Archive for the ‘Kansas Abortion Law’ Category

Judge Franklin Theis

Judge Franklin Theis

With a “refusal to rule” late Friday afternoon, a local judge continues to thwart state oversight of abortion facilities as permitted under the pivotal 1992 Planned Parenthood v Casey U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

To the consternation of pro-lifers, the 2011 Kansas abortion clinic licensure law remains blocked in the Topeka court of District Judge Franklin Theis.

On Friday afternoon, Judge Theis denied the state of Kansas’ request that he rule on whether the law discriminated against women, as alleged by the litigants, the Overland Park Center for Women’s Health [CWH].

Attorney Sarah Warner, representing the office of Attorney General Derek Schmidt, explained that

the litigants’ “equal protection” claims as a reason to overturn state abortion laws had been rejected 20 times by the U.S. Supreme Court going all the way back to 1977.

In other words, failed arguments should be dismissed.

Warner also told Judge Theis that the Supreme Court has upheld the state’s ‘compelling interests’ in regulating the medical profession and in insuring the health and safety of women inside abortion clinics. Warner referenced the ”jaded” history of unregulated practitioners. She noted that the murder trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell had unfolded during the law’s passage, adding further evidence of the need of such regulation.

Theis listened to the state argument for nearly an hour, then to the short (approximately seven-minute-long) rebuttal from one of CWH’s five seated attorneys.

Judge Theis then restated his initial position–that “he needs facts” and that both sides should continue to plan for trial. “I don’t think you can make a decision without learning the total picture,” Judge Theis said.

In other words, he ducked the critical question he was supposed to answer: whether certain ‘already settled’ claims should be eliminated and focus on whether the state had indeed issued ‘rational’ medical facility oversight.

At the conclusion of his remarks, Judge Theis mentioned the ‘elephant in the room.’ This was an allusion to the injunction against Senate Bill 95–the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act– in which Larry Hendricks, another district court judge, shockingly held that the Kansas state Constitution contains a right to abortion. That request for an injunction was also filed by CWH.

CWH, the father-daughter duo

CWH, the father-daughter duo of Herb Hodes & Traci Nauser

Judge Theis.commented about the importance of whether such a ruling is upheld, and the fact that it could be headed to the state supreme court, which obviously would have an impact on this clinic law.

Also noted in the hearing was the third lawsuit in yet another district court—also filed by CWH—against the 2013 Kansas Pro-life Protections Act. Although that law is not blocked, the lawsuit challenging it also claims there is a state constitutional right to abortion.

Thus all three suits are linked to the appeal to the Dismemberment injunction ruling in which a single judge believes a hitherto undiscovered right to abortion exists in the Kansas state constitution.

The comprehensive abortion facility licensure law would apply to hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, and physician offices in which 5 or more elective abortions were performed in a month. The law requires incident reporting, state health inspections, minimum building codes and local hospital privileges for practitioners.

While the law has been stalled, specific provisions defining abortion “for medical emergencies” and in-person physician delivery of abortion pills have been changed in the last two legislative sessions.

The clinic licensure law had immense public support after decades of abortion malpractice including deaths of 5 women following abortions by Kansas-licensed abortionists. A nearly identical licensure law had twice been passed and vetoed in 2003 and 2005 under former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.

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Shawnee District court judge Larry Hendrick

Shawnee  County District Court Judge Larry Hendricks

A state district court this morning in Topeka issued an injunction that bars the first-in-nation Kansas Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act [Senate Bill 95] from going into effect July 1.

Judge Larry Hendricks granted the block, which was filed and argued by the national Center for Reproductive Rights, on behalf of the Overland Park Center for Women’s Health –that has sued two other Kansas pro-life laws, still in litigation.

The Kansas Attorney General’s office had defended SB 95 as well-founded on U.S. Supreme Court language that upholds the states’ right to show respect for life inside the mother and to insure the integrity of the medical profession which it regulates.

As defined in SB 95, a dismemberment abortion is performed when sharp metal tools are used to grab and yank off limbs of a living, well-formed, unborn child inside the mother’s womb. Unfortunately, today’s hearing completely omitted the procedure’s description, and focused on dry legal points as if debating a parking lot boundary line.

