Archive for the ‘Pro-life laws in other states’ Category

abortion lawToday, the Iowa state Supreme Court by a 6-0 vote (with one abstention) ruled in favor of Planned Parenthood’s “webcam” abortion protocol. In so doing, the Court overturned a lower court ruling and their own state medical board.

In this “innovation” (meant to maneuver around a dwindling supply of physicians wanting to perform abortions) pregnant women can obtain chemical abortion drugs without an “in-person” contact with a licensed physician.

The Iowa Supreme Court can only be commended for not claiming to “discover” a right to abortion in the state Constitution–a right that Planned Parenthood argued existed and was even broader than the abortion right created by Roe.

But the pro-abortion bent of this court is clear, in reaching its conclusion that a physician onsite exam created an “undue burden” (which, as a federal “standard” has been variously interpreted since 1992 to practically the breaking point). The Court even cited some oft-repeated abortion industry talking points about the burden of returning for medical checkups, including that repeat trips can aggravate domestic abuse for some women!

The Iowa Solicitor General pressed the point that Planned Parenthood’s own survey could not prove that women’s “access” to abortion was improved after introduction of the webcam protocol.

The Court ruled that, “based on 2013 medical standards and practices in Iowa,” the overturned law supplies only “minimal medical justification.” However, what the Iowa state lawyers wrote on behalf of the  medical board was:

“Abortion-inducing drugs are not over the counter medications. Unless and until such a time when abortion-inducing drugs are no longer required to be dispensed by physicians, physicians must do so within the confines of the standard of care. The Board of Medicine determined the standard of care requires a physical examination prior to dispensing abortion-inducing drugs.”

19 states have passed anti-webcam laws; 15 are in effect, two go into effect in July and Iowa’s has now been overturned.

Kansas’ anti-webcam provision from 2011 is under injunction, but the 2015 legislature enacted a clarification on medical emergencies, now in effect, aimed at getting the injunction removed. (Read more here.)

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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.

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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stop dismembering posterWhen reporting about The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, the mainstream media typically refuses to include the law’s definition of what is banned--“the use of clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors or similar instruments [that], slice, crush or grasp a portion of the unborn child’s body in order to cut or rip it off.”

Without those details, the reader is more susceptible to the abortion industry claim that the law bans a ‘routine’ procedure that only pro-lifers believe is inhumane.

However, 37 years ago, one of the abortion industry’s own celebrated practitioners– Warren Hern of Boulder, Colorado– told colleagues about people who were disturbed by this particular method of abortion which (in his words) they “view as destructive and violent.”  Who were they? His own staff!

To unpack what Hern was acknowledging, it is first essential to establish that in a dismemberment abortion, the abortionist uses sharp metal tools to tear apart a living unborn child, piece by piece, while she is still inside her mother’s womb.

If just reading that sentence makes you squirm, imagine actually being in the room next to the surgical table and watching the abortionist repeatedly reach in and yank off baby parts and disrespectfully drop them onto a tray.

Or imagine being the employee whose job it is to visually examine each bloody piece and keep track until the entire baby has been reassembled on that tray.

And multiply that, several times a day, every day. Week after week. Year after year.

In the early years following Roe, Hern did a limited survey and interview of his own staff about their feelings and reactions to participating in dismemberment abortions. He published his findings after presenting them to a 1978 gathering of Planned Parenthood practitioners.

Hern was, in effect, giving insider tips to the abortion industry of how to understand and overcome the trauma and “personal misgivings” exhibited by abortion personnel who witness and participate in dismemberment abortions

Warren Hern

Warren Hern

The revelations about stress and revulsion were based on surveys Hern had given to 23 past and current staffers. Ordinarily, the validity of answers from paid employees to a survey written by their boss would be in question. And in fact, some resistance was shown: only 15 returned the surveys, and only six participated in a follow up one year later. Why the others didn’t respond is something we can only speculate about.

But deeply disturbing reactions were nonetheless uncovered.

According to Hern, unlike the staff response to first-trimester suction abortions, dismemberment abortions causesignificant emotional reactions of medical and counseling staff” including “physiological symptoms, sleep disturbances, effects on interpersonal relationships, and moral anguish.” Two employees reported being preoccupied with the gruesome procedure outside of work and having disturbing dreams.

Of note, Hern volunteered that a lab assistant– not part of the survey– had asked to be relieved from the task of reassembling and weighing bloody dismembered baby parts, “because of the size and intactness of the fetus.” She “found herself becoming nauseated during the tissue examination and having disturbing dreams at night.” Surely, she has not been the only individual who found the reassembly task so intolerable.

