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Archive for the ‘Kansas Abortion Law’ Category

comp health PP (2)Planned Parenthood of Kansas & Mid-Missouri hates the new ban on dismemberment abortions passed in Kansas. But it is already eagerly using opposition to SB 95– “this atrocious law” in their words–to fundraise.

However, there are two things they have had to tiptoe around in bashing this example of so-called “extreme political measures.” First, is Senate Bill 95’s title in statute–“which shall be known and may be cited as the Kansas unborn child protection from dismemberment abortion act.”

The second is the descriptive definition of what is outlawed:

“’Dismemberment abortion’ means, with the purpose of causing the death of an unborn child, knowingly dismembering a living unborn child and extracting such unborn child one piece at a time from the uterus through the use of clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors or similar instruments that, through the convergence of two rigid levers, slice, crush or grasp a portion of the unborn child’s body in order to cut or rip it off.”

An email solicitation sent to supporters yesterday, signed by PPKMM President/CEO Laura McQuade, read (with their emphasis in bold):

“If Senate Bill 95 goes into effect in Kansas on July 1, 2015, PPKM will need to drastically alter our surgical services. Using inflammatory and non-medical language, this bill bans one of the safest methods of second trimester abortion according to every major medical authority including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the World Health Organization.”

Before dissecting that information, insert the reminder that abortion is never safe for unborn babies.

SB 95 bans one method of abortion: the shredding of a still-living unborn child in which the abortionist reaches into the mother’s womb with an instrument similar to a pair of pliers and grabs onto a body part, ripping a tiny baby apart, piece by piece until she bleeds to death.

It should be noted that McQuade does not write “THE safest,” but ONE of the safest methods. She’s backing off what all abortion chatter, and testimony to committees, has been against this bill–that dismemberment was THE safest method.

(In its partial-birth ruling of 2007, the Supreme Court upheld a ban on that gruesome abortion method. At the time partial-birth abortion proponents said this was THE safest for women.)

PPKMM issued a public statement in opposition to SB 95 on April 7, the day the bill was signed into law by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback. Again, their statement omitted the title of the law and gave not a hint about the abortion method banned.

The statement pledged to protect women’s “decision-making ability” and “ensure that every individual has the knowledge, opportunity and freedom to make informed private decisions.”

In reality, PPKMM wants women to stay unenlightened about the Dismemberment abortion procedure which they describe innocuously on their website as “removal of the pregnancy with forceps.”

This complete lack of candor is in line with court testimony from other abortionists that they are comfortable withholding a straight explanation of dismemberment to pregnant women considering abortion.

Truly informed decisions are those made with all the facts.

I guess the hypocrisy escapes McQuade.

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media abortion biasI came across an article online this weekend in which a media critic from the Los Angeles Times insightfully demonstrated the abortion bias of the media. The article was in-depth, explaining reasons why 82% of reporters supported abortion, and then listing the ways the media shapes biased messages, including how:

  • abortion advocates are quoted more frequently and characterized more favorably;
  • the news media consistently use language and images favoring abortion;
  • newspaper op-eds favoring abortion are 2 to 1 to those opposing it.

The trigger for the analysis had been a complaint from a female reporter that abortion interests were unhappy about her reports that examined advances in the treatment of premature babies. She was told to back off because those reports were undermining support for the abortion-rights movement.

It’s logical that abortion proponents would indeed want fewer glowing reports in which medical practitioners admirably perform surgery to save preemie babies (as in the recent PBS series, Twice Born), because it can only unfavorably contrast with abortion practitioners who brutally dismember living babies in the womb–a practice recently banned in Kansas and Oklahoma. (More on this momentarily.)

But something caused me to stop reading and turn back to the byline. That’s when I got a surprise, because the article I was reading was actually published in July of 1990! The author was the late Pulitzer Prize-winning media-critic, David Shaw.

