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Archive for the ‘fetal pain’ Category

16 wksThe Kansas legislature has begun consideration of SB 95, the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act. This measure, the number one legislative priority of Kansans for Life, would ban abortions that “dismember” a living unborn child…one piece at a time…through the use of clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors or similar instruments.

Not surprisingly, at the initial Senate Health committee hearing Monday on SB 95, “pro-choice” conferees:

  • did not identify themselves as “pro-dismemberment;”
  • did not talk about the cruelty of unborn children getting torn apart piece by piece;
  • did not explain that the dismemberment abortion method is preferred as cheaper and faster than other methods and circumvents a labor and delivery experience.

Instead, abortion supporters tried to do what defense lawyers do for a guilty client—change the focus to some other subject. In this case the topic was changed to accusing Kansas and other pro-life states of policies that hurt women and children.

Playing the role of lead defense attorney was Julie Burkhart, Wichita abortion business owner, and promoter of the ‘George Tiller- Trust Women legacy.’

Burkhart brandished a pseudo-report with selective categories and benchmarks to back up her accusation that states enacting significant pro-life laws are hostile to the best interests of  women and children. The “IBIS Report” [see here, executive summary here] advances an agenda in which topics like smoking rates, all day kindergarten, minimum wage, and prisoner shackling are the critical issues defining good government.

The IBIS indicators of Women and Children’s Health are selected to advance an anti-life perspective. Moreover, whenever Kansas statistics surpass the national average, somehow the IBIS benchmark is inexplicably just a few tenths of a percentage point away. This is a desperate grasping at straws to denigrate the pro-life agenda, and yet it is the last defense for pro-abortionists as the public comes to apprehend the barbaric cruelty of abortion.

In the words of the U.S. Supreme Court, dismemberment abortions cause unborn children to “bleed to death as an adult would do.” That is a cruelty that a civilized society must confront.

But such is not the case in Burkhart’s world, where children only matter after they are born, and only suffer when it advances a particular political agenda.

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new year baby2014 saw many pro-life victories for Kansas, the fruit of decades of efforts by pro-lifers to fight a culture of death through education, legislation and providing loving help to women feeling abandoned during pregnancy. Kansans for Life played a key role in these efforts, with exciting new developments in the works.

Pro-lifers can proudly claim credit for the fact that pro-life candidates won all of Kansas’ statewide offices, along with 94 of the 125 seats in the Kansas House of Representatives in the 2014 elections. Notably, pro-life stalwarts Governor Sam Brownback and U.S. Senator Pat Roberts won re-election over their radically pro-abortion challengers.

As officially reported by the Kansas Department of Health & Environment, the number of Kansas abortions dropped to 7,485 in 2013, from 7,598 in 2012 (2014 numbers aren’t available until March 2015). Many reasons can be attributed to the continued drop,  including the improved availability of informed consent information online and increased utilization of pregnancy care centers statewide.

  • No late-term abortions (after 22 weeks pregnancy) are allowed in Kansas due to a 2011 pro-life law acknowledging the unborn child’s ability to feel pain.
  • Abortions for sex-selection reasons are illegal.
  • Minors must secure two-parent consent to abortion.

Kansas is now down to three abortion clinics. The Kansas City Aid for Women abortion clinic closed abruptly at the end of July. It claimed the reason for the sudden closure was the retirement of its 73-year-old abortionist but this clinic was notorious for its string of abortionists with lengthy histories of malpractice cases and disciplinary actions issued by the state medical board. Not surprisingly, Aid for Women failed to attain a state-issued license in June 2011 after passage of the Kansas clinic licensure and regulation law– a pro-life law currently under legal challenge. The clinic admitted it would “have to gut the place” to be in compliance and thus Kansas women and unborn children are safer with the closing of this substandard clinic.

Kansas continues to successfully defend pro-life laws promoted by Kansans for Life.