Kansans for Life executive director, Mary Kay Culp, commented, “Kansans were outraged to learn of this barbaric method of shredding apart innocent unborn children and they will hold the judiciary responsible for rejecting the validity of this duly-passed law.”

In this morning’s hearing, Judge Hendricks totally echoed the abortion industry claim that the federal “right” to an abortion is fully upheld in the Kansas constitution. Hendricks ignores the key 2007 Gonzales ruling, in which the Court said:

“Casey does not allow a doctor to choose the abortion method he or she might prefer …[and physicians] are not entitled to ignore regulations that direct them to use reasonable alternative procedures.”

Even pro-abortion justices of the U. S. Supreme Court have acknowledged that the dismemberment of a living unborn child is as brutal and inhumane a method of abortion as the partial-birth abortion procedure, which is now illegal throughout the country.

SB 95 allowed exceptions for an abortion needed to prevent the death or physical damage to the mother. The federal Partial-birth abortion ban allows only an exception to prevent death of the mother. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld that law in 2007.

Kansas health department statistics had shown a recent 9% rise in use of this inhuman dismemberment method, which was used to tear apart 637 living unborn children in 2014.

Kansans for Life believes that this law will eventually be upheld—mirroring the long, but successful partial-birth abortion battle in which the U.S. Supreme Court eventually acknowledged the validity of pro-life legislation.

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stop dismembering posterJuly 1 is the day that SB 95, the historic Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, is supposed to go into effect in Kansas.

But, as always is the case with commonsense pro-life legislation, abortionists seek to win via the courts what they lost in the legislature.

The Overland Park Center for Women’s Health (CWH), run by the father-daughter abortion duo, Herb Hodes and Traci Nauser, filed for an injunction June 1. A hearing on the request is scheduled for Thursday morning in the court of Shawnee County district judge Larry Hendricks.

SB 95 would end a gruesome, barbaric, limb-ripping method of abortion performed on tiny, unborn living girls and boys. State health department statistics for Kansas abortions in 2014 show that this inhumane abortion method was employed 637 times, an increase of 9% from 2013.

Dismemberment abortions are every bit as brutal as the partial-birth abortion method, which is now illegal in the United States.

Indeed, the shocking act of a licensed physician dismembering a child repeatedly with metal tools while inside the mother’s womb is so repulsive that the abortion attorneys filing the CWH legal challenge do not dare even mention the word dismemberment in their pleadings, much less try to justify it.

Instead, abortion filings are claiming this method is too necessary and “expeditious” to prohibit, and that the public and the abortionists will suffer irreparable harm if they are unable to use it. The key CWF expert is a New York abortionist and teaching fellow who says that, without access to dismemberment, women will be subject to “painful, invasive medical procedures.”

Of course, there already is someone suffering from a “painful, invasive medical procedure”—the unborn child.

The abortionists’ attorneys offer the novel legal claim that preventing use of the dismemberment method would “violate the woman’s bodily integrity” by denying her the right to choose what abortion method she and her abortionist prefer.

What about the bodily integrity of the unborn son or daughter torn to pieces while the mother is under anesthesia?

The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act is model legislation drafted by the National Right to Life Committee. The law has also been passed in Oklahoma.

The state of Kansas’ legal filing strongly defends the dismemberment ban and points to the reasoning in the Supreme Court’s 2007 Gonzales v. Carhart decision which upheld the ban on partial-birth abortions:

  1. “The government may use its voice and its regulatory authority to show its profound respect for the life within the woman. ”
  2. “Under our precedents it is clear the State has a significant role to play in regulating the medical profession.”

Abortion attorneys try to spin Gonzales and the 1992 Planned Parenthood v Casey abortion ruling to their own ends–in effect, that Kansas dare not foreclose on a favored method of abortion.

But among other counter-arguments, the Kansas defense team notes, “[T]he U.S. Supreme Court explained that …‘Casey does not allow a doctor to choose the abortion method he or she might prefer …[and physicians] are not entitled to ignore regulations that direct them to use reasonable alternative procedures.’ ”

The state asserts that attorneys for Hodes and Nauser have not demonstrated, “that the alleged irreparable injury outweighs the harm to the State’s well-established interest in promoting human dignity and barring a procedure deemed inhumane.”

