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Auditioners read ECHO scripts

Auditioners read ECHO radio scripts

Movie animators take great care to find just the right voices to “match” their painstakingly-drawn characters. Kansans for Life similarly took great care to cast just the right voice for our new radio spots in which an unborn child “talks” about life in the womb.

This summer, numerous delightful girls and boys, age 6-10, came to our Wichita office to audition to be the voice of “ECHO, an unborn child.” The kids had a good time, although reading and rereading a “script” with emphasis, clarity, and the right lilt in the voice was probably a bit harder than they anticipated.

Our new one-minute radio segments featuring “ECHO, the unborn child” began appearing yesterday across the state on many secular and Christian stations. We are getting many compliments on the approach and pray that thousands of listeners will think about the marvels of an unborn child in a fresh way. Here’s an excerpt:

“Hello, it’s me, “Echo”… your favorite little friend coming to you from inside my mother’s womb. She calls it a “womb,” but it’s more like my room, complete with my very own hot tub. Most of the time in here, I’m just kicking back… literally. I’m trying to outmaneuver the sonogram paparazzi. That’s why I call myself ECHO– Sonograms! Imagine… a bunch of giants trying to get a look at your private parts, just so they’ll know whether to buy pink baby clothes or blue ones…”

The concept of hearing an endearing “voice from the womb” in the middle of your regular radio broadcast is the brainchild of David Gittrich, Kansans for Life State Development Director.


David Gittrich

David became involved in the pro-life movement 36 years ago after his friend dragged him to see the film, “Assignment: Life.” At that time, sonograms were just beginning to be available, and the images were pretty grainy. In the film, the late Dr. Jack Willke describes the baby developing in the womb, shows beautiful pictures of the unborn child and then challenges the audience, “Who would want to kill a baby you can see?”

That line made a lasting impression on David. He has a deep commitment to reminding Kansans that the most precious natural resource that we need to protect is our unborn children. One of his aims in this project is to personalize the child in the womb to the casual radio listener, without any reference to abortion.

Although 4-D ultrasounds are now ubiquitous, the ECHO project allows the radio audience to “see” in a new way—by listening to the baby’s voice– the marvelous developments and abilities of the child in the womb.

This is one more way we can build a society in which abortion is unthinkable.

Read details about the ECHO project here.

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mother-teresa-babyAs the world watches Hillary Clinton clawing for the title of president, urging limitless abortion with full tax-funding, they will also see Mother Teresa being canonized Sunday. The comparison could not be more striking.

Hillary has spent her entire life chasing political power at the expense of the unborn; Mother Teresa gave her entire life in selfless service of the poor and vulnerable. Breitbart news reports:

“As Pope Francis canonizes Mother Teresa, we will also be reminded that the most vulnerable among us are the voiceless unborn children who can be legally eliminated at any moment, whom Mother Teresa fought valiantly to defend and whom Hillary is committed to forgetting.”

22 years ago, Mother Teresa spoke passionately against abortion in her address to 3,000 guests at the Feb. National Prayer Breakfast. Afterwards, the applause and a standing ovation lasted  nearly six minutes, with one conspicuous exception:  at the head table, a few feet away from Mother Teresa, President Bill and Hillary Clinton and Vice-President Al and Tipper Gore, sat in stony silence, neither clapping, nor standing.

Mother Teresa had not pressed for the politically correct call for more government involvement in fighting poverty. She spoke pointedly about the unborn child as truly the poorest of the poor, and deserving of our protection from abortion.

In contrast,

  • One year earlier, Hillary had urged her husband Bill on the very first day of his presidency to sign five executive orders authorizing federal funding for abortion, galvanizing the U.S. government’s sordid partnership with Planned Parenthood.
  • Seven months after the Prayer Breakfast, Hillary sent a virulent pro-abortion delegation to work against Mother Teresa at the Cairo Conference on Population and Development, attempting to coerce the world into accepting abortion as a basic human right.
  • This past January, America’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, endorsed Hillary for President with an unprecedented $20 million donation.