A major pro-life legal win occurred in early May when Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri dropped its 2011 lawsuit in federal court. They had sued against the Kansas budget provision that prioritized federal family planning funds be given to public full-service clinics rather than “specialty” clinics like Planned Parenthood. After the state’s budget authority was upheld, Planned Parenthood’s already-failing “abortion-feeder”clinic in Hays closed its doors – showing that this clinic relied on government money to survive.

Just weeks ago, Planned Parenthood also backed out of another lawsuit, in federal court, just days before it was headed to trial.  At issue was their past refusal to obey a provision of the 2013 Pro-Life Protections Act that required that every abortion clinic website have a live link on their home page that connected to the state’s Woman’s Right to Know website. The law intends that there be “one-click access” to sonogram images and information about the development of the unborn child to anyone remotely, or directly, considering abortion.

This year the Hodes-Nauser abortion clinic also lost its legal block (an injunction in state district court) of the same weblink provision. All three abortion clinics are now compliant with that live link. Thus, the fourth success for defense attorneys under Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt in defending sound pro-life laws promoted by Kansans for Life.

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Incumbent pro-life Sen. Pat Roberts and challenger Greg Orman

Incumbent pro-life Sen. Pat Roberts faces pro-abortion challenger Greg Orman

In the cola-dominated soft drink market, 7-up enjoyed great success after it labeled itself the “UN-cola”. And for the last 2 months, a multi-millionaire without public service experience, Greg Orman, has gotten some good poll numbers portraying himself as an independent “UN-politician” running against incumbent Kansas U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts.

 But in the candidate debate last night, Roberts charged that Orman’s attitude about abortion is “UNconcionable.”

Here’s how it developed: more than halfway into the debate, the sole “life issue” question was posed:  Kansas abortion law requires a mandatory ultrasound, should that be a federal law? (By the way, no such ultrasound mandate has been filed in Congress.)

Orman didn’t answer, instead responding:

  • that, as a man, he’ll never face that issue, and he “trusts women” (this is the slogan created by the late-term abortionist George Tiller);
  • abortion is settled law about which we have wasted too much time when there are other important issues to discuss.

The debate moderator interrupted to ask whether he was pro-life or pro choice and Orman said pro-choice.

Roberts looked at Orman with incredulity, saying that to admonish us to “get past” the rights of the unborn and those at the end of life is unconscionable.

“I am pro-life,” he said [voting record: 64 out of 64 correct pro-life votes] and am proud to be endorsed by National Right to Life and Kansans for Life.

In a follow-up rebuttal, Roberts added, “[abortion] isn’t settled law because we had a great fight over Hobby Lobby, didn’t we? …[that] we’re not going to accept Obamacare because it strikes at our religious beliefs. And the Hobby Lobby won. And so it isn’t settled law, not by a long shot.”

Later on, during discussion of second amendment gun rights, Roberts brought up Orman’s support for a bill [S.J. Resolution 19, see here] that would severely restrict first amendment free speech rights of groups like Kansans for Life.

Orman is running neck and neck with Roberts and the Kansas Democrat candidate for Senate dropped out of the race Sept. 3 (more here). Notwithstanding Orman’s repeated claim that, if elected, he has not decided which party he will side with, no one believes it; there are currently two “independent ” Senators who vote with the Democrats.

Roberts’ key message is that a vote for Orman is a vote for the Democrat anti-life agenda of Harry Reid and President Obama; for example, Reid has refused to allow a vote on the Pain-capable Unborn Child Protection Act (s. 1670, read here) which passed this year in the U.S. House.[Kansas passed this law in 2011.]

KFL executive director, Mary Kay Culp, commented, “One Kansas City-area abortion business has posted Orman signs on the premises. They know that Orman is not a new-style, problem-solving “UNpolitician”– he is an old-style politician trying to downplay an unconscionable pro-abortion position in a state with a pro-life majority.”

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unborn feel pain (2)Kansas and nine other states have passed abortion bans recognizing the unborn child as a pain-capable human being at 20 weeks post-fertilization, which is the same as being dated 22 weeks from woman’s last menstrual period, or LMP.