Shaw’s observations from 25 years ago were as current as when he first wrote them— as borne out in this Friday’s NPR/All Things Considered radio report on the Unborn Child Protection From Dismemberment Abortion Act and an editorial published Sunday in the Los Angeles Times blasting the same law.

First, the NPR radio report. It was filed by an intern, Eleanor Klibanoff, who taped me talking for nearly one hour (yes, I can speak nonstop on this bill). During that interview, I spoke of the law’s purpose, the Supreme Court’s role and –repeatedly– the gruesome shredding of unborn children while the mothers are anesthetized.

At the reporter’s request I even specifically read aloud the law’s definition of dismemberment, giving me some hope that at least a few words of it would get into the final 4-minute report. No such luck.

In the aired report, NPR gave Planned Parenthood three direct quotes, while I only got one –and not anything dealing with the victim unborn babies.

My quote, unmoored from the source (Justice Anthony Kennedy), said that good public policy required that what really takes place in these abortions not be obscured.  NPR then ignored that admonishment and refused to clarify what exactly does happen during dismemberment abortion!

Also withheld by Klibanoff, or her editor, was the information that at least two pro-choice Supreme Court justices (former justice John Paul Stevens and Ruth Bader Ginsburg) had admitted that partial-birth and D&E /dismemberment abortion methods were equally brutal–not to oppose either but to make the case that if the state had an interest in preventing one, it also did in preventing the other. The partial-birth abortion method is banned nationwide and banning dismemberment abortions is long since past due.

Other errors in the NPR report were incorrect assertions:

  1. that there is no alternative abortion method to dismembering a live unborn child, and
  2. that the ban violates a Supreme Court viability standard. (That so-called standard didn’t apply to the partial-birth abortion ban in 2007 when the Court upheld the ban on that method of abortion regardless of viability and it shouldn’t apply to this method either.)

NPR’s storyline was shaped to advance abortion interests just as Shaw described 25 years ago, with comments from a pro-abortion law “expert” and Planned Parenthood stitched together to portray a meme of unfairness to women. The NPR listener heard repeatedly that dismemberment abortion is “common,” “safest,” and “medically-sound,” and how “astonishing” it is that the legislature would “override medical science.”

The Los Angeles Times editorial riffed off of that NPR viewpoint, following up last week’s New York Times slam of the dismemberment ban. Both newspapers want the ban struck down; no surprise there.

Not needing to fake the “neutrality” of NPR news, the Los Angeles Times editorialist grabbed the soapbox, but didn’t have the guts to quote the entire legal definition of dismemberment. Excluded was the essential language about “the use of clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors or similar instruments [that], slice, crush or grasp a portion of the unborn child’s body in order to cut or rip it off.”

And while whining about the “drama” of the bill, they ginned up their own drama. They portrayed women as relying on such abortions due to possible fetal disability, miscalculated gestation, or maternal health problems –while deliberately not mentioning that other abortion methods remain available, and that the law has exceptions for protecting maternal health and life.

Then there’s the gratuitous swipe at unborn children, in case readers have somehow learned what this inhumane abortion does to a well-developing baby. The editorial insists that dismemberment abortions are done to “fetuses that are not viable outside the womb and that scientists agree cannot feel pain,” regardless of “the unscientific claims of some anti-abortion groups.” (P.S. With fetal anesthesiology a bona fide medical specialty, how long can fetal pain deniers hold sway?)

Finally, copying a page from abortion guru David Grimes’ recent columns on dismemberment (which I’ve critiqued several times), the reader is advised to, in essence, ‘chill out’ because a D&E/ dismemberment is just an unsavory ‘tissue removal like a mastectomy.’

The media top dogs are certainly collaborating with the abortion agenda, but, despite this–as NPR grudgingly admitted–pro-lifers, “are winning in the court of public opinion.”

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slogan dismembermtAmanda Marcotte is a strident abortion proponent who is in abject misery about the passage of the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act in Kansas and Oklahoma.