Mother Teresa’s entire 1994 speech  (transcript here) is inspiring, but here are the most pertinent abortion sentiments:

“I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?

By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems. And, by abortion, the father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. That father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion.

Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.

But what does God say to us? He says: “Even if a mother could forget her child, I will not forget you. I have carved you in the palm of my hand.” We are carved in the palm of His hand; that unborn child has been carved in the hand of God from conception and is called by God to love and to be loved, not only now in this life, but forever. God can never forget us.”

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comp health PP (2)Kansas cannot cut off Medicaid funding for two Planned Parenthood affiliates reports the Associated Press this evening.

“The Governor will continue the fight to make Kansas a pro-life state,” said Eileen Hawley, spokeswoman for Gov. Brownback,  “We will review today’s preliminary ruling and move forward with the litigation.”

U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson in Kansas City, Kansas, issued the temporary ruling late Tuesday which prevents the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) from cutting off funding Thursday for Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri and the organization’s St. Louis regional affiliate.

Mary Kay Culp, KFL executive director, commented,

“We oppose any public money that helps the abortion giant Planned Parenthood stay open. Planned Parenthood is not the trusted health-care provider they like to call themselves –everything they do is poisoned by their abortion business and advocacy .”

Planned Parenthood in Overland Park was indeed trafficking in baby body parts in the late 90’s, which caused Kansas to enact a law governing fetal tissue procurement.

Several ongoing bona fide lawsuits nationwide have found Planned Parenthood to be defrauding the public. See here.

The state of Kansas should have control of dispensing federal tax funded support to the indigent and have trustworthy partners. KDHE alleges they did not get respectful access to onsite inspection from Planned Parenthood that health care grantees must provide.

Unfortunately, the authorization language for Medicaid is not the same as for the Title X federal funding. Federal changes should be made to allow states more control over tax-funded health care distribution. The Medicaid amount involved appears to be under $50,000 this year.

Kansans for Life is happy, however, that

Planned Parenthood no longer gets Kansas Title X annual health care funding–well over one-third million dollars– that is now going to full-service public clinics and hospitals.

Kansas won that battle in court and this past session, the legislature made that funding priority a permanent statute. Read more here.

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"third world" conditions of inner-city abortion clinic

“sterilization room” of now-closed Kansas City abortion clinic

By a vote of 5-3 today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a  ruling protecting abortion profits above state health protocols.  Struck down are two provisions of HB2, a Texas law requiring abortion clinics to meet the same safety standards as ambulatory surgical centers and requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital in case of medical emergencies.

Similar provisions are part of a larger pro-life bill under injunction in Kansas.

This ruling was not unexpected because the majority of the nation’s highest Court supports abortion and will go to any lengths to preserve it—even self-contradiction. The Court both affirmed and then undermined this holding (from Roe): “the State has a legitimate interest in seeing to it that abortion . . . is performed under circumstances that insure maximum safety for the patient.”

In its pretzel logic the Court now dictates that state regulation must be subject to interpretation of how it might present an “obstacle” to abortion. The same standards any state uses to insure safe medical facilities —under today’s rulings—cannot routinely apply to surgical abortion facilities.

This is ridiculous.

Even disgusting, filthy hole-in the-wall clinics that won’t upgrade their facilities are now –in the Court’s eyes—protected by a veritable “necessity” exemption. Yet the existence of at least two such clinics in Kansas City were a main impetus for the Kansas abortion clinic licensure law passed in 2011.

That Kansas law was ten years in the making, including testimony of patient abuse, abortion malpractice and “third-world” caliber clinics. (read more)

Today’s ruling now guarantees more judges at every level will be involved in scrutinizing duly-passed pro-life laws to decipher whether they will pass muster with the U.S. Supreme Court’s subjective notion of what constitutes an “obstacle” to abortion.