In 2012, Arizona passed a “hybrid” abortion law that included the fetal pain issue but would affect pregnancies 2 weeks earlier than all other similar “pain” bans. It was immediately sued, upheld in state district court and struck down by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (which does not govern Kansas). Today, the U.S. Supreme Court has declined the appeal to review the Ninth circuit’s decision.

Medical science now recognizes that the unborn child at 20 weeks post-fertilization possesses all the physiological structures needed for pain perception.

The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) created the pain-capable model legislation with hope the U.S. Supreme Court would review such a law, focusing specifically on scientific data about pain which has never been presented to them in an abortion case.  This data includes studies outside the abortion arena verifying that the thalamus, not the cortex, is needed for humans to perceive pain. [Read documentation at doctorsonfetalpain.com about the issue.]

Some quick analysis of today’s decision:

1) The U.S. Supreme Court continues to resist taking abortion cases. This is the second abortion case deferred this term– the earlier Court decision avoided a chemical abortion law from Oklahoma.   The Court is only pressured into taking on an issue when there are conflicting appellate decisions. Only one circuit has ruled on pain-related abortion bans, the (notoriously overturned) Ninth circuit.

2) The U.S. Supreme Court did not outright rule against the constitutionality of abortion bans for pain-feeling unborn children. But because the Court does not explain why they decline cases,  we are left to wonder exactly why the Court declined to examine Arizona’s law. It may well be that the bill at their doorstep had too many dimensions: not only did Arizona conjoin a second issue of late-term abortion safety with the issue of  pain to unborn babies–it also lowered the pregnancy date two weeks below where there is currently the most medical evidence for pain capability.

3) Abortion forces will certainly try to wave today’s action as a warning against states contemplating enacting pain-capable legislation. However, we still believe a “clean” law sticking to 20 weeks post-conception/22 weeks LMP is totally defensible. The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2007 abortion ruling(Gonzales), affirmed that states have compelling interests for enacting abortion regulations, and declined to list those interests. The Gonzales ruling said states may pass protective legislation based on science even when “medical consensus” on that data was lacking.

We regret that the U.S. Supreme Court has skirted examination of the issue of fetal pain, and left abortion interests encouraged by today’s action.

See further information from NRLC here.

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District Judge Rebecca Crotty

District Judge Rebecca Crotty

Nearly 99 % of the Kansas Pro-life Protections Act, HB 2253, will go into effect on Monday after the Center for Women’s Health (CWH) in Overland Park failed to get the entire law enjoined in state court.

Two minor provisions have been blocked while the case proceeds under Shawnee District Judge Rebecca Crotty. Judge Crotty ruled that CWH had not met the legal standard for winning a restraining order against the entire law –even though they had submitted an “everything but the kitchen sink” legal filing.

What will not go into effect from HB 2253 is

  1. a specific medical emergency definition already in Kansas statute that needs clarification for abortions before 22 weeks gestation, and
  2. a new requirement that the clinic website’s homepage put a descriptive label on a hyperlink to the state’s right to know website .

Neither provision is substantive and clarification of the definition can easily be remedied.

As to the hyperlink, Kansas abortion clinic websites have long included the state link, but object to the labeling of the state information as medically accurate. The U.S. Supreme Court , in its 1992 Casey ruling, established the state’s right to force clinics to provide access to scientifically accurate information prepared by the state concerning gestational development and medical risks of abortion since women had routinely been given misinformation, including that their unborn child was “only a clump of cells.”

In related litigation, another clinic is suing HB 2253. Comprehensive Health/Planned Parenthood of Kansas Mid-Missouri last week filed in federal court to obtain an injunction against section 14 of the law, which governs the state-prepared informed consent. Their legal filing also objects to the hyperlink labeled as medically accurate, as well as the information about the pain capability of the unborn child at 22 weeks gestation, and the sentence “abortion terminates the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.”

