Archive for the ‘Kansas Courts’ Category

KS appeals court

Kansas Court of Appeals to probe dismemberment ban

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, all 14 judges of Kansas’ state Court of Appeals will begin analyzing all legal briefs, pro and con, for an expedited hearing on the grisly topic of dismemberment abortions.

That includes a “friend of the court” brief submitted by Kansans for Life in support of Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt. Schmidt is appealing a lower court decision that blocked implementation of the state’s first-in-the-nation Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act.

Oral arguments are set for December 9.

Last July, Shawnee County District Court Judge Larry Hendricks issued an injunction, blocking Senate Bill 95 from going in effect. (read more

The Act bans a barbaric abortion method that tears apart living, well-formed unborn babies while in their mother’s wombs.

A.G. Schmidt

A.G. Schmidt

The preliminary injunction was obtained by the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights on behalf of Kansas’ father-daughter abortionists at the Center for Women’s Health in suburban Kansas City.

But the abortionists’ lawsuit was not filed in the federal court route that ends with the U.S. Supreme Court. The Kansas Attorney General’s legal team points out clearly in its filings that the abortionists logically should have taken that path, but instead are pursuing the state court path that ends with the state Supreme Court.

Why? Two reasons. Abortion attorneys:

  1.  recognize this Act could well be upheld for the nation, and
  2.  want to, instead, carve out a state right to abortion as interpreted into the Bills of Rights section of the Kansas Constitution.

The explanation for #1 is that dismemberment method abortions were examined at some length by the U.S. Supreme Court during their deliberations on partial-birth abortions. The Court assessed both methods as “brutal.”

In its 2007 Gonzales decision, the High Court upheld a prohibition on the gruesome partial-birth method, as furthering “legitimate interests in regulating the medical profession in order to promote respect for life, including life of the unborn.”

The explanation for #2 is that the Kansas state Supreme Court has shown a decidedly pro-abortion bias over the past two decades. Abortion attorneys are attempting to take advantage of that, hoping that the Kansas Supreme Court will “discover” a right-to-abortion in the state Constitution.

Everyone knows that is what is happening. The Nov. 15 “rebuttal” filing from the Kansas Attorney General observed that,

“[this suit invites] Kansas courts to take on a long rejected activist role: to change the people’s Constitution of the past 150 years in order to recognize “rights” that Plaintiffs may deem politically or morally expedient, but which an overwhelming majority of Kansans do not support.

The Kansas Court of Appeals has been asked by the Kansas Attorney General to rule on whether the lower court– that opined dismemberment abortions cannot be banned –erred in two areas:

  •  misstating the relevant U.S. Supreme Court findings, and
  • claiming that there exists a state right to abortion.

The abortion attorneys have clearly misstated the U.S. Supreme Court—and that’s why they don’t want to end up there.

DIsmembering a living unborn child

Dismembering a living unborn child

As to the claim that Kansas has a state abortion right, attorneys for the Center for Women’s Health argue that permitting abortionists to dismember living babies till they bleed to death is part of a woman’s liberty right, and a development of Kansas’ “pro-woman” history. They cite that, from its inception, Kansas gave women the right to hold property and vote in school elections.

How absurd is that stretch?!  Unless a baby is merely property that can be dismembered/shredded in the manner that is most convenient for abortionists. However, the Supreme Court’s most recent abortion ruling of 2007 doesn’t invest abortionists with veto power over the state legislature:

“Physicians are not entitled to ignore regulations that direct them to use reasonable alternative procedures. The law need not give abortion doctors unfettered choice in the course of their medical practice, nor should it elevate their status above other physicians in the medical community.[Gonzales v. Carhart, p.163]

“The medical profession, furthermore, may find different and less shocking methods to abort the fetus in the second trimester, thereby accommodating legislative demand.[p.160]

There is more yet to be aired on what attorneys are claiming in “friend of the court” briefs now being digested by the Kansas appellate court

Read Full Post »

stop dismembering posterKansans for Life today submitted an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief, supporting Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s position in the matter of the ground-breaking Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act.