The state of Kansas will argue forcefully that no injunction against the dismemberment ban is deserved. We will soon see what the court decides.

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A.G. Derek Schmidt

A.G. Derek Schmidt

As expected, opponents of Kansas’ historic new ban on dismemberment abortion are seeking an injunction in the Shawnee County District Court of Judge Larry Hendricks to prevent the measure from going into effect July 1st.

The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, signed as SB 95 on April 7, defines Dismemberment abortion as

“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.

This is a law with overwhelming public support in our state. Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt issued a short comment: “As is our duty, our office will provide for a vigorous defense of the state’s duly enacted law.”  Schmidt allocated funds for this expected challenge.

Monday’s challenge by the Overland Park Center for Women’s Health (CWH)– as well as its earlier two suits in 2011 and 2013– was ostensibly filed to block abortion restrictions from going into effect. However, the even deadlier legal goal is to get a state Supreme Court ruling upholding CWH assertions

that the Kansas state Constitution actually contains a fundamental right to abortion! This kind of ruling would devastatingly undo Kansas’ past pro-life laws.

The Attorney General’s legal team, however, has already responded in past filings that any such claim of an abortion right existing in our pre-Civil War state Constitution is “a fantasy.”

The CWH plaintiffs are the father-daughter abortion duo, Herb Hodes and Traci Nauser. In his submission to the legislature during consideration of SB 95, Hodes wrote that the dismemberment method is “the safest and most expeditious” and, without it, “the sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship” would “be jeopardized.”

They also insist that a ban on an abortion method that brutally and painfully dismembers a living unborn child somehow undermines “women’s autonomy” and “bodily integrity.”

Consider how bizarre an inversion that assertion is! The barbaric ripping apart of a living unborn baby is being demanded in the name of a so-called “sacred relationship” between an abortionist and his client seeking an “expeditious” termination.

There are some very ugly truths revealed in the abortionists’ supporting testimony that will be examined in future posts. Here are a few of the reasons given in Monday’s filings by those battling for the “right” to keep performing inhumane dismemberment abortions:

  • alternate methods using feticide injections require a lot of medical skill and are too “upsetting” for many women;
  • labor-induction methods are more time-consuming and unable to be handled in free-standing clinics.

Which brings us to the matter of the necessary cost of defending our laws. Pro-abortionists inevitably bring this up as if it was the legislature’s fault that they file suit. The media helps them complain by only reporting abortion-related legal expenses without ever inquiring about the costs for other laws being defended by the Attorney General. Kansans for Life asked for a breakout.

The Attorney General’s office responded that their outside legal expenses for all cases totaled $8.14 million from 2011 through 2014. The highest costs went to school funding battles at $1.48 million (18% of total), followed by water rights at $1.41 million (17%), and tobacco settlements at $1.21 million (15%). In fourth place is the defense of pro-life laws at $1.10 million, only 13% of the 4-year total. A variety of other cases make up the balance.

And it is important to remember that the state of Kansas to date has won all completed lawsuits brought by abortion interests.

Kansas will continue to protect the unborn, no matter the price.

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"Webcam" delivers abortion pills

Kansas doesn’t want abortion pills dispensed by “webcam”

The Kansas House Saturday afternoon passed a modest tweak to an abortion law insuring that abortion pills will not be accessed by “webcam” without the onsite interaction of a Kansas-licensed physician.

Senate Sub for HB 2228 passed the House with only 2 dissents, mirroring the Senate’s 39-0 support for the bill last week.

The measure is a technical clarification, affirming that medical emergencies and hospital abortions are exceptions to the abortion pill “in-person-physician” mandate.

The anti-webcam language was enacted in 2011 as part of a comprehensive Abortion Clinic Licensure Act. All of the Act has been blocked due to an injunction obtained by the Overland Park abortion business, Center for Women’s Health (CWH).