Her headline reads “Anti-Choicers Are Going to Take Away Second-Trimester Abortion Without Much Notice” and though the actual content of her piece is all over the place, her message is clear; she is

  1. distressed that a significant abortion restriction is now available to reach the Supreme Court, and
  2. frustrated that her side not only has no defense, it can’t even discuss the law’s content for PR reasons.

They have no defense because there is no defense for dismemberment abortions which crush, tear and pulverize living unborn human beings. Marcotte dares not even mention the unborn baby, which is the focus of this new law.

By necessity all state pro-life measures attempt to navigate the landscape and boundaries set out by the U.S. Supreme Court. That includes understanding that with the 1992 Casey decision, the justices have left the door ajar for additional limitations.

Marcotte recognizes that the authors of various pro-life bills over the past decade have taken different approaches. Why wouldn’t they probe and prod, looking to see what the justices will accept?  That only makes sense.

Marcotte tries to dismiss these laws, which is her prerogative, but it is simply foolish to dismiss the fact that there is a  public receptivity to them.

Marcotte does recognize that this dismemberment ban (with language provided by the top experts at the National Right to Life Committee) is a genuine threat to the abortion status quo. The law is a natural follow-up to the ban on partial-birth abortion, upheld in the 2007 Gonzales v Carhart ruling. Let me explain.

The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act has several purposes

  • to educate the public about the gruesome torture inflicted on the living, unborn child in a D&E dismemberment abortion;
  • to stop such abortions; and
  • to present the Supreme Court with a bill that is consonant with what a majority of the High Court held in the partial-birth abortion ruling.

Abortion attorneys themselves anticipated–with dread, of course– this ban on dismemberment abortions after Gonzales. In Gonzales, the justices upheld the public’s right, through duly passed laws, to halt a barbaric abortion method, despite the protests of abortionists that this partial-birth method was “safer” for women and needed.

States have provided a variety of significant pro-life measures that the Court may indeed soon chose to weigh in on, including conflicting rulings on the woman’s full access to viewing her unborn child’s ultrasound prior to abortion.

However, this ban on dismemberment abortions would present the Court with a direct follow up to their last abortion ruling. That is what scares Marcotte.

And it should.

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stop dismembering posterThe ground-breaking Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act is now on the books in two states, signed into law within this past week by Gov. Sam Brownback (Kansas) and Gov. Mary Fallin (Oklahoma). This law forbids a particularly gruesome method of abortion which (for that reason) abortionists do not honestly describe in detail to women.

It is difficult for most of us to imagine how someone, particularly a trained physician, could reach into the womb with an instrument like a pair of pliers and grab onto a body part, ripping a tiny baby apart, piece by piece until she bleeds to death.

Yet that is exactly what occurs in a dismemberment abortion.

To ordinary men and women who have learned about this grisly act –and, no doubt, even to some within the abortion industry who are a party to it–the effect has been profound shock and sadness.

But some, particularly those who have defended abortion for decades, have gone in the opposite direction. They have become so hardened that they will say almost anything to protect dismemberment abortions.

Take for example, David Grimes– a long-time abortionist, abortion promoter, and prolific abortion apologist. While the dismemberment ban was working its way through the legislative process, Grimes championed the dismemberment method as popular and safe for women, without the slightest acknowledgement of the victim of this act, the unborn child.

In a February 19 article written with another long-time abortion proponent, Grimes extolled dismemberment abortion as cheaper and more convenient—for the mother, that is, since the baby is not a consideration.

He characterizes dismemberment abortionists as noble “removers of tissue” [again, denying the baby] who do an unpleasant task but, in so doing, save women from any ‘emotional’ burdens.

Thus, as could be expected, the first passage of a ban on dismemberment abortions sent Grimes over the edge.

In his regular Huffington Post blog spot Tuesday, Grimes blasted the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act with this headline, “Kansas as Medical Misogyny: Kansas Mandates Substandard Abortion Care.”

