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Archive for the ‘Lawsuit v Kansas’ Category

stop dismembering posterJuly 1 is the day that SB 95, the historic Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, is supposed to go into effect in Kansas.

But, as always is the case with commonsense pro-life legislation, abortionists seek to win via the courts what they lost in the legislature.

The Overland Park Center for Women’s Health (CWH), run by the father-daughter abortion duo, Herb Hodes and Traci Nauser, filed for an injunction June 1. A hearing on the request is scheduled for Thursday morning in the court of Shawnee County district judge Larry Hendricks.

SB 95 would end a gruesome, barbaric, limb-ripping method of abortion performed on tiny, unborn living girls and boys. State health department statistics for Kansas abortions in 2014 show that this inhumane abortion method was employed 637 times, an increase of 9% from 2013.

Dismemberment abortions are every bit as brutal as the partial-birth abortion method, which is now illegal in the United States.

Indeed, the shocking act of a licensed physician dismembering a child repeatedly with metal tools while inside the mother’s womb is so repulsive that the abortion attorneys filing the CWH legal challenge do not dare even mention the word dismemberment in their pleadings, much less try to justify it.

Instead, abortion filings are claiming this method is too necessary and “expeditious” to prohibit, and that the public and the abortionists will suffer irreparable harm if they are unable to use it. The key CWF expert is a New York abortionist and teaching fellow who says that, without access to dismemberment, women will be subject to “painful, invasive medical procedures.”

Of course, there already is someone suffering from a “painful, invasive medical procedure”—the unborn child.

The abortionists’ attorneys offer the novel legal claim that preventing use of the dismemberment method would “violate the woman’s bodily integrity” by denying her the right to choose what abortion method she and her abortionist prefer.

What about the bodily integrity of the unborn son or daughter torn to pieces while the mother is under anesthesia?

The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act is model legislation drafted by the National Right to Life Committee. The law has also been passed in Oklahoma.

The state of Kansas’ legal filing strongly defends the dismemberment ban and points to the reasoning in the Supreme Court’s 2007 Gonzales v. Carhart decision which upheld the ban on partial-birth abortions:

  1. “The government may use its voice and its regulatory authority to show its profound respect for the life within the woman. ”
  2. “Under our precedents it is clear the State has a significant role to play in regulating the medical profession.”

Abortion attorneys try to spin Gonzales and the 1992 Planned Parenthood v Casey abortion ruling to their own ends–in effect, that Kansas dare not foreclose on a favored method of abortion.

But among other counter-arguments, the Kansas defense team notes, “[T]he U.S. Supreme Court explained that …‘Casey does not allow a doctor to choose the abortion method he or she might prefer …[and physicians] are not entitled to ignore regulations that direct them to use reasonable alternative procedures.’ ”

The state asserts that attorneys for Hodes and Nauser have not demonstrated, “that the alleged irreparable injury outweighs the harm to the State’s well-established interest in promoting human dignity and barring a procedure deemed inhumane.”

The state of Kansas will argue forcefully that no injunction against the dismemberment ban is deserved. We will soon see what the court decides.

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A.G. Derek Schmidt

A.G. Derek Schmidt

As expected, opponents of Kansas’ historic new ban on dismemberment abortion are seeking an injunction in the Shawnee County District Court of Judge Larry Hendricks to prevent the measure from going into effect July 1st.

The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, signed as SB 95 on April 7, defines Dismemberment abortion as

“knowingly dismembering a living unborn child and extracting such unborn child one piece at a time from the uterus through the use of clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors or similar instruments that, through the convergence of two rigid levers, slice, crush or grasp a portion of the unborn child’s body in order to cut or rip it off.

This is a law with overwhelming public support in our state. Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt issued a short comment: “As is our duty, our office will provide for a vigorous defense of the state’s duly enacted law.”  Schmidt allocated funds for this expected challenge.