A non-surgical abortion actually involves two different drugs: mifepristone given initially, followed within 2 days by misoprostol. Abortions “by pills” comprised 46% of total Kansas abortions in 2014, and pose serious risks, including death. (see NRLC report here)

The “in-person-physician” mandate was driven by Iowa’s experience in which multiple Planned Parenthood clinics dispensed abortion pills without any in-person-physician exam. Instead, women had only a remote “contact” with a distant physician via computer screen.

19 states have enacted anti-webcam laws; 15 are in effect, two go into effect in July and Iowa and Kansas laws are under injunction.

Today’s bill passed 109-2 with one “pass” and 13 members absent. It is expected to be signed without delay by Gov. Brownback and will go into effect upon publication. This way, the Attorney General’s office can ask the district Court to allow the original 2011 anti-webcam provision to go into effect while the snail-paced lawsuit proceeds.

Last year, the Kansas legislature similarly passed clarifications to the abortion medical emergency definition and the mandated informed consent weblink. The desired result was achieved when distinct legal challenges in separate courts from CWH and Planned Parenthood were dropped due to the clarifications.

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Former Texas State Senator and failed gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, was caught on video Saturday saying tragic medical conditions cause all late-term abortions.

However, ten years of Kansas abortion statistics demolish that claim, as well as a recent radio interview of Kansas ex-abortionist, Kris Neuhaus.“An associate of George Tiller,” Neuhaus admitted that most late-term abortions were due to teens in denial.

Let’s look first at Davis’ response, to a friendly-sounding questioner who asked, ‘how does a pro-choicer defend aborting seven-pound babies?’ (This is a reference to Sen. Rand Paul’s recent challenge that Democrat pro-abortionists, such as DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, be forced to answer that question.) Davis said,

“First of all that never happens. It never happens. It really never happens. And, the only time that late-term abortions occur is when something has gone horribly wrong and either the mother’s life is in danger or the child’s life is in a very precarious situation.

So ”it never happens, but when it does…. Davis’ answer is what abortion industry media advisors want the public to hear– that “late” abortion is crucial to saving mothers’ lives and ending the lives of unborn children diagnosed with medical challenges.

But that’s not what ten years of abortion statistics from the Kansas health department (KDHE) indicate.

From mid-1998 to mid-2007, there were 5,179 abortions 20 weeks post-fertilization reported to KDHE. Post-20 week abortions were not obtainable after the Tiller clinic closed in June 2007. Such abortions were then banned by law effective July 2011.

In all of these 5,179 late-term abortions, 41% of the total were reported as performed on a “non-viable” pregnancy. Only 13 of them cited a specified fetal malady.

In all ten years’ statistics, there was only one medical emergency listed (although undescribed) and not a single one of the 5,179 late-term abortions were reported as done to save the mother’s life. None.

So the remaining three fifths of Kansas late-term abortions were performed on viable unborn children without explanation. No physical medical conditions, much less “horrible” ones for those mothers, have ever been reported. Nada, Zero.

Moreover, during 1998 and 1999, when the partial-birth method was still in use in Kansas, all those abortions were specifically reported as performed for the mother’s “mental health.”

That’s why Kris Neuhaus’ radio commentary last week is relevant.

In 1998 Kansas passed a law to ban post-20 week abortions UNLESS the woman would die or suffer ”substantial and irreversible” harm, as verified by an independent practitioner.

However, a loophole was created when then-Kansas Attorney General Carla Stovall opined that such irreversible harm could include mental health. And thus a job was made for a physician willing to claim that temporary anxiety was “substantial and irreversible” harm that could only be relieved by an abortion—not delivery of a child.

From 1999-2007 Neuhaus was an otherwise unemployed Kansas-licensed abortionist who was paid to come to Tiller’s Wichita abortion business to provide supposedly unbiased “second opinions” [approvals, that is] for abortion seekers.

Neuhaus, in a self-serving interview meant to rev up contributions to her new online “fund-me” event freely revealed that most late abortions were due to the immaturity of teens in denial about their pregnancy!

According to Neuhaus, the teens didn’t really understand their pregnant condition and didn’t want the family to know they’d been sexually active.

Neuhaus said that some late -term abortions were sought for fetal anomalies but insisted the majority are done for “maternal” non-medical reasons, notedly:“you have a bunch of young women who, for whatever reasons, have decided to put themselves at risk of an unintended pregnancy and then suddenly when confronted with that– don’t always deal with that in the manner that they might at the age of 20…so that really comprises the largest percentage of [late-term abortions] that were there strictly for maternal reasons.”

