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Archive for the ‘Kansas legislation’ Category

unborn child 14 wks

unborn child at 14 weeks

Now that legislation is moving in three states to ban dismemberment abortions–the barbaric tearing apart of unborn children–opponents are mislabeling and misrepresenting the bill and creating a fable about ‘noble’ abortionists.

It is irritating that pro-abortion authors so regularly impute incompetence or mean-spiritedness in the crafting of pro-life bills, but then again, that kind of desperate response can be expected from those trying to defend the indefensible.

An article Monday about the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Act ran under the fear-mongering headline, “Kansas Senate Votes to Ban Procedure Critical to Miscarriage Management, Abortion.”

That headline is wrong in two respects: miscarriage is not affected by the bill, and “critical” (i.e. true emergency) abortions are not banned.

First, the bill (in Kansas, SB 95) does not prevent medical assistance for a miscarriage. Opponents know this but send up as a smokescreen anyway.

The D&E/dismemberment procedure to be banned is specified as that done to living unborn children under a very specific statutory definition of abortion.

Second, SB 95 includes an exception for situations involving a threat of death or severe physical injury to the mother.

However, because dismemberment abortion ordinarily requires several days of preparatory “ripening” of the birth canal (so that it is wide enough for access by sharp metal tools) it would not be an option in an emergency.

On the actual issue of SB 95–the barbarity of dismemberment– we have heard mostly silence from abortion supporters, with an implicit (or explicit) denial that a baby could feel pain at having his or her body demolished one piece at a time.

Do abortion supporters expect that the same public that wholeheartedly supports humane treatment for animals will excuse what happens to a human baby in this kind of abortion?

SB 95 focuses our attention on the inhumanity of the act of shredding a small human being with sharp-edged instruments, and then finishing the act by reassembling all the bloody pieces onto a tray to insure that the no piece of the baby remains in the mother.

How is this act any part of dignified 21st century medicine? Read carefully the attempted justifications for D&E/ dismemberment abortions in this Huffington Post story:

“It is more convenient…[because] a D&E procedure [can] be scheduled with precision. D&E abortions [are] less painful than labor-and-delivery or an abdominal operation…D&E shifts the emotional burden of the procedure from the woman to the physician, and that is entirely appropriate. One of our most important roles as physicians is to ease suffering, both physical and emotional.”

There’s a glaring omission in the sentence about the noble medical role of easing physical suffering–the little unborn human patient has been completely overlooked! The article’s closing underscores this blindness in a graphic way:

“D and E abortion is not a problem, any more than a mastectomy is a problem. Both are solutions to a problem.”

How deluded must one be to equate diseased breast tissue with living, unique children made in the image of God!

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stop dismembering posterGreat news from Kansas. Friday morning the Senate approved SB 95 the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, by a vote of 31-9.

Crafted by the National Right to Life Committee to withstand Constitutional scrutiny, SB 95 heads to a very receptive House, where it is expected to pass easily, and then on to pro-life Gov. Sam Brownback, who promised to sign this bill.

Lead sponsor Sen. Garrett Love (R-Montezuma) began yesterday’s formal discussion on the Senate floor by recounting how members of the Senate Health committee heard an ex-abortionist describe this method

“of tearing the arms, legs, and other body parts off until a baby dies. Hearing the description made myself and many other members of the committee feel sick [especially] when learning nearly 600 such abortions occur each year in Kansas.”

Sen. Love, the ‘youngest-ever-elected’ to the Kansas Senate, discussed his new baby daughter and coming to love her more through her ultrasound imaging at 12 and 19 weeks gestation, the time frame when most dismemberment abortions occur. He said,

“people in my generation are outraged by this procedure; they see the sonograms of their friends, family and their own babies on Facebook and realize that in those pictures are little, defenseless babies. They need us to defend them because they cannot defend themselves…This is a truly barbaric practice we must end in Kansas.”

Unfortunately, none of the eight Democrat Senators supported the bill and only two strident abortion supporters, Marci Francisco (D-Lawrence) and David Haley (D-Kansas City) chose to speak yesterday. Unsurprisingly, neither discussed the dismemberment method per se.

Sen. Francisco took pains not to use the word dismemberment and referred to ‘the procedure’ as being very safe for women. She offered one amendment that would gut the entire bill replacing it with new language eliminating many pro-life provisions enacted over the past five years. Her amendment was strongly rejected.