His rebuke began by defining misogyny as “hatred, dislike, mistrust of women, or prejudice against women.”  Of course abortion is itself an anti-woman act, half the time destroying females, and all the time harming mothers who submit to the abortions. But not to Grimes.

Grimes claims that this new ban on a barbaric abortion method punishes women by denying abortionists the use of that method, leaving only “inferior methods.” And to him, that is ‘anti-women’.

But Grimes is showing the height of hypocrisy about treating women respectfully!

Grimes knows, as well as those of us who followed the partial-birth abortion litigation, that abortionists under oath admitted that they don’t tell the mother the actual procedure of the dismemberment abortion,  merely referring to it as a ‘D&E.’ Planned Parenthood of Kansas & Mid-Missouri is equally unforthcoming. On its website it describes the method as “removal of the pregnancy with forceps.”

In what other medical treatment or surgery would that kind of paternalistic/ misogynistic omission of facts even be attempted?

It is the ultimate in disrespect and deception– misogyny–to hide the truth from a mother contemplating abortion that the dismemberment method demolishes her unborn child until the baby bleeds to death! And pity the women who are just now discovering that is the kind of abortion they have already obtained.

Grimes’ wrath is really directed at the U.S. Supreme Court which upheld, in 2007, a ban on another brutal, inhumane procedure —partial-birth abortion. How ironic (but unsurprising) that partial-birth abortion defenders also insisted that delivering all but the baby’s head and then plunging surgical scissors into her skull and suctioning out the child’s brain was ‘safer for women.’

However, the High Court, in that 2007 ruling, wrote (emphasis added):

Any number of patients facing imminent surgical procedures would prefer not to hear all details, lest the usual anxiety preceding invasive medical procedures become the more intense. …It is, however, precisely this lack of information concerning the way in which the fetus will be killed that is of legitimate concern to the State. The State has an interest in ensuring so grave a choice is well informed. It is self-evident that a mother who comes to regret her choice to abort must struggle with grief more anguished and sorrow more profound when she learns, only after the event, what she once did not know…” Gonzales v. Carhart, 550 U.S. 124, 159-160

The dismemberment law now in place in Kansas and Oklahoma exposes what happens in a abortion. Any departure from the truth is misogynistic, and furthers the myth that women need abortion.

What they need is the truth.

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Excerpt from medical illustration of dismemberment abortion

Excerpt from medical illustration of dismemberment abortion, at 16 wks gestation

After Kansas passed SB 95, “The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act,” I’ve taken numerous calls from the media about the new law. Those phone interviews inevitably end with a final question to me, “What’s next?”

Mentally, I respond AARGH! This is the kind of question reporters ask a sports team manager after a winning season so he can offer hints about trading players, new game tactics, and other items meant to keep fans interested.

But pro-life advocacy is not a game where we try to keep pro-lifers engaged by teasers about next year’s legislative agenda. Pro-lifers are  keenly interested in what is taking place right now even as they are thoroughly engaged for the long haul–until Roe is undone.

Rather, what I have been telling reporters is that Kansans for Life is focused on pursuing the public education campaign about SB 95 which has been muzzled by the mainstream media.

Our immediate concern is clarifying what exactly this law does by revealing what factually occurs in a dismemberment abortion. Most news reporting has failed to explain to readers that SB 95 outlaws abortions in which living unborn children get torn apart in their mother’s wombs with sharp metal tools until they bleed to death.

There is some surprise when I point out to them that even though the bill was signed into law on Tuesday—no small feat by a long stretch, believe me — the impact of this law cannot fully be appreciated until the facts about it, which have been largely suppressed, become widely known.

With rare exceptions, the mainstream media has partnered with abortion advocates to hide the facts about this barbaric, inhumane “procedure,” and have framed their reporting to talk about anything but what happens and to whom. This is the same obfuscation that occurred in the decade prior to 2007 when the Supreme Court upheld the ban on the gruesome partial-birth abortion method.