Statement from KFL Executive Director, Mary Kay Culp:

“No one should applaud today’s decision. It shows in the starkest terms the so-called ‘safe and legal’ fantasy for what it always has been: a cover for abortion at all costs. Today’s decision is a real tragedy for mothers and as always, for their unborn children–something most women realize eventually.”

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apemanDespite the histrionics of Salon’s Andrea Marcotte , and the not-so-subtle inferences of the Wichita Eagle that pro-lifers are nutty, the creation of animal-human hybrids (called “chimeras”) is indeed worrying at least some scientists.

NPR (National Public Radio) has run stories about the controversy which (as usual) involves researchers impatient with any limitations.

On the May 18, 2016 radio broadcast, of NPR’s “All Things Considered” Rob Stein reported:

A handful of scientists around the United States are trying to do something that some people find disturbing: make embryos that are part human, part animal. … But some scientists and bioethicists worry the creation of these interspecies embryos crosses the line. “You’re getting into unsettling ground that I think is damaging to our sense of humanity,” says Stuart Newman, a professor of cell biology and anatomy at the New York Medical College.

The experiments are so sensitive that the National Institutes of Health [NIH] has imposed a moratorium on funding them while officials explore the ethical issues they raise.

Previously, Stein had filed a report on NPR’s “Morning Edition” on Nov. 6, 2015, titled, “Should human cells be used to make partly human chimeras?” Stein revealed that the NIH was holding a workshop that day focused on this chimera agenda, and presumably, the funding moratorium.

One of the proposals was to fund “research in which human pluripotent cells are introduced into non-human vertebrate animal pre-gastrulation stage embryos.”

In the written story that accompanied the May 18 broadcast, Stein explained, “Scientists have been creating partly human chimeras for years. …What’s new is putting human stem cells into the embryos of other animals, very early in embryonic development.”

Stein uses as an example, the experiments of Pablo Ross, a reproductive biologist at the University of California, Davis. In simplest terms, Ross’ research:

  1. takes a pig embryo,
  2. deletes a gene,
  3. adds human cells,
  4. puts the altered chimera embryo into a pig womb,
  5. checks to see whether a human organ is forming,
  6. destroys the chimera embryo within 28 days,
  7. continues such experiments with variations.

Stein lists some concerns about chimera experiments raised by Newman and other professors and ethicists:

  • Human stem cells could form human sperm and human eggs in the chimeras.
  • Animals could give birth to some kind of part-human, part-pig creature.
  • If you have pigs with partly human brains you would have animals that might actually have consciousness like a human.
  • If a male chimeric pig mated with a female chimeric pig, the result could be a human fetus developing in the uterus of that female chimera.

Stein writes, “The uncertainty is part of what makes the work so controversial. Ross and other scientists conducting these experiments can’t know exactly where the human stem cells will go. Ross hopes they’ll only grow a human pancreas. But they could go elsewhere, such as to the brain.”caution

Newman told Stein, “If you have pigs with partly human brains you would have animals that might actually have consciousness like a human,” adding, “It might have human-type needs. We don’t really know.”

The Wichita Eagle story (the basis for Marcotte’s  rant) focused on some of the bio-tech issues Kansans for Life included on our Political Action Committee’s questionnaire for candidates to the Statehouse. I was quoted accurately but derisively about pro-life concerns:

“The questionnaire is a way to show candidates the range of the kinds of things that the pro-life movement is interested in…[cloning and animal /human hybrids (chimeras)] has  been a concern for over 10 years. We’re not inventing this. This is not crazy stuff. Am I aware of it happening in Kansas? At this moment, no. But does that mean it’s not happening somewhere, I can’t tell you that.”

Apparently, it is happening in the U.S. –and even the NIH is denying funding until vexing ethical questions are examined.

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Burkhart rolling stone captured May 2016Well, May is here, and with it comes the now apparently obligatory annual media interviews fawning over abortion profiteer Julie Burkhart.

