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A.G. Derek Schmidt

A.G. Derek Schmidt

The Kansas Attorney General’s office is fighting a court ruling last month that the 1859 state constitution contains a “fundamental” right to abortion,”independent and separate from” that declared by the U.S. Supreme Court.

On Wednesday, the office of pro-life A.G. Derek Schmidt filed a motion to rush that issue up to the Kansas Supreme Court, bypassing the state court of appeals. Abortion attorneys are expected to file a similar request.

The legal challenge at the heart of this was brought in June against the first-in-nation Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act.(read more here).

Dismemberment abortions are defined as intentionally causing the death of a living unborn child in the uterus by ripping him/her apart “through the use of clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors or similar instruments.”

The plaintiff is the Center for Women’s Health, the office of Kansas father-daughter abortionists, Herb Hodes and Traci Nauser. CWH attorneys couldn’t have asked for more from the ruling of Shawnee County Judge Larry Hendricks last month, who not only issued a temporary injunction that blocked the dismemberment ban from going into effect, but also grounded the decision on a hitherto-undiscovered state “constitutional” abortion right.

The Kansas A.G. attorneys assert that the state supreme court is the correct venue for ruling on whether a-never-before-declared right to abortion is found in the pre-Civil War constitution –adopted at a time when abortion was illegal in every state.

The A.G. seeks a ruling on the state constitutional question and whether federal abortion rulings were incorrectly interpreted.

The Kansas Supreme Court needs to move expeditiously for several reasons, urges the A.G. filing, including the existence of two other lawsuits filed by CWF (in 2011 and 2013) which are lagging in state court and would be directly impacted by a decision about this so-called fundamental state right to abortion.

Oklahoma enacted an identical dismemberment abortion ban due to go into effect in November, which abortion interests are also expected to challenge.

Of note recently in undercover video journalism (see here) is that dismemberment abortion is the prime method relied upon for trafficking in baby body parts.

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Gov. Brownback

Gov. Brownback

Late this afternoon, pro-life Gov. Sam Brownback made Kansas the eighth state to take action to address shocking revelations about organ and tissue procurement from abortion clinics. Tapes of two undercover stings of top abortionists from Planned Parenthood can be found here.

The Governor issued the following statement: “Kansas remains committed to a culture that respects the dignity of life at all stages. Recent videos show Planned Parenthood employees treating the unborn as commodities as they discuss the sale of tissue and organs. This does not reflect the culture of life most Kansans want.”

Brownback called on the Kansas Board of Healing Arts, with the co-operation of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) “to investigate, as part of its inspection of office-based surgical practices, whether any Kansas facility is engaged in the inhumane practice of selling tissue and organs from unborn children who are aborted.”

Three abortion businesses operate in Kansas:

  • Comprehensive Health/Planned Parenthood in Overland Park is licensed as an ambulatory surgical center under KDHE;
  • SouthWind Women’s Center in Wichita and Center for Women’s Health are the offices of Kansas-licensed physicians and are governed by some surgical guidelines and limited, announced inspection by the Healing Arts Board.

Unfortunately, all three clinics should be governed by the 2011-enacted abortion clinic licensure law that had been sought for 10 years, and had been twice vetoed by former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius. However, a local judge enjoined it and stalled  any progress on it at a hearing Friday (Read more here).

INHUMANE DISMEMBERMENT ABORTIONS AT ISSUE
The first video discusses harvesting of organs and limbs, but of key importance is the fact that such retrieval is totally dependent on the unborn child still being ALIVE during the abortion.

In the video released July 14 (see here) Planned Parenthood’s medical director, who trains all their abortionists, discusses performing abortions past the midpoint of pregnancy. In the video, she describes “crushing” the unborn child with forceps in distinct areas, with the “guidance” of ultrasound in order to preserve certain requested organs and limbs.

medical arm with abortion toolWhat she repeatedly describes is a DISMEMBERMENT ABORTION –performed with a financial secondary motive. Kansas banned dismemberment abortions in April but yet another activist judge has blocked the ban from going into effect. (Read more here)

In such dismemberment abortions, the barbaric hacking off of bodily limbs and organs is done to a LIVING, well-developed little boy or girl while still inside his or her mother’s womb.

The brutal truth of fetal harvesting is that the unborn child MUST BE CHOPPED UP WHILE ALIVE to extract “useable” pre-ordered organs: hearts, lungs, livers, heads, etc.

Gov. Brownback’s statement today concluded thusly,“Human life has dignity at all stages of life. Senate Bill 95, banning dismemberment abortion in Kansas, prevents the barbaric procedure of dismembering an unborn child. We must remind ourselves and others that unborn children are just that – children – with certain inalienable rights that we must respect and protect.”

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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.

THREE LAWSUITS FROM ONE CLINIC
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.

BACKGROUND ON THE LAW
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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Patrick Wiesner, passed over for Orman

Patrick Wiesner, passed over for Greg Orman

Last month, Kansans witnessed court shenanigans to secure a dirty back-room deal to try to stop Republican pro-lifers from taking over the U.S. Senate majority.

The floundering Democrat Senate candidate– Topeka District Attorney Chad Taylor—submitted a last-minute statement of withdrawal on Sept.3. Taylor did not type out,“I am incapable of fulfilling the duties of this office if elected,” which (after the primary has passed) is the only allowable excuse, other than death, for getting out under Kansas statute 25-306a .The Kansas State Supreme Court ruled that his use of the phrase “pursuant to” in his statement, sufficed to remove his name.

