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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 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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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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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.

ANIMAL-HUMAN HYBRID ETHICAL CONCERNS
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

    Burkhart

    McNicholas headshot

    McNicholas

  • 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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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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KDHEContrary to an editorial blast today from the Lawrence Journal World, and an Associated Press story last Friday, Kansas is not suffering a permanent loss of federal assistance for reproductive health services. Open record information requested by Kansans for Life shows:

that the state’s Title X funding exceeds what it was during the last year when Planned Parenthood was getting part of it under court order.

The Title X award for Kansas in fiscal year 2016 is $2,472,000, just slightly higher than its award of $2,471,250 in 2014.

First, a little background. Title X is federally-dispersed money designed to assist low income-qualifying women for non-abortion reproductive health services, including contraceptives and health screenings. In Kansas, Title X is distributed by the Kansas Department of Health & Environment (KDHE).

Any licensed physician can do the elementary exams and blood draws covered under Title X; it is certainly not anything for which Planned Parenthood is uniquely capable.

It also is good stewardship for the state to allocate financial support for medical facilities that provide the poor with the full range of well-woman care (not just gynecological services, but nutritional, cardio, mental health, etc.)– as well as pediatric and geriatric care for both sexes.

KANSAS PRIORITIZES FULL SERVICE
Since 2007, the Kansas legislature had tried to insure that full-service health entities, especially public clinics, received Title X funding.  To accomplish that goal, the legislature annually passed a budget instruction– called a proviso– which prioritized Title X grants to full-service medical facilities.

However, pro-abortion governors Sebelius and Parkinson annually vetoed that proviso so that Planned Parenthood would not be disqualified from accessing the Title X funds.

The proviso for prioritizing Title X grants was finally signed into law under pro-life Gov. Sam Brownback in 2011. Planned Parenthood then challenged it in federal court.

While litigation ensued, Judge Thomas Marten ordered that Title X funding be guaranteed, not only to the plaintiff (Planned Parenthood clinics in Wichita and Hays) but also to an  independent Dodge City Family Planning (DCFP) clinic!

That judge-ordered temporary payment to three financially-failing businesses is what the AP story references as a “$370,000.00 loss.” And despite this judicial “monetary lifeline”  to all three limited-service businesses (in violation of the proviso), the small DCFP clinic closed and both Planned Parenthood clinics remained deeply in the red.

KANSAS WINS CONTROL
In March of 2014, the Kansas Title X prioritization proviso was upheld as valid by the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. Planned Parenthood dropped their legal challenge and accepted that both clinics were no longer eligible for Title X in Kansas.

Subsequently, the 2015 Kansas Title X federal award was reduced by $229,950, a one time adjustment after the two Planned Parenthood clinics were removed from the Kansas grantee eligibility.

The 2016 Title X funding federal award, in effect as of July 1, exceeds the 2014 award. In other words, the current award is just above our state’s pre-litigation amount.

Back to the AP story that has been generating headlines. The meme that Kansas is being denied Title X funding and that women are therefore underserved is unsubstantiated. The assessment relies on a self-serving claim by Planned Parenthood and a suggestion by the Sedgwick County Health Department Director that, “People have fewer places to go, and for those with limited means that may make utilizing those services even more difficult.”

Fewer places? Only 2 limited service medical clinics have closed: DCFP and the Hays Planned Parenthood clinic. KDHE funds 47 facilities under Title X.

Any speculation about how health care decisions are being made –without examining the effects of the initiation of Obamacare, the HHS contraceptive mandate, and other changes in Medicaid– are without solid factual basis at this point.

The bottom line is that tax funding belongs to true, full-service medical providers–not as a subsidy to a private chain of abortion providers.

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SB 95 bill signing in Wichita

Gov. Brownback and legislators with pro-lifers in Wichita (photo by Joseph K. Myers)

It’s no real surprise that abortionists and their supporters are furious about the ban on dismemberment abortions which has been newly enacted in Kansas and Oklahoma. Aside from the fact that legal minds realize this is a true threat to the abortion status quo. what sticks in the craw of abortion supporters is how the entire law targets dismemberment abortions that torture a living, unborn child.

Like the ban on partial-birth abortion method abortions (upheld by the Supreme Court in 2007),  the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act outlaws a particularly brutal process. Dismemberment abortions tear apart living unborn babies “one piece at a time from the uterus through the use of clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors or similar instruments,” as SB 95 spells out.

“I am pleased that Kansas is the first state in America to ban dismemberment abortions,” said Gov. Sam Brownback. “This is extraordinarily important.”  So important, in fact, that he decided to memorialize its enactment by staging four ceremonial signings across the state on Tuesday.

Since this was virtually a never-before-event, one would expect an outpouring of media interest.

Not so.

Instead there was a virtual media blackout on the event. It would appear obvious that any reporter who did turn up had been sent solely to get quotes from the Governor on the state’s budget woes (before the legislature reconvened Wednesday), or to recycle the opinions of angry Kansas abortion clinic directors.

Of the few small stories that were actually published, none quoted the speakers at the four events or interviewed the attendees for their opinions.

Hundreds of people came to the signings—people of all ages —yet more than a few pro-abortion bloggers intentionally misconstrued the events, including Tara Culp Ressler’s coverage which ran under this headline, “In Bizarre Stunt, Governor Pretends To Sign Extreme Abortion Ban For Group Of Teenagers .”

She reminded her readers this was the same governor who was photographed a few weeks ago at the initial bill signing, “flanked by large photos of fetuses.”  [insert “gasp!”] That reminder was supposed to make readers collectively shudder at the thought that photos got out that actually linked innocent unborn babies with this law. This was impolite, because pro-abortionists have worked very hard not to allow any stories to mention “the baby.”

At the events Tuesday, Brownback spoke without notes, from his own conviction about the beauty of life and Kansas’ commitment to defending the sanctity of life. He said,

“Kansans do not support the dismembering of babies. This a major piece of legislation, for the major issue of our day… and hopefully, starting a movement that will spread nationwide.”

That this grassroots movement will spread from state to state is why pro-abortionists are furious SB 95 ever passed. They are determined to put out the flames with lies, distortions, and by omitting the little ones whose lives the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act is intended to save.

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