Burkhart started the George Tiller legacy project [Trust Women] after the infamous Wichita abortionist’s death on May 31, 2009. Every May afterwards, the media spins a “memorial” of sorts to Tiller and Burkhart, who had run his sizable political money operation.

The tributes escalated three years ago when, after much fanfare, Burkhart opened the SouthWind Women’s Center on the site of Tiller’s old Wichita, Kansas abortion location. It is part of her drive to “forge new frontiers” in the Midwest– which pro-abortionists term a “desert” of “abortion care.”

On cue last week, lengthy pro-Burkhart features turned up in Rolling Stone and Marie Claire, as well as a variety of state and national reports.

They were orchestrated undoubtedly by Trust Women’s new publicist, Deb Gruver. It was quite the coup getting Gruver, who recently ended a 26-year news reporting career, with the last 15 years writing for the pro-abortion Wichita Eagle.

The Burkhart media blitz included:

  • May 17 – a story from the liberal National Council of State Legislatures in which Burkhart complains of health inspections under conservative governors and spending over $200,000 in (unspecified) legal fees.
  • May 19 – a Wichita Eagle Guest Column by Burkhart, claiming that Kansas abortion “restrictions” keep poor women in “second class” teaching and nursing jobs instead of lucrative careers and political offices.
  • May 19 – a TV news feature on Burkhart’s “challenges” to opening a clinic in Oklahoma, because it is such “a politically hostile environment for women and their families.”
  • May 19 – an Eagle/AP report on how the 1991 Wichita Summer of Mercy forged –in rebuttal–Burkhart’s “determination” that fuels opening a new $1 million Oklahoma City abortion clinic.
    Julie Burkhart


    McNicholas headshot


  • May 19 – an extensive article in Marie Claire that lionizes Burkhart’s Wichita/Oklahoma fly-in abortionist, Colleen McNicholas; McNicholas admits to a rate of 31 abortions per 8-hour shift when she works at the Planned Parenthood in St. Louis.
  • May 20 – a Washington Post article (also in the Eagle) about Burkhart’s circuit-riding Missouri abortionist and her confidence that abortion attorneys will block any Oklahoma pro-life law that threatens them,
  • May 20 – Robin Marty’s piece in RollingStone where Burkhart whines about how hard it was to find the Oklahoma location and obey state regulators; she also claims pro-life laws unfairly scare women about the caliber of abortionists and their facilities, whereas SouthWind clients compliment her “all the time” on how “clean and nice” her facility is. (I’m not kidding.)
  • May 21- another Eagle/AP story that extensively details Burkhart’s financial issues, with her prediction that many “underserved” Texas women will use her Oklahoma City clinic.

The unifying media message in these articles is that (1) Burkhart battles “hostile’ pro-life state legislatures and (2) she may lose ground in an upcoming U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Texas HB 2 abortion clinic regulations.

The Court threat for Burkhart was spelled out in Marie Claire:

All three states where McNicholas performs abortions [MO-KS-OK] have admitting-privileges laws on the books… Kansas and Oklahoma have also passed privileges laws, but both are currently on hold pending legal challenges. McNicholas has admitting privileges only in St. Louis, which means if HB2 is upheld and Kansas’ and Oklahoma’s pending laws are enacted as a result, she will no longer be able to perform abortions anywhere outside St. Louis.”

16 wks unbornPBS reported that Burkhart’s SouthWind Wichita clinic charges up to $2000 for dismemberment abortions past 14 weeks gestation. She is quoted in Rolling Stone that her Oklahoma City business will do higher gestation abortions—abortions on even more mature and developed babies—at expectedly higher prices.

A whole lot of money is riding on Burkhart having abortionists available for hire.

Although the media acquiesces to the annual May blast of stories portraying Burkhart as continuing some noble quest in honor of Tiller, we know better.

