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Archive for the ‘Kansas legislation’ Category

Bill carrier Rep. Todd

Bill carrier
Rep. Todd

Although this proposal already passed the Senate THREE YEARS AGO, the Kansas House today could not muster the 2/3 needed (84 votes) to put HCR 5005 on the November ballot. HCR 5005 would let the public vote to change the way state Supreme Court justices are selected.

The vote attained was 68 for, 54 against (with 3 reps absent). Those voting yes are the reps who treat the pro-life cause as a priority– not a preference, or an afterthought. Kansans for Life considered this the most important pro-life vote of this legislative session.

Here are the names of state reps who supported this measure to allow Kansans to vote for a change in judicial selection, with those in bold having spoken at the podium urging passage:

Anthimides, Barker, Barton, Billinger, Boldra, Bradford, Bruchman, Campbell, B. Carpenter, W. Carpenter, Claeys, Corbet, Davis, DeGraaf, Dove, Edmonds, Esau, Estes, Garber, Goico, Gonzalez, Grosserode, Hawkins, Hedke, Hemsley, Highland, Hildabrand, Hoffman, Houser, Huebert, Hutchins, Hutton, Johnson, D.Jones, K.Jones, Kahrs, Kelley, Kleeb, Lunn, Macheers, Mason, Mast, McPherson, Merrick, O’Brien, Osterman, Pauls, Peck, Powell, Rahjes, Read, Rhoades, Rubin, Ryckman,Jr., Ryckman,Sr., Scapa, Schwab, Schwartz, Smith, Suellentrop, Sutton, Thimesch, Todd (bill carrier), Vickrey, Waymaster, Weber, Whitmer, Williams.

Speaker Merrick

Speaker Merrick

State reps Henry, Kiegerl and Seiwert were absent. Contact information for all state reps is here. Read explanations of votes here (pgs. 1991-1994).

Please thank your state reps who voted yes. Special thanks to House Speaker, Ray Merrick (R-Stillwell), for allowing this vote and staging the informational caucuses this week.

The issue is not closed. Kansas has the least transparent and least democratic process used to arrive at nominees for the state Supreme Court (see chart). Behind closed doors a commission of nine –including five lawyers voted in by lawyers– puts forth three names and the governor must choose one or else the Supreme Court Chief Justice picks one.

Our State Supreme Court is more liberal than the U.S. Supreme Court, which — with an 8-1 vote– chastised our top Court two weeks ago for its handling of a death penalty sentencing issue.

Our second highest state tribunal, the Court of Appeals, recently allowed dismemberment abortions to continue by a split decision interpreting our 1859 state Constitution to embody a right to abortion stronger than that of Roe. That’s pathetic!

All our pro-life laws are in jeopardy when the courts continue to deliver rulings that substitute abortion advocacy for strict construction analysis. Stay tuned!

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sam KFL photo

Gov. Brownback

In an upbeat state-of the state address Tuesday evening, Gov. Sam Brownback said, “We have become the shining city on the hill and the champions for life.”  The  pro-life excerpts from the speech are here.

Gov. Brownback has asked for a change in the judicial selection method for the State Supreme Court which aligns with KFL’s top legislative priority this year.

KFL opposes the secretive deliberations that choose Kansas Supreme Court justices. Any change in selection method must be approved first by 2/3 of the House and Senate and then gain the assent of the public on the the 2016 ballot.

Brownback supports dumping the current selection method in his speech:“The Legislature should put before Kansas voters a proposed Constitutional amendment for a more democratic selection process for our Supreme Court justices. Kansas is the only state in the country where the selection of Supreme Court justices is controlled by a handful of lawyers.[and]…removes the people of Kansas from the process of selecting judges.”

As an example of an unprincipled judiciary, a Kansas district court has issued a temporary injunction on the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act and declared a right to abortion exists in Kansas’ pre-Civil War constitution! Kansans now await a ruling from the State Court of Appeals –at any time– on that injunction.

PLANNED PARENTHOOD DEFUNDING
no PPWhat  the mainstream media took note of was the Governor’s announcement on Planned Parenthood. “Today, I am directing [KDHE] Secretary Susan Mosier to ensure that not a single dollar of taxpayer money goes to Planned Parenthood through our Medicaid program I welcome legislation that would enshrine this directive in state law.”

In the Associated Press coverage, the lobbyist for Planned Parenthood of Kansas Mid-Missouri said that $61,000 was at stake and that they intend to fight for it. Medicaid provision for low-income health is jointly subsidized by federal and state monies.

Under Gov. Brownback, Kansas has already insured that $370,000.00 in annual Title X reproductive health money for low-income patients is prioritized to full-service public clinics and hospitals. Planned Parenthood–failing to meet those qualifications– challenged this annually renewed prioritization in court and lost at the federal appellate level.

Brownback received extended applause last night after this segment of the speech: “In 2011, I signed legislation stopping most taxpayer funding from going to Planned Parenthood.  The time has come to finish the job. Planned Parenthood’s trafficking of baby body parts is antithetical to our belief in human dignity.