Monday’s challenge by the Overland Park Center for Women’s Health (CWH)– as well as its earlier two suits in 2011 and 2013– was ostensibly filed to block abortion restrictions from going into effect. However, the even deadlier legal goal is to get a state Supreme Court ruling upholding CWH assertions

that the Kansas state Constitution actually contains a fundamental right to abortion! This kind of ruling would devastatingly undo Kansas’ past pro-life laws.

The Attorney General’s legal team, however, has already responded in past filings that any such claim of an abortion right existing in our pre-Civil War state Constitution is “a fantasy.”

The CWH plaintiffs are the father-daughter abortion duo, Herb Hodes and Traci Nauser. In his submission to the legislature during consideration of SB 95, Hodes wrote that the dismemberment method is “the safest and most expeditious” and, without it, “the sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship” would “be jeopardized.”

They also insist that a ban on an abortion method that brutally and painfully dismembers a living unborn child somehow undermines “women’s autonomy” and “bodily integrity.”

Consider how bizarre an inversion that assertion is! The barbaric ripping apart of a living unborn baby is being demanded in the name of a so-called “sacred relationship” between an abortionist and his client seeking an “expeditious” termination.

There are some very ugly truths revealed in the abortionists’ supporting testimony that will be examined in future posts. Here are a few of the reasons given in Monday’s filings by those battling for the “right” to keep performing inhumane dismemberment abortions:

  • alternate methods using feticide injections require a lot of medical skill and are too “upsetting” for many women;
  • labor-induction methods are more time-consuming and unable to be handled in free-standing clinics.

Which brings us to the matter of the necessary cost of defending our laws. Pro-abortionists inevitably bring this up as if it was the legislature’s fault that they file suit. The media helps them complain by only reporting abortion-related legal expenses without ever inquiring about the costs for other laws being defended by the Attorney General. Kansans for Life asked for a breakout.

The Attorney General’s office responded that their outside legal expenses for all cases totaled $8.14 million from 2011 through 2014. The highest costs went to school funding battles at $1.48 million (18% of total), followed by water rights at $1.41 million (17%), and tobacco settlements at $1.21 million (15%). In fourth place is the defense of pro-life laws at $1.10 million, only 13% of the 4-year total. A variety of other cases make up the balance.

And it is important to remember that the state of Kansas to date has won all completed lawsuits brought by abortion interests.

Kansas will continue to protect the unborn, no matter the price.

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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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new year baby2014 saw many pro-life victories for Kansas, the fruit of decades of efforts by pro-lifers to fight a culture of death through education, legislation and providing loving help to women feeling abandoned during pregnancy. Kansans for Life played a key role in these efforts, with exciting new developments in the works.

Pro-lifers can proudly claim credit for the fact that pro-life candidates won all of Kansas’ statewide offices, along with 94 of the 125 seats in the Kansas House of Representatives in the 2014 elections. Notably, pro-life stalwarts Governor Sam Brownback and U.S. Senator Pat Roberts won re-election over their radically pro-abortion challengers.

As officially reported by the Kansas Department of Health & Environment, the number of Kansas abortions dropped to 7,485 in 2013, from 7,598 in 2012 (2014 numbers aren’t available until March 2015). Many reasons can be attributed to the continued drop,  including the improved availability of informed consent information online and increased utilization of pregnancy care centers statewide.

  • No late-term abortions (after 22 weeks pregnancy) are allowed in Kansas due to a 2011 pro-life law acknowledging the unborn child’s ability to feel pain.
  • Abortions for sex-selection reasons are illegal.
  • Minors must secure two-parent consent to abortion.

