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Archive for the ‘Kansas legislation’ Category

comp health PPGov. Brownback’s instruction Tuesday that abortion facility inspections by the medical board and health department include inquiries into organ harvesting was called “political grandstanding” by Laura McQuade, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Kansas Mid-Missouri (PPKMM).

However, the media neglected to showcase that Kansas really has good reason to probe abortion businesses. PPKMM’s Overland Park abortion business, Comprehensive Health, did indeed have onsite abortion specimen procurement for years— involving at least two companies during the 1990s according to testimony.

Planned Parenthood hopes no one will remember that their procurement programs were a key reason Kansas passed a law in 2000 covering “harvesting” of bodily parts of unborn children.

McQuade told the media Tuesday, “Our affiliate does not have or participate in tissue donation programs.” If that is so, what is the harm in an official inquiry?

The public has a right to know, especially after the release of two shocking videos by the pro-life Center for Medical Progress (July 14 and July 21) that show secretly-recorded discussions of fetal harvesting by top-ranked physicians of Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA).

Of note also, is that PPKMM is using the tamer, more amorphous term “tissue donation.” By contrast, Planned Parenthood physicians in those videos clearly discuss what abortion techniques insure they can retrieve specific entire organs and “intact” samples.

PPKMM CEO McQuade

PPKMM CEO McQuade

Though McQuade wants the public to dismiss these discoveries about PPFA, probing the unseemly side of procuring aborted-baby body parts is not new, and did not come from pro-lifers.

According to a March 8, 2000 episode of ABC News 20/20, a whistle-blower claimed two tissue-retrieval companies he worked for went so far as to, on some occasions, encourage him to take fetal tissue obtained from women who had not consented to donate their child’s remains for research.

WHAT HAPPENED IN KANSAS
More specifically, on that program, Miles Jones, owner of Opening Lines, said he was able to make $50,000 a week from the sale of fetal body parts. Jones’ company supposedly held a contract with PPKMM to dispose of the clinic’s fetal tissue, from which “donated tissue” was put up for sale at a profit during a 10-week period in 1998. (Read more here and here)

Opening Lines had a price list that advertised costs for various fetal body parts, such as: $999 for the brain of a fetal child between 22-23 weeks, $150 for skin, $325 for a spinal cord, $550 for reproductive organs, and $75 apiece for eyes, according to March 2000 accounts of ABC’s 20/20 and the Kansas City Star.

Even though an investigation eight years later by the US Attorney in Kansas concluded that Jones did not violate any federal laws, the harvesting was connected to the Kansas Planned Parenthood. Gov. Brownback thus has good reason to check up on baby body part trafficking, based not only on recent history at Planned Parenthood, but on current conditions.

OPPORTUNITY IN KANSAS?
Kansas should be alert to this fetal harvesting issue because all three in-state abortion businesses currently perform dismemberment abortions upon living unborn children who have not already been killed with a lethal injection by the abortionist. The new law banning such abortions on still-living unborn children is under injunction and being appealed.(see here)

637 such Kansas abortions were reported to the health department in 2014. We have absolutely no idea what became of those remains, but the opportunity potentially exists for aborted baby body parts trafficking in Kansas.

Dismemberment of unborn children while still alive is the abortion method that yields “useable” intact bodily organs and limbs and is clearly the method discussed in the full-length version of the July 14 video.

Pro-life researcher Theresa Dreisher, Ph.D., who spent more than 20 years in the commercial biomedical industry, commented on the current video revelations in a new National Catholic Register report (here).

“In order to get good heart tissue, it has to be processed within five minutes of death. I bet the gruesome fact is that many of those babies are alive when they are harvested.”

The “sale” of organs for transplantation, both adult and fetal, is illegal, but donation of tissue — both from aborted fetuses and from adults — is not. Payment for “reasonable” costs, including payments associated with the transportation, implantation, processing, preservation, quality control, and storage is allowed under federal law, the pertinent provisos being 42 U.S. Code 274e and 42 U.S. Code 289g.

CMP director Daleiden

CMP director Daleiden

In that same NCR report,the Center for Medical Progress video project director, David Daleiden, said they have at least a dozen video exposes on this topic and plan to release one a week.

He explained, “Our investigators spent almost three years deeply imbedded with Planned Parenthood and their affiliates and we heard from their own mouths, over and over, again and again, that they make money off of selling the parts of aborted babies and have a profit motive in doing so.

“Turning aborted babies into a revenue stream is an inhuman exploitation of the not fully dead,” Daleiden continued. “They are saying that some unborn babies are more valuable dead than alive. It’s a terrible, barbaric place for a democratic society to go.”

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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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abortion lawToday, the Iowa state Supreme Court by a 6-0 vote (with one abstention) ruled in favor of Planned Parenthood’s “webcam” abortion protocol. In so doing, the Court overturned a lower court ruling and their own state medical board.

In this “innovation” (meant to maneuver around a dwindling supply of physicians wanting to perform abortions) pregnant women can obtain chemical abortion drugs without an “in-person” contact with a licensed physician.

The Iowa Supreme Court can only be commended for not claiming to “discover” a right to abortion in the state Constitution–a right that Planned Parenthood argued existed and was even broader than the abortion right created by Roe.

But the pro-abortion bent of this court is clear, in reaching its conclusion that a physician onsite exam created an “undue burden” (which, as a federal “standard” has been variously interpreted since 1992 to practically the breaking point). The Court even cited some oft-repeated abortion industry talking points about the burden of returning for medical checkups, including that repeat trips can aggravate domestic abuse for some women!

The Iowa Solicitor General pressed the point that Planned Parenthood’s own survey could not prove that women’s “access” to abortion was improved after introduction of the webcam protocol.

The Court ruled that, “based on 2013 medical standards and practices in Iowa,” the overturned law supplies only “minimal medical justification.” However, what the Iowa state lawyers wrote on behalf of the  medical board was:

“Abortion-inducing drugs are not over the counter medications. Unless and until such a time when abortion-inducing drugs are no longer required to be dispensed by physicians, physicians must do so within the confines of the standard of care. The Board of Medicine determined the standard of care requires a physical examination prior to dispensing abortion-inducing drugs.”

19 states have passed anti-webcam laws; 15 are in effect, two go into effect in July and Iowa’s has now been overturned.

Kansas’ anti-webcam provision from 2011 is under injunction, but the 2015 legislature enacted a clarification on medical emergencies, now in effect, aimed at getting the injunction removed. (Read more here.)

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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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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.

BACKGROUND
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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 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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