Kansas City federal judge Kathryn Vratil denied Planned Parenthood an immediate injunction on Wednesday but the matter is not closed, with another hearing scheduled for July 29.

CWH is the medical office of Overland Park abortionists, Herbert Hodes and daughter Traci Nauser, who sued to block implementation of the 2011 Kansas abortion clinic licensure law.

In the new suit against HB 2253, they assert that they are motivated by their Jewish religion to perform abortions. They also complain that the law

  • wrongly states pregnancy begins at conception;
  • unfairly bans funding for abortion, ends tax breaks for abortion businesses, and protects pro-life entities from retaliation; and
  • prevents abortionists from attending school functions or from volunteering. [This is a misstatement of the provision that prevents school sex-ed classes from using abortion staff and their materials, which is a law that Missouri enacted several years ago]

Although Kansas taxpayers must now defend this law in court, during that time almost the entire law will be in effect.  We are confident of prevailing against baseless clinic objections and are relieved that the court limited intervention to two very minor issues.

UPDATE: ABORTION LAWSUITS vs KANSAS
The state Attorney General’s Office has promised to “rigorously defend” HB 2253, assisted by the same law firm utilized in three other suits filed against pro-life laws enacted in 2011.

In the first case, Kansas won a challenge from the ACLU against the law banning private insurance from automatic coverage of elective abortion.

The second suit, opposing the state’s selection of full service public clinics and hospitals for Title X grants, is on appeal, awaiting a long-overdue ruling from the Tenth Circuit. In the meantime, taxpayers have been forced to send $343,000 to Planned Parenthood and the now-defunct Dodge City Family Planning Clinic.

The third suit, in which CWH blocked the long-sought state law regulating  abortion clinics, is moving at a snail’s pace.

Unfortunately, the abortion industry refuses to accept the democratic process of lawmaking, insisting on searching out activist courts in hope of undoing abortion regulation.

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Spina bifida corrected before birth on Samuel Armas, 1999F surgery

1999: Spina bifida surgically corrected on as-yet-unborn baby, Samuel Armas,whose hand grasps the surgeon’s finger. (Photo by Michael Clancy)

Infant pain capability is now so well established and studied that the specialty of pediatric anesthesiology has evolved to help tiny babies tolerate surgical interventions.

Consider how mainstream medicine acknowledges that newborns (including preemies) feel pain: circumcisions are now routinely performed after topical numbing and the World Health Organization recommends pain relief for the mandatory “heel sticks” drawing the child’s blood after delivery.

Medical researchers continue to test and analyze the kinds of pain-techniques that are most beneficial on tiny patients, leading to the increased surgical successes on children before and after birth. (Read about the photo here and here and developments in spina bifida here.)

In fact, science now knows that

between 20-30 weeks gestation, the highest density of pain receptors per square inch of skin develop in the unborn–five times the pain sensitivity that any child or adult will ever be capable of.

However, the developing unborn child has not developed the mechanisms needed to modulate and tone down pain, because that “pain-dampening” development occurs around 40 weeks gestation (term delivery) –and afterword!

Only the abortion industry wants to perpetuate the myth that unborn children are non-feeling and impervious to the experience of being dismembered. One wonders whether abortionists and their staff personally reject anesthesia for their own newborns and preemies that undergo medical procedures?

PAIN-CAPABLE LEGISLATION
The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) led the charge to end partial-birth abortions –a gruesome method used on a child exiting the birth canal. In NRLCs overall plan to systematically dismantle the U.S. Supreme Court’s enduring support for abortion, they have crafted legislation presenting evidence that unborn children feel pain.

Kansas is one of the few states banning abortions at 22 weeks gestation (20 weeks post-fertilization) due to the recognized pain-capability of the unborn. While legal injunctions to the Idaho, Georgia and Arizona pain-capable laws have predictably been secured, we hope that state appeals of those decisions will be taken up for review by the U.S. Supreme Court.

