at the hospital.  Now.

His parents vehemently disagree and refuse to give up. Chris Gard and Connie Yates have waged a relentless battle against institutional power. Eleven-month-old Charlie has a rare and debilitating chromosomal condition in which his cells cannot replenish essential energy. A natural compound, orally administered, has shown some success as a treatment in the United States.
Going viral: I am Charlie Gard

Going viral: I am Charlie Gard

GLOBAL SOLIDARITY FOR CHARLIE
Last week, after all courts opposed life for Charlie, his death seemed imminent.  A weak promise not to rush the process from the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London met with a tidal wave of global solidarity for Charlie’s parents, including viral posts of multi-language “I am Charlie Gard” arm bracelets.

Various public protests and peaceful demonstrations  are increasing. Tonight Liverpool city landmarks are decked out in blue lights for Charlie.

Responding to Charlie’s plight, Pope Francis and President Trump tweeted encouragement to the Gard family.  Connie Yates responded in return, “The support from the Pope and the President has given us hope. They are traditional men who believe in the family.”

Other nations are said to be lobbying on Charlie’s behalf. The Daily Mail’s Martin Robinson reported “Yesterday it emerged the White House has been phoning the family and also the office of Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt. And the international tug-of-love over Charlie intensified as Italy also urged Britain to help save him. The Italian Foreign Minister personally lobbied his counterpart Boris Johnson in a phone call between Rome and London.”

But Johnson rebuffed an offer from the Rome children’s hospital to have Charlie transferred there. Many Twitter users are urging President Trump to send his private plane to rescue Charlie. Get that baby on a jet and give him asylum!” said one.

And we know that the President reads tweets.

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