Sen. Haley riled up his peers by saying SB 95

  • would cost too much to defend,
  • was purely a political ploy using inflammatory terms of ‘unborn child’ and ‘protection,’ and ‘dismemberment,’
  • was advanced by people who are anti-science,
  • was improperly being debated by male Senators, who have no right to vote on this issue since they can’t ever get pregnant.

He finished by calling himself a  defender of mothers, grandmothers, sisters, daughters who should not be restricted from access to ‘healthcare’ –i.e. abortions.

Of course these are all side issues, which were easily and quickly rebutted. Thus, it was clearly demonstrated in the Kansas Senate, that the pro-abortion side has no substantive defense for the barbaric abortion procedure of dismembering living, tiny unborn babies with sharp metal tools.

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Justice Kennedy said in a D&E abortion, the unborn dies as an adult would, bleeding to death.

Justice Kennedy said that in the D&E abortion method  the unborn child torn limb from limb bleeds to death  as an adult would

The new campaign to end dismemberment abortion shares many instructive parallels with the campaign to end partial-birth abortion.

A good portion of the public at first refused to believe such an unthinkable procedure as partial-birth abortions really existed. Abortion supporters even tried to claim partial-birth abortions were merely a figment of the pro-life movement’s imagination.

But written documentation affirmed that partial-birth abortion was a commonly employed method in which –shockingly–an unborn child  was delivered alive feet-first except for the head, and then held in that position while the abortionist punctured the skull — killing the child — after which the abortionist suctioned out the child’s brains.

That technique was a perversion of a textbook method for breech delivery, adapted as an abortion method by Dr. James McMahon, who called it “intact D&E,” to differentiate it from the standard “D&E” (Dilation and Evacuation), in which the unborn child is dismembered inside the womb and taken out piece by piece.  The method was later made more widely known by Ohio abortionist Dr. Martin Haskell, who coined his own term for it — “dilation and extraction,” or “D&X.”

The D&E/dismemberment method of aborting a living child is the subject of new legislation in Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri, and the mainstream media is nearly apoplectic about how to write about dismemberment, much less use the word in a headline. In many cases they are just not covering the story.

This matches what happened for stories about partial-birth abortion, or rather –“so-called” partial-birth abortion–as the mainstream media continues to call it, despite the fact that federal legislation, and that of most states, actually use and legally define the term “partial-birth abortion” in statute.

GRISLY DEEDS
In the reports of initial legislative hearings about D&E/ dismemberment bills, pro-lifers are accused of using “grisly terms” when we describe how D&E/dismemberment abortionists tear the limbs and shred the body parts of the unborn child. However, it is the deeds that are grisly, not the descriptions.

The abortionists themselves have detailed the brutal acts in court, including abortionist LeRoy Carhart, the litigant in the 2000 U.S. Supreme Court case of Stenberg v. Carhart.

Carhart testified under oath,

“‘My normal course would be to dismember that appendage and then go back and try to take the fetus out whether foot or skull first, whatever end I can get to first… Just pulling and rotation, grasping the portion that you can get hold of which would be usually somewhere up the shaft of the exposed portion of the fetus …”

The further question was asked, “In that situation, when you pull on the arm and remove it, is the fetus still alive?”

Carhart answered, “‘Yes.’ …I know that the fetus is alive during the process most of the time because I can see fetal heartbeat on the ultrasound.”

And in the words of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in a dismemberment abortion, these unborn children torn limb from limb, “bleed to death as an adult would.” This kind of clear language is imperative.

Yet clear, descriptive language is what the media doesn’t want to print. They want to call D&E/dismemberment abortions ‘the standard procedure used in 8% of abortions’—without mentioning the torn-apart child!

The media should heed Kennedy’s warning in Stenberg:“…for citizens who seek to know why laws on this subject have been enacted across the Nation, the [technical] words are insufficient. Repeated references to sources understandable only to a trained physician may obscure matters for persons not trained in medical terminology. Thus it seems necessary at the outset to set forth what may happen during an abortion.”

Yes, clarity is needed. Also, a focus on the child.

In the 2004 case where abortionists sued to keep partial-birth abortions legal, U.S. Federal District Judge Richard Casey in New York attempted to get abortionists to tell whether they thought the unborn child felt pain.  Not surprisingly, their answers were disingenuous about pain.

Casey asked one abortionist whether the mothers knew about the violence of D&E abortions, including crushed skulls.