HR 1797 is a federal bill, spearheaded by NRLC, that would ban elective abortions at 20 weeks fetal age, due to pain-capability. The measure is co-sponsored by all four members of the Kansas delegation to the U.S. House  and by both Kansas U.S Senators in a companion bill. The House Judiciary Committee could vote on the bill before mid-June, with action by the full House any time thereafter. For more details, go here.

The issue of whether aborted children could experience the pain of abortion had not been a specific consideration in the 1973 Roe v Wade ruling. In that era, surgery for preemies, infants and toddlers relied on taping the child to the surgical table to immobilize the body so that the needed procedure could be performed!

Can our country– where hospitals seek the best way to protect newborns from the pain of a needle prick –continue to allow the horrific dismemberment of pain-feeling children inside abortion clinics?

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preemie finger (3)In 1979, before giving birth to the first of my five children, I was fascinated by “breaking” literature that encouraged talking and singing to your child in utero. I remember my husband’s puzzlement when I told him the “experts” said he should put his head close to my growing belly and talk to our baby!

I was reminded of how new that concept had been when Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert (who is my age) recounted his experience during that era. Gohmert is a member of the federal House Judiciary subcommittee that heard testimony on HR 1797, a bill that bans elective abortions when a baby is capable of feeling pain, which the bill recognizes as existing by 20 weeks fetal age.

During his brief comments at the hearing, Gohmert shared his experience with the premature birth of his first child, Katy. His wife asked him to do whatever he could to assist their daughter’s struggle to survive.

The neonatologist told him how important it was to caress and talk to Katy because, “Her eyes don’t work real well; she won’t recognize you. But she will know your voice, because she’s heard you in utero.”

Gohmert appeared to relive the precious memory of sitting next to the isolette, when his daughter’s “little bitty fingers grasped the end of my finger” and how her vital signs improved within the hour.

The rather novel idea that unborn children can hear their environment–even if muffled–has only been strengthened over recent decades and created (not unsurprisingly!) an industry of products designed to accelerate the child’s intellectual prowess and musical talent after birth.

But more important, science now acknowledges that the tiny unborn child possesses a unique presence that can be altered by human interaction as well as medical interventions.

This has directly affected the evolution of hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs), which commonly utilize volunteers to cuddle and coo struggling prematurely born babies (preemies) who lack family members to do so.

Notably, the field of Music Therapy has developed, with special application to preemies.

Medical News Today recently reported on the findings of a study in the May issue of the journal, Pediatrics. MNT headlined its account, “Playing Music and Lullabies Help Soothe Premature Babies.” The most important finding was captured in the sub-headline: “Music– especially lullabies–deliver health advantages to the most vulnerable babies, preemies, who are being treated in the neonatal intensive care unit, a new study suggests.”

The study involved 11 hospital NICUs with 272 preemies under 32 weeks gestation. Investigators found that preemies who heard lullabies and live music specifically paired with babies’ breathing and heart rates showed improved blood-oxygen levels and patterns of feeding and sleeping. How’d they figure that out? According to MNT:

“Certified music therapists used devices called Remo ocean discs and gato boxes, which emit ‘whoosh’ and heartbeat womb sounds while matched with babies’ heart and breath patterns, three times each week for two weeks. Therapists and parents also sang lullabies chosen by the babies’ parents, and when parents had no preference, they sang ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.’ ”

It’s not just any old sound, according to Joanne Loewy, director of Beth Israel’s Louis Armstrong Center for Music & Medicine. “Many NICUs are noisy, or people put on random lullabies that are recorded. What we’re saying is, it’s not just any old lullaby that’s recorded, it’s the power of the parent’s voice synchronized therapeutically . . . and the other two sounds that can have a therapeutic benefit.”

Exactly what the neonatologist was telling Rep. Gohmert.

We pro-lifers see that science continues to verify that the unborn child is a special and unique human being who is not only capable of experiencing pain, but has the ability to respond to the care of the human community.

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