Kansas is now down to three abortion clinics. The Kansas City Aid for Women abortion clinic closed abruptly at the end of July. It claimed the reason for the sudden closure was the retirement of its 73-year-old abortionist but this clinic was notorious for its string of abortionists with lengthy histories of malpractice cases and disciplinary actions issued by the state medical board. Not surprisingly, Aid for Women failed to attain a state-issued license in June 2011 after passage of the Kansas clinic licensure and regulation law– a pro-life law currently under legal challenge. The clinic admitted it would “have to gut the place” to be in compliance and thus Kansas women and unborn children are safer with the closing of this substandard clinic.

Kansas continues to successfully defend pro-life laws promoted by Kansans for Life.

A major pro-life legal win occurred in early May when Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri dropped its 2011 lawsuit in federal court. They had sued against the Kansas budget provision that prioritized federal family planning funds be given to public full-service clinics rather than “specialty” clinics like Planned Parenthood. After the state’s budget authority was upheld, Planned Parenthood’s already-failing “abortion-feeder”clinic in Hays closed its doors – showing that this clinic relied on government money to survive.

Just weeks ago, Planned Parenthood also backed out of another lawsuit, in federal court, just days before it was headed to trial.  At issue was their past refusal to obey a provision of the 2013 Pro-Life Protections Act that required that every abortion clinic website have a live link on their home page that connected to the state’s Woman’s Right to Know website. The law intends that there be “one-click access” to sonogram images and information about the development of the unborn child to anyone remotely, or directly, considering abortion.

This year the Hodes-Nauser abortion clinic also lost its legal block (an injunction in state district court) of the same weblink provision. All three abortion clinics are now compliant with that live link. Thus, the fourth success for defense attorneys under Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt in defending sound pro-life laws promoted by Kansans for Life.

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Kansas WRTK site has interractive ultrasound

Ultrasound featured on KS- WRTK

For decades, we have heard tearful testimony from post-abortive women who were misinformed about the humanity of their unborn child by the abortionist and staff. Far too many mothers have looked at sonograms of their current “wanted” pregnancy only to realize in private horror that the abortion they had years before, did not merely remove a “blob of tissue,” but destroyed a recognizably human, unborn child.

In the pursuit of selling an abortion, clinics cannot be trusted to promote medical accuracy. Unlike other acts of consumer deception, for which lawsuits would be entertained, abortion clinics fear no legal repercussions.

Instead, the one significant bar to total manipulation of abortion information came from the U.S. Supreme Court in its 1992 Casey decision. Casey allows the states to provide “objective, nonjudgmental, scientifically accurate” information relevant to making an informed abortion decision.

Kansas implemented that right in 1997 by creating a “Woman’s Right to Know” division of the state health department (KDHE), to maintain a 24-hour phone hotline and publish official informational booklets.  Every legal abortion in Kansas requires the woman (whether a Kansan or non-resident) to sign a paper that she “accessed” this information prior to abortion.

In 2009, the Kansas legislature was able to enact updated pro-life provisions for informed consent that were not vetoed –as had been the pattern under then-Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius. During a few-weeks window of time when she awaited confirmation as HHS secretary (and having described herself to the Senate Confirmation committee as pro-life!), Sebelius signed a pro-life law containing these main provisions:

  1. required clinics using ultrasound technology to honor the woman’s request to see the child’s ultrasound and receive a hard copy, 30 minutes prior to abortion; and
  2. instructed the KDHE to update all WRTK printed materials to a website.

[Unsurprisingly, after confirmation to the HHS post, Sebelius vetoed another pro-life bill, a late-term abortion ban. And both her administration, and that of her replacement, Gov. Mark Parkinson, botched the WRTK website project.]

IMPROVED 4-D ULTRASOUND
More importantly, however, was the fact that the WRTK website was indeed properly implemented in 2011, under pro-life Gov. Sam Brownback. Notably, the WRTK website was the first in the nation to include an independently-produced,  4-D ultrasound educational tool about prenatal development.

There has been significant traffic to the WRTK website, but the quintessential point is to provide “one-click” access to women at the crucial moments they are considering abortion. (Read more here.)