“Don’t you think since they’re giving authorization to you to do this act that they should know precisely what you’re going to do? The abortionist answered,“ No, sir, I don’t.”

Clearly, that abortionist does not think the mother should know how her unborn child is brutally ripped apart while she is under anesthesia.

It is also unlikely that the abortionist wants to spend much time staring at each shredded and bloody piece of the baby’s body that has to be reassembled to check if any part was left in the mother. But that gruesome contemplation is part of the procedure.

The abortion lobby and the mainstream media don’t want the public to think about these horrible truths.

But the American public does need to know —and then they will rise up in outrage to end dismemberment abortions, just as they rose up against partial-birth abortions.

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baby with dollarsThe periodic complaint/report on money spent to defend pro-life laws in Kansas was posted by the Associated Press Tuesday, part of the continuing mainstream media’s ‘framing’ that there are too many new pro-life laws with big legal price tags.

The first story was headed, “$1.2 million paid in attorney fees to defend anti-abortion laws.”

“To defend” seems like a hopeless challenge, doesn’t it? The truth is, the state has won all lawsuits concluded so far, as well as additional concessions in ongoing litigation!

Since not even one legal victory was mentioned in the story, I requested a correction. Kansans for Life asserted that the public has little interest in the names of the law firms, but rather deserves at least a hint of the results of their tax expenditures. A.P.’s updated story was reworded slightly to include that two laws had been “successfully defended.”

But beyond the frustrations of incomplete and inaccurate mainstream media reporting about abortion, it’s important to understand the context of those legal fees and why pro-lifers should not– and do not– fear passing sound laws.

Since his inauguration in January 2011, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has signed nine pro-life laws and four state budgets that include pro-life provisions. Subsequently, abortion interests have filed 10 legal challenges to three laws and one budget provision but Kansas is the big winner. Let’s examine the lawsuits in three segments.

KANSAS’ LEGAL WINS

1. Of the nearly $1.2 million total over four years’ time, $425,000 was expended opposing Planned Parenthood of Kansas-Mid Missouri. Kansas’ position prevailed in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals after some very bad examples of judicial activism in the lower court. This necessitated high-powered legal skills.

U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp

U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp

Upheld was the Huelskamp-Kinzer provision to the annual Kansas budget. Instead of going to Planned Parenthood, nearly $400,000 in annual federal Title X family planning is now designated as prioritized to full-service public clinics and hospitals that serve the patients from infants through the aged, instead of going to the special interest businesses.

On balance, the cost was a good investment, when considering the legal fee is nearly recouped in one year’s time, and then every year after when the Title X money is renewed.  Not to mention that tax money is dedicated to true health care, not abortion referrals.

KFL President Lance Kinzer

KFL President Lance Kinzer, former House Judiciary chair

2. In 2011, Kansas passed a law preventing private healthcare dollars from automatically paying for elective abortions. To secure that victory cost $149,000 in legal fees. The plaintiffs (one a Planned Parenthood employee and one a N.O.W. lobbyist) dropped their suit in May 2012, before the trial began.

It’s hard to estimate overall cost benefits in this one, but clearly the win goes to employers who don’t have to compromise their conscience by providing employee insurance that would be used for abortions, and lessening the amount available to cover bona fide employee medical needs. The victory also helps rebut activists’ demand that abortion be “mainstreamed” into medicine.

3. The remaining $620,000 of the $1.2 million in legal expenses has been used to deal with a variety of attempted injunctions and lawsuits against two laws (a clinic licensure law and an “omnibus” law covering a variety of restrictions).

During extensive and ongoing negotiations, Kansas’ extremely knowledgeable attorneys forced the abortion team to abandon some of their initial challenges, including opposition to informed consent materials about the humanity and pain-capability of the unborn.

These are important concessions that contribute to the overall national field of abortion litigation. Once a claim is rescinded in one court, it carries possible precedential weight in other courts.

In 2011, Kansas enacted a long-sought abortion clinic law initiating state licensure, inspection, and injury reporting. It also required abortionists to have local hospital privileges and banned “webcam” abortions.

Two Kansas City-area abortion clinics sued in federal court. When they lost their bid for a temporary injunction in federal court, they tried to charge Kansas $220,000 for 6 weeks’ legal work! (That makes the 3 year fee of $425,000 in item #1 look like a steal by comparison!) But Kansas’ defense lawyers prevailed and the abortion attorneys did not get that money.