Do I have examples? Many. Here’s one.

The day after Gov. Sam Brownback signed the bill banning dismemberment abortions into law, what was on the front page of the Topeka Capital Journal (the sole newspaper for the capital of Kansas)? News (and photos) about an upcoming local high school play.

On page 2, the headline in the Capital Journal read “Brownback signs abortion bill.” [WHAT abortion bill?] The subhead in small, fainter type did say “Legislation bans ‘dismemberment’ procedure in state.” The continuation of the story on page 3 had a large two- line header, “Abortion: legal action may follow.” This advances the abortion industry’s prized meme—abortion is nothing but politics and lawsuits.

Just imagine if the second headline had read instead, ‘Illegal to tear apart unborn babies.’ Better yet, imagine if thousands of people sipping their morning coffee saw that truth on the front page.

Since its introduction in January, SB 95 has routinely been headlined as a ‘ban on a common form of abortion’ or a ‘ban on second-trimester abortions.’ That inability to convey the crucial point of the law was demonstrated in the Tuesday Associated Press article used by most mainstream TV reports and other international outlets. In that story, the opening sentence read that Kansas had banned, “a common second-trimester abortion procedure that critics describe as dismembering a fetus.”

“That critics describe?” Well, what is the average reader to think about that? That the “critics” (assumed to be pro-life advocates) are creating meanings that don’t exist? Accurate news reporting would have quoted the law’s definitional section:“knowingly dismembering a living unborn child and extracting such unborn child one piece at a time from the uterus through the use of clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors or similar instruments.”

Note, also, the 2000 Stenberg ruling, where Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy quoted abortionist LeRoy Carhart. In describing this abortion “technique,” Carhart used the terms ‘dismember’ and ‘dismemberment.’ Yet, the public is told that only abortion “critics”— not the law itself, or abortionists, or judges –have chosen the terms. The implication, of course, is that we made it up!

The ENTIRE point of the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act is to wake up America to the true victim of abortion- the inhumanely shredded unborn child! It is not, as the media prefers to discuss, how abortionists and their spokeswomen feel.

Note to media: once you fully and accurately explain this law and its impact, we might start thinking about next year’s agenda.

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 Gov. Brownback signs SB 95, with (l-r) the Kansans for Life Legislative team: Jeanne Gawdun, Kathy Ostrowski and Jessica  Basgall, J.D and conferees Michael Schuttloffel, Executive Director  Kansas Catholic Conference, and Barbara Saldivar, State Director for  Concerned Women for America.

Gov. Brownback signs SB 95, with (l-r) the Kansans for Life Legislative team: Jeanne Gawdun, Kathy Ostrowski and Jessica Basgall, J.D., and Barbara Saldivar, State Director, Concerned Women for America  and Michael Schuttloffel, Executive Director, Kansas Catholic Conference.

This morning, Gov. Sam Brownback signed into law the historic “Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act,”  SB 95. It will go into effect July 1.

Gov. Brownback commented, “This is a horrific procedure and we are pleased to ban it in Kansas and we hope it will be banned nationally.”

To commemorate this ground-breaking and first-in-the-nation measure, Gov. Brownback will travel across Kansas for ceremonial signings of the bill on April 28. (Locations will be announced in the near future.)

The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act generated immediate grassroots support after introduction in January by lead sponsor, Sen. Garrett Love (R-Montezuma), who remarked, “In visiting with my constituents, many have been stunned that this practice (dismemberment) is going on in Kansas and have demanded that it be stopped.”

Records released on April 1 by the Kansas Health & Environment Dept. show that in 2014 this D&E method was used in 637 abortions, or 8.8% of the total 7,263 Kansas abortions reported.

SB 95 bans a particularly gruesome 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. Abortionist LeRoy Carhart testified under oath that the unborn child is alive because he is watching him/her on ultrasound during the procedure. In the words of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, the unborn child in a D&E/ Dismemberment abortion, “dies just as a human adult or child would: It bleeds to death as it is torn limb from limb.”