When women experience a lack of support for maintaining their pregnancy–or downright coercion to abort–they need every tool they can get. The WRTK website is a source of objective facts about pregnancy and a list of assistance centers. It is designed to enlighten and empower women, especially those being pressured by partners, friends or family members. Such information is best contemplated away from the abortion business, and a privately-accessible, trustworthy web source is ideal.

It is noteworthy that the websites of all four Kansas abortion clinics did include this WRTK link voluntarily from 2011-2013–even the (recently-closed) Aid for Women clinic whose website commentary roundly bashed the WRTK information. No doubt the clinics found that burying this link somewhere on their web pages would legally allow them to not physically hand out the WRTK booklets to their clients.

With the link thus so unevenly treated, and even scorned, the Kansas legislature in 2013 mandated that every abortion clinic in the state feature a live link to the WRTK site on their homepage, with a short descriptive tagline. The weblink tagline (tweaked in 2014) reads:

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment maintains a website containing information about the development of the unborn child, as well as video of sonogram images of the unborn child at various stages of development, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment`s website can be reached by clicking here.

Two Kansas City suburban abortion clinics sued the weblink mandate as an infringement of the First Amendment. The injunction governing the weblink–obtained in state court by the Center for Women’s Health, in June 2013– was dissolved this summer. Notice of this action was sent to federal court, which has not yet acted upon a request by Planned Parenthood of Kansas & Mid Missouri for a similar injunction.

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no PPIn a not unexpected move, Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri announced today it plans to close its financially failing Hays facility that no longer qualifies for family planning funds distributed by the Kansas health department.

PPKMM lost a crucial legal fight in March when the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a 2011 lower court ruling.

The trial judge’s decision had forced the Kansas Department of Health and Environment

to direct approximately one million dollars over the past three years, mainly to Planned Parenthood of Kansas & Mid-Missouri.

On May 9, PPKMM announced they would not pursue any more appeals.

The 2009 Kinzer-Huelskamp budget amendment directed the state health department to award Title X money to full-service medical clinics and hospitals best serving the indigent. That prioritization was approved consistently  by the Kansas legislature but vetoed by former Governors Sebelius and Parkinson. However, it has been approved in every budget under current Gov. Sam Brownback.

While PPKMM’s Hays and Wichita “feeder” clinics did not perform abortions, they referred for them. Apparently that was enough of a reason to keep their doors open when they were seriously in the red—combined over $225,000 each year—even when they were receiving over $300,000 in Title X funding.

LEGAL BACKGROUND

PPKMM sued, and won mandatory funding from 2011-2014, ordered by Wichita federal judge Thomas Marten in a 36-page decision handed down in August 2011.

Judge Marten’s opinion could have been lifted from one of the briefs filed by Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri. He accepted without quibble Planned Parenthood’s argument that (in his words) “The purpose of the statute was to single out, punish and exclude Planned Parenthood.”

Various state officials “hotly contested” Marten’s decision, as the Kansas City Star wrote at the time, and responded vigorously.

Dr. Robert Moser, who was  sued in his capacity as Secretary for Kansas Department of Health and Environment, said,

Title X was not intended to be an entitlement program for Planned Parenthood. Other providers are already offering a fuller spectrum of health care for Kansas patients. This highly unusual ruling implies a private organization has a right to taxpayer subsidy. The people of Kansas disagree.”

Added Attorney General Derek Schmidt in a prepared statement, “It appears that the Court declared a duly-enacted Kansas statute unconstitutional without engaging in the fact-finding one would expect before reaching such a conclusion,”

The Tenth Circuit Court of appeals overturned Judge Marten in March, ruling that PPKMM lacked standing to pursue its claims in federal court, and that its claim of a First Amendment violation lacked merit–about as resounding a defeat as you could get.

Mary Kay Culp, executive director for Kansans for Life, said, “we applaud that Kansas budget decisions are no longer being forced to prop up a for-profit abortion business.

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