Unfortunately, an activist state court did block the licensure law on behalf of the abortion father-daughter duo doing business as the Center for Women’s Health. After a long stall, the lawsuit against the licensure law is now moving on a fast track. The state of Kansas has asked the judge to rule out three claims of equal protection infringement, as questions of law.

In 2013, Kansas passed the Pro-Life Protections Act which removed tax advantages for abortionists, updated informed consent statutes and initiated a ban on sex-selection abortions. The same abortionist duo suing the licensure law also sued this law, and secured a temporary injunction on emergency and weblink provisions. Planned Parenthood also worked to get an injunction in federal court on the weblink requirement.

Kansas prevailed in getting both injunctions dissolved, forcing all clinics to post a link to state materials about gestation. Our talented defense lawyers won the first claim against the suit challenging the entire Pro-Life Protections law and further litigation is proceeding in district court.

Legal victories come at some cost, but what price is there for saving unborn children?

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16 wksThe Kansas legislature has begun consideration of SB 95, the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act. This measure, the number one legislative priority of Kansans for Life, would ban abortions that “dismember” a living unborn child…one piece at a time…through the use of clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors or similar instruments.

Not surprisingly, at the initial Senate Health committee hearing Monday on SB 95, “pro-choice” conferees:

  • did not identify themselves as “pro-dismemberment;”
  • did not talk about the cruelty of unborn children getting torn apart piece by piece;
  • did not explain that the dismemberment abortion method is preferred as cheaper and faster than other methods and circumvents a labor and delivery experience.

Instead, abortion supporters tried to do what defense lawyers do for a guilty client—change the focus to some other subject. In this case the topic was changed to accusing Kansas and other pro-life states of policies that hurt women and children.

Playing the role of lead defense attorney was Julie Burkhart, Wichita abortion business owner, and promoter of the ‘George Tiller- Trust Women legacy.’

Burkhart brandished a pseudo-report with selective categories and benchmarks to back up her accusation that states enacting significant pro-life laws are hostile to the best interests of  women and children. The “IBIS Report” [see here, executive summary here] advances an agenda in which topics like smoking rates, all day kindergarten, minimum wage, and prisoner shackling are the critical issues defining good government.

The IBIS indicators of Women and Children’s Health are selected to advance an anti-life perspective. Moreover, whenever Kansas statistics surpass the national average, somehow the IBIS benchmark is inexplicably just a few tenths of a percentage point away. This is a desperate grasping at straws to denigrate the pro-life agenda, and yet it is the last defense for pro-abortionists as the public comes to apprehend the barbaric cruelty of abortion.

In the words of the U.S. Supreme Court, dismemberment abortions cause unborn children to “bleed to death as an adult would do.” That is a cruelty that a civilized society must confront.

But such is not the case in Burkhart’s world, where children only matter after they are born, and only suffer when it advances a particular political agenda.

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stop dismembering posterMonday was the first committee hearing for Kansas’ Senate Bill 95 — the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act–a top legislative priority of Kansans for Life and the National Right to Life Committee.

This first-in-the-nation measure, SB 95 is co-sponsored by 25 state Senators. The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act was the subject of the Monday afternoon meeting of the Senate Public Health & Welfare committee, chaired by Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook.

Testimony from four opponents to SB 95 was expectedly weak, but not to worry, the mainstream media came to their rescue (more on that later).

The position of both Elise Higgins (Planned Parenthood) and Julie Burkhart (Trust Women) was essentially this:

  • legislators have no authority in this matter;
  • SB 95 threatens women’s health and “invades” the doctor -patient relationship;
  • the bill is unconstitutional;
  • the state is facing a budget crisis and we should deal with that.

As usual, nothing original or substantive was offered. And in fact, their claims ignore the reality of U.S. Supreme Court abortion rulings that repeatedly uphold the

State’s “compelling interests” in respecting the dignity of the unborn and in protecting the integrity of the medical profession.

The other two testimonies from opponents were also predictable. One young mother said she was grateful to have had her abortion at age 19. A Harvard neurology professor (Note: not an ObGyn) insisted that the D & E dismemberment method is standard of care for second trimester abortion and the “safest” method.

What none of them said, but what many published articles reveal, is that the “advantage” (if that word should even be used) of dismemberment abortions is that they are–wait for it–cheaper and faster!