The AP also quoted Kansas Attorney General, Derek Schmidt, as promising to defend withholding this funding from Planned Parenthood.

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Where's the baby?

Where’s the baby in abortion reporting?

Kansans for Life has worked hard with citizens for decades to get to the point where we are leading the nation in pro-life laws while supporting the growth of an extensive network of statewide maternity assisting centers. (see list on our recently updated website, here)

We never lose focus on the true victim of each abortion—a precious baby.

KFL developed and helped pass legislation that presents an immense threat to legalized abortion created by Roe v Wade: The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act.

The Act exposes the grisly and barbaric procedure– of dismembering unborn children– that happens in every state; a procedure that has actually increased in Kansas while the law was being enacted!

While the law remains under court injunction, dismemberment abortion remains a legal business transaction in which the abortionist charges up to $2,000 to tear apart a living unborn child in her mother’s wombs with sharp metal tools until she bleeds to death.

The thrust of the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act is to wake up Kansans to the act of inhumanely dismembering a well-formed unborn child while still alive.

And the media blocks that, refusing even to call the law by its name, or even by summarizing it correctly as making it illegal to tear apart living unborn babies.

In the Associated Press list of the top ten Kansas stories of 2015, the passage of the dismemberment ban was ranked as #7, but this is all that was written:

“Kansas’ first-in-the-nation ban on a common second-trimester method for terminating pregnancies was set to take effect in July. But a judge blocked the law while a lawsuit challenging it proceeds.”

A common second-trimester method??? How sanitized…and  how absurd. But that is how the media talks about it–ignoring the baby and hiding the truth from Kansans.

The media continues to protect the abortion industry by avoiding the word “dismemberment” and framing this important new law as limiting abortionists to “inferior methods.”

As Kansas continues to offer assistance to pregnant women needing support, Kansans for Life will continue to tell the truth about abortion. We will not overlook the baby…will you?

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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
here)

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.

APPEAL COURT CONSIDERATIONS
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

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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.”

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Roberts & Moran

U.S. Sens. Pat Roberts & Jerry Moran from Kansas voted to defund PP

Yesterday, the U.S. Senate fell seven votes shy of the 60 votes needed to defund the nation’s largest abortion business–Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and its affiliates.

The good news is that 55 Senators support S. 1881– one pro-life Senator was absent and another changed his vote to opposition only so that he would be eligible to enter a motion to reconsider. This greatly surpasses the 42 Senate votes garnered to defund PPFA in April 2011. And in that consideration, it shows the importance of defeating pro-abortion politicians.

The incentive for the introduction of  S. 1881 were four undercover videos released in July by the Center for Medical Progress that shined a bright light on abortionists’ discussions about dismemberment of living unborn children and trafficking in baby body parts. (A fifth video was released today (here).

S. 1881 would strip taxpayer support of PPFA and makes the funds available to other eligible entities to provide women’s health care services, notably Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC). This is a similar mechanism to how Kansas provides true health care using federal funding.

Passed first in 2007 as an amendment to the state budget, Kansas Title X funds were prioritized to go first to full service public hospitals and clinics, and secondarily to private full-service facilities. There was no reference to abortion or Planned Parenthood, just the state’s intention to best serve state health interests.

Planned Parenthood did not qualify for the 1/3 million dollars at stake under the Title X prioritization so that provision was deleted annually by pro-abortion Govs. Kathleen Sebelius and Mark Parkinson.

Planned Parenthood filed a legal challenge after the proviso was signed in 2011 by pro-life governor Sam Brownback. After extended litigation, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the provision in 2014.

There are several instructive takeaways from Monday’s vote on defunding PPFA.

  • Contrary to opponents’ misstatements, S. 1881 did not “end healthcare” for women, but indeed would have “ended corporate welfare” to PPFA in the form of $528 million annual government funds.
  • Compared with the number of PPFA affiliates, there are 13 times as many full-service public health facilities across the nation that are well-deserving of taxpayer support.
  • There is no equivalence between PPFA, where 94% of pregnant clients are sold abortions, and FQHCs that provide all kinds of healthcare to all ages–without any abortions.
  • PPFA likes to tout its cancer screenings but for breast cancer, they only provide a manual palpation and referrals to other facilities for mammograms, as they don’t have those machines or technicians.

In the discussions leading up to the Senate vote on S. 1881, many misleading statements were bandied by opponents, including the threat that the loss of Planned Parenthood as a contraceptive provider would overly burden the FQHC network and lead to a rise in abortions. But this has not occurred in Kansas.

After losing eligibility for Title X money, Planned Parenthood of Kansas Mid-Missouri kept two Kansas sites open and closed one location in Hays, which had been financially in the red for years.  A request to the state Health department verifies that Kansas has 15 FQHCs and 3 satellite clinics, with more opening soon. And the threat of increased abortions? Not in Kansas, with the annual abortion total continuing to decrease.

It is encouraging that more citizens are beginning to see, like Kansans, that the government has no business subsidizing the killing industry of Planned Parenthood.

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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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