In fact, those kind of abortion-seeking teens were evidenced in her 2003 medical records, subpoenaed in 2004 by former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline. Specifically, eleven cases were selected in which teens obtained third trimester abortions after Neuhaus “excused” them as being under threat of irreversible, psychological harm.

Those subpoenaed records were used by the state Healing Arts Board of Kansas to charge Neuhaus with improperly evaluating those vulnerable girls and breaking state regulations requiring a proper health record for each patient. (The Board revoked her medical license in 2012, and after reversal on appeal, again revoked her license this January, for which she again has filed an appeal.)

Contrary to the assertion of Wendy Davis, those eleven approximately ‘seven-pound’ babies were not aborted by those teens in 2003 because of bona fide medical tragedies. Nor were most of the late-term abortions obtained in Kansas, as ten years of state stats show.

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Sen. Jake LaTurner

Sen. Jacob LaTurner

This afternoon, the Kansas Senate passed a “technical clarification”  [S Sub HB 2228] that aims to get a 2011 ban on “webcam abortions” into effect in Kansas.

So-called “webcam abortions” are premised on the abortionist never being in the same room as the woman obtaining abortion pills.

15 other states have such bans already in place, with 2 more going into effect in July.

The Overland Park, Kansas father-daughter abortion duo at the Center for Women’s Health had sued the entire Kansas 2011 Abortion Clinic Licensure law and obtained a block against it before it was scheduled to go into effect. The law included language governing abortions “by pill.”

CWH attorneys had complained that the original abortion pill provision potentially interfered with medication-induced abortions in hospitals. Today’s language should satisfy them of legislative intent. This would allow the Kansas Attorney General to petition the Shawnee County District Court to grant a motion allowing the abortion pill provision it to go into effect while litigation proceeds.

Sen. Jacob LaTurner (R-Pittsburg) carried the measure, which passed 39-0 without debate. The House is expected to take up the measure next week after the holiday break.

The new language clarifies that, except in the case of labor induction abortions at hospitals, the RU 486 (mifepristone) abortion drug

shall initially be administered by or in the same room and in the physical presence of the physician who prescribed, dispensed or otherwise provided the drug to the patient.”

The new language also grants an exception for a medical emergency posing a threat to the mother’s life or physical health. As updated last year, “medical emergency” applies uniformly to all Kansas abortion statutes and satisfies the past concerns of the abortion clinic attorneys suing this 2011 law.

S Sub HB 2228 clearly governs abortion pills– not “morning after,” “Plan B,” “Ella,” or other so–called emergency contraception governed under K.S.A. 67-6502.

The RU486 abortion pill protocol used in Kansas and nationally, typically involves a woman taking an initial dose of RU486 (mifepristone) followed within 2 days by a second drug,, misoprostol, generally taken at home.

These abortions “by pill” cause excessive bleeding– four times as much as surgical abortions– and pose serious risks to women. As of 2011, the FDA reported abortion pills resulted in at least 14 reported deaths and over 2,200 “adverse” events including 612 hospitalizations, 340 transfusions and 58 undetected (and life-threatening) ectopic pregnancies.

Despite the risky nature of this protocol, abortionists in Iowa implemented “webcam” abortions that excluded an in-person exam or consultation with a physician. In a “webcam” abortion, the pills are dispensed via a drawer beneath a computer screen, activated after on-screen contact with a long-distance physician.

Of note, the Iowa medical board opposes the substitution of a webcam contact for an in-person abortion exam and consult. The Iowa webcam ban, after being upheld in district court, is being appealed by Planned Parenthood to their state Supreme Court.

Webcam abortions eliminate the expense of hiring onsite abortionists, and might especially appeal to abortion clinics that currently rely on non-resident “fly-in” practitioners, as does the South Wind Women’s Center in Wichita, Kansas.

Frankly, pro-lifers do not support abortion by any method but the legislature has the minimum duty to insure that the mother’s life isn’t going to be put at even greater risk for some economic benefit of abortion businesses.

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