The 2009 National Abortion Federation Training manual affirms not only is the

D & E method the “most cost-effective,” it prevents women from having to endure the “prolonged labor experience”

of other 2nd trimester abortion methods (in other words, from having to deliver their dead babies).

When opponents concluded their comments, an observer to the hearing might have reasoned that SB 95 is an affront to women [wrong] and a threat to the abortion industry [correct].

FOCUS ON VICTIMIZED UNBORN CHILD
That’s when I testified to the committee, as KFL’s legislative director. I reminded the senators that, “The focus of this bill is the small, living, human unborn child facing a brutal and inhumane dismemberment abortion.”

You could have heard a pin drop.

As I spoke, I held fetal models of the unborn child, first at 14 weeks and then, at 20 weeks gestation; the ages during which dismemberment is the ‘standard’ method for abortion.

I briefly described the attributes and movements of babies at that age in the womb.

Then I noted what the U.S. Supreme Court itself admitted. To quote Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy, “The fetus, in many cases, dies just as a human adult or child would: It bleeds to death as it is torn apart limb by limb. The fetus can be alive at the beginning of the dismemberment process and can survive for a time while its limbs are being torn off.

I mentioned that even one such barbarous act should not be tolerated. Then I pointed out the fact that, elsewhere in the legislature, there is a bill advocating the adoption of the most humane, painless way to euthanize pets.

Unfortunately, that irony was lost on the media. Speaking of the media….

Although we did get decent but very short coverage in a television news spot at both 5 & 6 pm, the 10 pm news completely omitted SB 95, choosing instead to spend an unusually long segment of five minutes on the shooting of a neighborhood dog. Seriously.

Not one print media used any phrase about the tearing apart of limbs of the living child in dismemberment abortions.

Most of them are referring very antiseptically to the bill as a “method of abortion affecting 8% of abortions.” One story said SB 95 refers to “so-called dismemberment.”

That’s why I so appreciated Andrew Bair’s very excellent analysis yesterday  of the misreporting about this bill. He wrote that the media“… purposefully omits the key details about what happens to the unborn child, skipping over the dismemberment process entirely….”

Thus, my duty yesterday was to focus the committee and the audience on every painfully victimized member of our human family that was tortured to death in each of the 578 dismemberment abortions that occurred in 2013 in Kansas.

And to urge that that those atrocities end.

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rally dismemberment signPro-life Gov. Sam Brownback, with a backdrop of 40 pro-life legislators at Kansans for Life’s annual Rally for Life Thursday, said he was anxious to sign the newly proposed Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act.

Approximately 1,500 rally attendees welcomed the news, having marched one half mile together to the Capitol in Topeka with a variety of pro-life posters and banners, including

the newest sign, ‘Stop dismembering unborn babies.’

The crowd was dominated by students, some local, but most bussed in from Hays, Dodge City, Great Bend, Wichita, Leavenworth, Pittsburg, and Kansas City.

Simultaneous with the Rally for Life, President Obama was speaking at the University of Kansas (KU) in Lawrence.  Gage Shirley, part of Rally attendees from the St. Lawrence Catholic Center at KU, told KSNT News reporter, Tyler Carter, “Regardless of him being at our campus or not, we are still coming on the anniversary of Roe v Wade to be fighting for the right to life for the unborn.”

Also speaking at the Rally was Kansas Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, urging protection for unborn children targeted for abortion because they have been diagnosed in the womb with grave medical disabilities. Dr. Colyer is a plastic surgeon who has used his medical skills to correct many different physical disfigurements. Despite the existence of medical challenges in the womb or at at the end of life, Dr. Colyer said,”we need to tell the world that life rocks,” and he led the crowd in rousing chants of, “Life rocks, Life rocks!”

State Sen. Garrett Love, R-Montezuma, addressed the Rally as lead sponsor of the new bill to ban dismemberment. He was introduced as having the title of the youngest Kansan ever elected to the state Senate, but he said his favorite title now is that of ‘dad’. He recounted viewing 11-week and 18-week ultrasounds of his new daughter, Abigail, and seeing her fingers and toes and how she was so active even then.

Dismemberment abortions are the standard method of abortion between 13-22 weeks gestation in Kansas. 578 such abortions were recorded as performed in this state in 2013.

Sen. Love told attendees, “Protecting the most defenseless among us has always been a passion for me, and dismemberment is a particularly gruesome type of abortion.”

The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act will be formally introduced next week with numerous cosponsors.

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