The A.G. is appealing a lower court block on the law with a hearing scheduled Dec. 9 in front of the full, fourteen-member state Court of Appeals. The fact that this appeal is being expedited to the full court, instead of a 3-member panel, is extremely unusual and shows the high stakes involved.

The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act was enacted in Kansas this April (followed within days by Oklahoma). The Act is model legislation developed by the National Right to Life Committee that is designed to pass U. S. Supreme Court scrutiny and would prohibit the brutal shredding of unborn children while still alive inside their mothers.

According to state reporting data, Kansas has seen a rise in such horrific abortions, from 584 in 2013 to 637 in 2014. All three abortion businesses in Kansas offer such procedures, with one admitting on national television they cost around $2,000.00 apiece.

Abortions by dismemberment are done mainly after the first trimester, when the unborn baby is too large to pass through the suction tubing of the abortion machine. In a dismemberment abortion, the abortionist continually reaches into the mother’s womb with a variety of sharp-edged metal clamps and tools, yanking off parts of the child and pulling them out onto a tray.

Infamous abortionist LeRoy Carhart (who still holds a medical license in Kansas) has described this procedure in court as “dismembering” and recounts how he uses ultrasound guidance so he knows that these unborn victims are still alive, with hearts beating, as the procedure unfolds.

medical arm with abortion toolAlthough pro-abortionists (and nearly every media outlet) refer to these abortions as D&E abortions, D&E is actually a broader term, encompassing the removal of baby body parts—whether parts are torn off of still-alive unborn children or taken off unborn children already dead through the intentional administration of a feticide or by the snipping of the umbilical cord. The Kansas and Oklahoma Acts only bar dismemberment abortions performed on a still-living unborn child.

Abortion attorneys are claiming that women’s health demands this barbaric procedure. This was also their claim when it came to partial-birth abortions, which the U. S. Supreme Court rejected in their 2007 Gonzales ruling. In that decision, the Court upheld that the federal ban on partial-birth abortions — forbidding an inhumane abortion procedure in order to show respect for the developing unborn child and to regulate medicine — was a proper exercise of legislatures.

The impetus for a ban on dismemberment abortion was the actual written comments by the Justices in the Gonzales decision, and in an earlier partial-birth ruling, Stenberg, that acknowledged the horrific abortion procedures.


Justice Ginsburg

Justice John Paul Stevens, an abortion supporter, in comparing partial-birth abortion to dismemberment abortion, said, “that the State furthers any legitimate interest by banning one but not the other, is simply irrational.” [Stenberg v. Carhart, 530 U.S. 914, 946-947]

Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsburg, an abortion supporter, said both methods “could equally be characterized as ‘brutal,’… involving as it does ‘tear[ing] [a fetus] apart’ and ‘rip[ping] off’ its limbs.” [Gonzales v. Carhart, 550 U.S. 124, 181, 182]

The Court essentially encouraged states to bar abortion methods that, ”might cause the medical profession or society as a whole to become insensitive, even disdainful, to life…” Stenberg v. Carhart, 530 U.S. 914, 961

Barbarism is exactly what the Kansas and Oklahoma legislature intended to stop when enacting the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, yet both states have been blocked by court injunctions from allowing this law to go into effect.

Shawnee District Court Judge Larry Hendricks has apparently not read the relevant U.S. Supreme Court rulings. His decision to issue an injunction in June (read more here) blocking the Act declared that it:

  • would be an unacceptable limitation (“undue burden”) on the so-called right to abortion created by Roe in 1973 (as the abortion attorneys interpret it) and
  • violates an even broader “right” to abortion that the judge says exists in our 1859-adopted Kansas Constitution.
Judge Hendricks

Judge Hendricks

The argument that Kansas has any right to abortion enshrined in our state Constitution has repeatedly been rebutted and called “a fantasy” in filings from the Attorney General.