No one disputes that Taylor’s exit was designed to facilitate opposition to 3-term GOP incumbent, Sen. Pat Roberts, coalescing around multimillionaire “independent” candidate, Greg Orman, who’d been running TV commercials promoting his candidacy before he was even technically on the ballot. (Read pro-abortion support for Orman here and national media frenzy over the Roberts challenge here)

The tougher question that the Kansas State Supreme Court ducked was whether the Democrat Party could be held in contempt (and fined) for not supplying a Democrat replacement for Taylor. The party had publicly refused to find a replacement after Secretary of State, Kris Kobach, said the law required it (even with a viable candidate, see below).

A lone, long-time-Democrat-voting citizen, David Orel, filed suit for Democrats to perform that duty.

The state Supreme Court wanted to dodge that question and certainly the fact that four of those justices are Democrats and one of their homes was being used that week for a Democrat fundraiser had no impact, right? So the issue of whether the Democrats were illegally not replacing the Taylor name was sent to a lower court panel of three judges who

  • were insulted that Orel did not come to court, although his attorney argued that the court merely needed to interpret the statute, without testimony;
  • found that Orel would not be uniquely harmed by not having a Democrat candidate for U.S. Senate on the ballot;
  • ruled that the law about replacing withdrawn candidates was not a mandate, just an option.

Now, it is true that current legal scholars hate laws that use the word “shall.” But, as the filing of the Kansas Attorney General’s office in this matter explained, the pertinent Kansas election provision in the Taylor/Orel matter uses “shall” for some mandates and “may” for some optional duties—indicating that the legislators understood the difference, and that candidate replacement by the party (after the primary) was mandatory.

WHERE’S WALDO?
But, wait… where was the Democrat whom the public and the courts should have heard from? The rightful replacement for Taylor is Taylor’s runner-up in the primary, who garnered 46.3% of the vote and who could, with not much effort, resume campaigning for the seat.

Patrick Weisner is that person– a successful CPA and attorney, newly retired from the military, who in fact had also campaigned for the U.S. Senate seat in 2010! Where had he disappeared to in all this? Oh wait, a perusal of Weisner’s political positions (here, here and here) shows he is not a lock-step Democrat. Guess he was muffled off as part of this back-room deal.

In conclusion, Kansas election law enacted to preserve the integrity of primary-chosen candidates has been perverted and needs to be revisited.

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Justice Beier

Justice Beier

Kansas is a “red” conservative state with a “blue” state Supreme Court and a liberal media supporting the latter.

But even the slavish Kansas media is having a hard time keeping the illusion alive that the behavior of Kansas’ top Court is ethically disciplined and above politics.

Last week the Court rushed to rule that the name of a Democrat candidate for U.S. Senate would not appear on the upcoming ballot. (more here)

No one disputes that the withdrawal was aimed at consolidating opposition to pro-life GOP Sen. Pat Roberts behind a newly-emerged, “independent-but-Democrat leaning,” pro-abortion, multi-millionaire challenger, Greg Orman.

The widely acknowledged impact of the Kansas Supreme Court’s decision could be to help unseat Roberts. The media gleefully positioned the ruling as slapping down a partisan Secretary of State who would not deem a candidate’s hasty withdrawal as legal.

But the Court was not done. It gave Democrats another gift: the time delay they needed to avoid selecting a replacement candidate for the Democrat ticket, as required by law. The Court on Tuesday sent that issue to a lower court with an indefensible excuse, read: The Kansas Supremes Give Democrats Exactly What They Wanted . . . Again

However, another story arose the same day, one the press groaned inwardly to report because it shredded what few excuses there were to insist the Court’s decision was above board: complaints from the GOP that a fundraiser for the extremely anti-life Democrat gubernatorial candidate would be held that night at the home of State Supreme Court Justice, Carol Beier!

The most incensed media outlet was the uber-liberal (and rather raunchy) “alternative” online source, The Pitch, based in Kansas City. Reporter Steve Vockrodt wrote

[Carol Beier is] often accused by the state’s Republican activists of advancing stridently liberal ideology on the state’s highest court.
A Tuesday-evening backyard barbecue at Beier’s house thrown in support of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Paul Davis, however, seems tailor-made to amplify such claims while calling into question the judge’s integrity.
“It’s my husband’s event,” Beier tells The Pitch. “I’ve taken pains not to be involved in it.”
But it’s hard to see the upside to holding a campaign event at the home of a top judicial official, someone who could have a say on the legal muster of legislation that Davis might sign as a future governor. At best, it’s reckless.
Both Beier and Davis are lawyers who should understand that even the appearance of a conflict of interest is a troublesome prospect. But neither seems bothered by the question today.

While it is true that no rule in the Kansas Code of Judicial Conduct limits the political activities of a judge’s family, the media is warning Beier, and the Court, such blatantly partisan stunts are nearly impossible for the media to spin as passing the smell test.

The media will, however, continue to help the liberals and anti-lifers. They sanitized the Paul Davis lap dance story and refused to link it to his role in opposing (and mocking) state proposals to regulate strip clubs over the past few years. (see Community Defense bill vote here)

The media has portrayed the Kansas state Supreme Court ruling as a rebuke to a partisan Secretary of State—not as inappropriate activism by a pro-Democrat Court wanting to help prevent the Republican Party’s takeover of the U.S. Senate. But consider….

  • There was no media mention that the Supreme Court majority are Sebelius-appointees unvetted by the Senate and selected by an elitist committee.
  • There was no questioning why a longtime Democrat advisor and long-time business partner with the state Democrat Party, Justice Dan Biles, didn’t recuse himself from an issue so critical to the democrat party interests.

It is supposed to be commonly held that the media and judges discipline themselves to be neutral. But consider, as a mental exercise, whether the Kansas Court rulings and media stories would be the same if it were the GOP overturning the results of a state primary to achieve a back-room-made deal disadvantaging the Democrats.

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