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pp money (2)The Kansas Legislature adjourned for the year in the wee hours of Monday morning, with two big victories in the area of pro-life healthcare. UPDATE, May 13: Gov. Brownback signed both measures into law this week.

Disappointingly, the time clock hurt us on achieving Simon’s Law, which will be explained further on in this post.

Senate Bill 248, formerly SB 436 (KFL testimony here) was enacted late Sunday evening. It enacts, as permanent law, the “Huelskamp-Kinzer” language prioritizing Title X federal reproductive health money to full-service public health clinics.

Planned Parenthood hates this mechanism because they do not qualify as full-service and it’s a big chunk of Kansas money they no longer get. Planned Parenthood filed a legal challenge against the prioritization but lost in federal appeals court. Title X Kansas funding now surpasses the pre-litigation level.

Sen. Masterson, Sen. Tyson

Sen. Masterson, Sen. Tyson

Huelskamp-Kinzer language is a model way for states to improve healthcare for the indigent, by funneling Title X money to comprehensive services at “safety net” clinics and public hospitals.

State Sen. Caryn Tyson (R- Parker) carried the bill and Sen. Ty Masterson (R-Andover) shepherded it to completion. The vote was 87-34 in the House and 32-8 in the Senate.

Kansas passed a large bill, HB 2615, with a number of sections regulating health care services and providers. The section governing the independent practice of midwives includes pro-life language:
            Nothing in the independent practice of midwifery act should be call midwifeconstrued to authorize a certified nurse-midwife engaging in the independent practice of midwifery under such act to perform, induce or prescribe drugs for an abortion.”

There was quite a bit of educating to do on this subject as some legislators just didn’t want to believe that nurse midwives– those most intimately dedicated to nurturing labor and delivery– would actually do abortions.  Yet the National Abortion Federation has long had a strategy for increasing “access to abortion” (i.e. more babies aborted) by expanding the scope of practice of lower level health care professionals. Read more on this topic, including a memo from National Right to Life Director of State Legislation, Mary Spaulding Balch, J.D. here.

Sen. O'Donnell, Sen. Pilcher Cook

Sen. O’Donnell, Sen. Pilcher Cook

Sen. Sen. Michael O’Donnell (R-Wichita) and Sen. Mary Pilcher Cook (R-Shawnee) were real champions on insuring the abortion ban stayed with the midwives’ regulation. The House passed the final healthcare bill 115-7, but only after Senators voted 26-12 to insure that the final version kept the pro-life language.

This year’s Kansas legislature was dominated by a budget crisis, and in an unprecedented move, leadership cancelled two weeks of legislative session time.  This really doomed House consideration of Simon’s Law, despite heroic

Sen. Laturner, Rep. Pauls

Sen. LaTurner, Rep. Pauls

attempts by bill sponsor, Sen. Jacob LaTurner (R-Pittsburg), vice-chair of the Senate Federal & State Affairs committee, and Rep. Jan Pauls (R-Hutchinson), Chair of the House Federal & State Affairs committee, to maneuver it to get a House vote.

Simon’s Law is a vital bill to protect parental rights in preventing the unilateral issuance of Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) for minors. The measure has gained tremendous public enthusiasm, and secured an amazing 37-3 bipartisan vote in the Kansas Senate. With support of pediatric specialists across the country and four pro-life medical groups, Kansas ought to be enacting Simon’s Law next year.

baby SImon Crosier died to a secret DNR

baby Simon Crosier died due to a secret DNR

Lest too rosy a picture be painted about Simon’s Law, however, it must be noted that not one Kansas medical facility or physician group officially testified about the measure—pro, con or neutral—and many well-paid medical lobbyists out of the public eye pushed to kill the bill. Apparently, the current ability to issue DNRs unilaterally is sadly a power that too many medical entities do not want brokered by parents.

The movement to educate the public about discrimination in life-sustaining procedures has just begun and the entire nation needs Simon’s Law.

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