Furthermore, the U.S. Supreme Court said in Gonzales that abortionists do not have any right to demand certain procedures: Physicians are not entitled to ignore regulations that direct them to use reasonable alternative procedures. The law need not give abortion doctors unfettered choice in the course of their medical practice.” [Gonzales v. Carhart, 550 U.S. 124, 163]

The abortionists’ argument that the Dismemberment Abortion ban restricts a “common” method is actually a plea that they be allowed to keep methods that are more expeditious and profitable for them.

Kansans for Life’s amicus brief amplifies why this Act conforms to the U.S. Supreme Court’s position that some abortion methods are unacceptable and “will further coarsen society to the humanity of not only newborns, but all vulnerable and innocent human life, making it increasingly difficult to protect such life.’ “[Gonzales v. Carhart, 550 U.S. 124, 156-157]

Read Full Post »

Former AG Kline

Phill Kline

UPDATE Oct. 26 Kline case transferred to Oklahoma court
Former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline has filed suit in federal court to have his law license reinstated, due to procedural errors on the part of the Kansas State Supreme Court in their Oct. 2013 ruling.

Kansans for Life Executive Director Mary Kay Culp said,

“Former AG Phill Kline was willing to carry the ball further than anyone against the Kansas late-term abortion cartel, and paid the price for it. He has every right to move to get his license back.”

According to today’s story by Topeka Capitol Journal reporter Justin Wingerter,

“the Kansas Supreme Court [found]’clear and convincing evidence’ that Kline had acted unprofessionally as he pursued criminal charges against abortion providers.  “The violations we have found are significant and numerous, and Kline’s inability or refusal to acknowledge or address their significance is particularly troubling in light of his service as the chief prosecuting attorney for this state and its most populous county,” the Kansas Supreme Court wrote in disbarring Kline.”

Kline’s disfavor with the Supreme Court began with his office’s attempted prosecution of child rape and illegal abortions in 2003.

The state’s attorney ethics division (subject only to the Supreme Court) had pursued charges against Kline’s conduct even after their own investigative staff recommended they not do so and even after a panel recommended only a suspension.

Before the final ruling was decided, Kline had formally challenged the bias of the Supreme Court in the revocation matter and –in a notably unprecedented move–five members recused themselves, leaving only two justices and replacements to decide the matter.  Kline’s suit claims that the state Constitution requires no less than four justices may legally issue such a ruling.

The perception of a wrongful direction of the court was voiced by 90 state representatives and senators in a March 2011 press conference calling for the government to prosecute child rape cover-ups at Planned Parenthood instead of “persecuting” former AG Phill Kline. Legislators asserted:

  • During the 2001-2003 time frame, Kline discovered there were 249 recorded abortions performed on children 14 years of age or under, but only 2 child abuse reports made, one from Planned Parenthood and one from the now-closed clinic of George Tiller.
  • An unholy alliance existed in this state for 8 years between the former Governor Sebelius’ administration, the abortion industry and the Courts.
  • Kline has been cleared by the disciplinary administrator’s own investigators, and further, his conduct has been approved by multiple judges.

It is significant that even the Supreme Court’s then-Chief Justice Kay McFarland felt compelled to write this extraordinary comment in one of the several cases surrounding the attempted prosecutions of the abortion industry:

“It appears to me that the majority invokes our extraordinary inherent power to sanction simply to provide a platform from which it can denigrate Kline for actions that it cannot find to have been in violation of any law and to heap scorn upon him for his attitude and behavior that does not rise to the level of contempt. This is the very antithesis of ‘restraint and discretion’ and is not an appropriate exercise of our inherent power.”

Read Full Post »

judicial activismThe Kansas Supreme Court has deferred examining whether the Kansas constitution contains a right to abortion, as “discovered” in June by a lone district court judge. The state Attorney General’s appeal of the “discovery” thus stays in the state Court of Appeals.