Testimony provided by Kansans for Life emphasized that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a ban on the partial-birth method of abortion in 2007 after two cases, Stenberg v Carhart and Gonzales v Carhart. In both cases, the Court closely examined both the partial-birth and D&E/ Dismemberment abortion methods and found them to be “brutal.” The Court noted

 “[it’s] necessary at the outset to set forth what may happen during an abortion.” … and,  “States also have an interest in forbidding medical procedures which, in the State’s reasonable determination, might cause the medical profession or society as a whole to become insensitive, even disdainful, to life, including life in the human fetus.” Stenberg, 958 & 961

On March 25, the House overwhelmingly passed SB 95 by 98-26 after the Senate had easily passed the measure, 31-9, on Feb 20. (see here and here)

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up down arrowsFirst, the good news—Kansas continues to see annual abortion numbers steadily decrease. On Wednesday, we learned there were 3% fewer Kansas abortions in 2014 (7,263) than in 2013 (7,485), according to the annual preliminary report from the Kansas Department of Health & Environment.

Also encouraging is that clinics reported 115 women received informed consent certification and did not go through with a Kansas abortion in 2014.

As has long been the pattern, almost exactly half –49%– of Kansas abortions were obtained by out-state residents (3,578). The heavy majority came from Missouri (3,381) which has only one operative abortion facility in St. Louis. That means that women from northwest Missouri, including the populous Kansas City metro area, obtain abortions right over the state line at Planned Parenthood and the Center for Women’s Health in Overland Park, Kansas.

There is one other Kansas abortion business, South Wind Women’s Center (SWWC) in Wichita, which opened in April 2013. SWWC is located in the same building that abortionist George Tiller occupied for decades and which closed in June 2009. A fourth abortion clinic, the Aid for Women clinic in Kansas City, closed in July 2014.

The Kansas annual report shows that most of the abortion patterns as to age, ethnicity and pregnancy history remain unchanged. However, of concern in this report is

  1. the continued rise in abortions by pill to an annual figure of 3,228 —now 44.4% of total abortions– and far above the reported national average;
  2. an unexpected 9% rise in D&E/ dismemberment abortions from 2013 (584) to 2014 (637); and
  3. a troubling rise in abortions obtained by metro Wichita-area women in the past 2 years while abortions have consistently declined in every other metro area.

First, the increase in abortions induced by abortifacients is a national trend, and a 2011 Guttmacher report tabbed it as 22.6 % of all abortions. In Kansas, abortions by pill are available at all 3 clinics, and rose from 2.903 in 2013 to 3,228 in 2014. Only one clinic, SWWC, publishes the cost of such– $600– on its website.

Second, it is very disturbing that the number of D&E/ dismemberment abortions rose last year to 637, after the number had been decreasing.

State data shows the D&E figures as: 932 in 2008,793 in 2009,715 in 2010, 661 in 2011, 640 in 2012, and 584 in 2013.

The SWWC website describes the D&E method as the “removal of the pregnancy with forceps” — similar to the deceptive descriptions from the other clinics. None of their “informed consent” documents reveal that the living unborn child will be painfully torn limb from limb and bleed to death.

SWWC charges $800-$2,000 for a D&E, according to a Feb. 20, 2015 PBS NewsHour story. The other clinics do not post their D&E pricing. All three clinics testified in opposition to SB 95, the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, which passed the Legislature March 25 and awaits the promised signature of Gov. Sam Brownback.

The third trend of concern in the Kansas abortion data is that one county has shown a rise in women obtaining abortions over the past 2 years: Sedgwick– which covers the Wichita metro area where SWWC opened in April 2013. Annual abortions obtained by Wichita area women were down to a historic low of 566 in 2012, but rose to 691 in 2013, and then increased again to 834 in 2014.

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