Outside of the state political intrigue surrounding this development, it is symbolic of a national strategy: pro-abortion legal interests are forcing state courts to “discover” abortion rights in state constitutions. This is their backup plan–because absolute support for abortion over the past decades has eroded at the U.S. Supreme Court.

The horrific Roe ruling in 1973 that legalized the destruction of over 56 million innocent lives did not shut down dissent as abortion interests had hoped. Instead, not only has the population become more pro-life, states have gained more leverage in restricting abortion and have accrued legal footholds to overturn Roe.

In response, abortion strategy has been to get “mini” Roe rulings in the states by filing legal challenges to state pro-life laws that include claims that there is a state constitutional basis for abortion. It worked in Tennessee, where an overreach of their state supreme court declared a state constitutional basis for abortion did exist, blocking pro-life protections in that state for 15 years. It took tremendous efforts to eventually mount the successful ballot initiative that overruled that overreach.

In April, Kansas passed the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, to ban the barbaric method of ripping apart living unborn children until they bleed to death. The Act poses a huge threat to abortion interests, both financially and legally.stop dismembering poster

Enter the national Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), filing suit to preserve dismemberment abortions on behalf of Kansas City suburban abortionists Herb Hodes and Traci Nauser. The legal brief included claims about an as-yet-unacknowledged state right to abortion, as had other suits that Hodes & Nauser / CRR had filed against Kansas pro-life laws.

The lawsuit went to Shawnee County district Judge Larry Hendricks, who issued a temporary injunction on the Act June 25. Hendricks so thoroughly agreed with abortionists’ legal claims that he allowed the CRR to write his injunction ruling—a very rare occurrence.

That is how citizens of the very pro-life state of Kansas were informed that –unbeknownst to them, much less the authors of the state constitution– a legal right to abortion, separate and distinct from the one issued in Roe, has existed all along!

The office of Attorney General Derek Schmidt immediately filed to appeal Hendricks’ injunction with its bold pronouncements; the office has continually asserted that

the notion that our 1859 state constitution protects abortion “is a fantasy.”

Soon after, Schmidt’s office filed a motion to move the appeal straight to the state Supreme Court, due to the gravity of the effects on Kansas law that would follow under this constitutional “discovery.”

On Aug 30, without explanation, and by a 4-3 vote, the Kansas State Supreme Court rejected the A.G.’s request to intervene now. The Supreme Court should have complied with the request because it would inevitably be asked to rule on it from the loser of the appellate case. Thankfully, the appellate court has promised to act on an expedited timeline.

Ks Supreme Court

Kansas Supreme Court

Large political considerations are in play.

There has been growing unrest with anti-life justices on the state supreme court chosen under the least representative nomination method in the nation.

Kansans for Life has repeatedly called out that Court for their preferential treatment of abortion clinics in statewide legal cases going back to 1998.

In theory, citizens would show their opposition to judicial activism at the ballot box, where the judges of the supreme and appellate courts stand for “retention” every six years. Unfortunately, there has been a reluctance to vote them out and they are reliably retained by comfortable margins. Even the publicized death of a judge (whose name could not be removed from the printed ballot in time) did not keep voters from supporting his retention!

Kansans for Life has made court reform a top pro-life priority and pushed hard to improve the nomination process of the state’s highest courts. We have achieved a new selection method for the appellate court (by statute) but not yet for the state supreme court (which requires a legislative super majority and statewide ballot).

We educated the public about anti-life judges before the 2010 and 2014 elections; although none were defeated, a significant dent was made in their retention margins.

Five of the seven supreme court justices and six of the fourteen appellate judges in Kansas are up for retention in 2016. Those who are so extreme as to ratify the invention of a state right to abortion in our pre-Civil War Constitution –at a time when abortion was illegal in every state—may very well be a little nervous about losing their seats on the bench.

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

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).

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.”

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 51 other followers