When it came to the issue of actually looking at a dismembered child, staffers admitted they averted their gaze or otherwise exhibited, “shock, dismay, amazement, disgust, fear, and sadness.”

Hern also reported a rather strange and self-serving response: some staff expressed “a “sympathy [and] wonder at how he could perform a [dismemberment abortion] at all, and a desire to protect him from the trauma.”

Protect the abortionist—really?

However, Hern also admitted that two staffers believed performing the dismemberment method, “must damage the physician psychologically.” Maybe they were the same two who couldn’t get those horrific images out of their own heads outside of work.

Almost as counterpoint, Hern asserted that his stress, as the abortionist, is reduced by doing more and more dismemberment abortions and growing in confidence. But that really doesn’t answer the stress of the staff. They were not reportedly anxious about whether the abortion would be ‘successfully’ performed. Rather it was the issue of demolishing a human baby limb by limb before their eyes that disturbed them.

Hern did not disagree that direct involvement in the dismemberment method adds stress for the medical staff most closely involved. But he quickly pushed past that difficulty and refocused on a key marketing angle still touted today– that in this abortion method, “the emotional trauma of the experience is reduced for the patient.”

Excerpt from medical illustration of dismemberment abortion

Excerpt from medical illustration of dismemberment abortion at 16 weeks  gestation

A little reminder is needed here. Abortionists do not clearly describe to the mother what a dismemberment abortion will do to her unborn child. Instead (as admitted in court) they define the method with vague language like, “removal of the pregnancy.”

Thus, a mother who has not been accurately informed, and undergoes the procedure while anesthetized, is going to be ignorant of the abuse to her child and, logically, less traumatized than the staff who stand by while the baby’s body is shredded.

Hern suggested to his Planned Parenthood attendees in 1978 that since dismemberment abortion “is rapidly becoming recognized as the procedure of choice in late abortion,” they will want to offer generous vacations, flex time, and staff ‘team-building’ to prevent staff stress from erupting in the form of shouting at, or withholding care from, their clients.

After all, Hern declared, some employees have “strong personal reservations about participating in an operation they view as destructive and violent.” His concluding remarks are disturbing:

“The most important challenge [of dismemberment abortion] is how we feel about it. …Some part of our cultural and perhaps even biological heritage recoils at a destructive operation on a form that is similar to our own…[yet] there is no possibility of denial of an act of destruction by the operator. It is before one’s eyes. The sensations of dismemberment flow through the forceps like electric current.”

This final admission is actually quite candid: abortions are destructive, not only to unborn children, but to the medical profession itself.

Today, abortionist Hern is still in business and probably concocting better employee perks to quell the morale problem.

Kansas and Oklahoma, on the other hand, have acted more wisely for all involved. In banning dismemberment abortions, living unborn children, and the integrity of the medical profession are better protected.

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stop dismembering posterThe ground-breaking Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act is now on the books in two states, signed into law within this past week by Gov. Sam Brownback (Kansas) and Gov. Mary Fallin (Oklahoma). This law forbids a particularly gruesome method of abortion which (for that reason) abortionists do not honestly describe in detail to women.

It is difficult for most of us to imagine how someone, particularly a trained physician, could reach into the womb with an instrument like a pair of pliers and grab onto a body part, ripping a tiny baby apart, piece by piece until she bleeds to death.

Yet that is exactly what occurs in a dismemberment abortion.

To ordinary men and women who have learned about this grisly act –and, no doubt, even to some within the abortion industry who are a party to it–the effect has been profound shock and sadness.

But some, particularly those who have defended abortion for decades, have gone in the opposite direction. They have become so hardened that they will say almost anything to protect dismemberment abortions.

Take for example, David Grimes– a long-time abortionist, abortion promoter, and prolific abortion apologist. While the dismemberment ban was working its way through the legislative process, Grimes championed the dismemberment method as popular and safe for women, without the slightest acknowledgement of the victim of this act, the unborn child.

In a February 19 article written with another long-time abortion proponent, Grimes extolled dismemberment abortion as cheaper and more convenient—for the mother, that is, since the baby is not a consideration.

He characterizes dismemberment abortionists as noble “removers of tissue” [again, denying the baby] who do an unpleasant task but, in so doing, save women from any ‘emotional’ burdens.

Thus, as could be expected, the first passage of a ban on dismemberment abortions sent Grimes over the edge.

In his regular Huffington Post blog spot Tuesday, Grimes blasted the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act with this headline, “Kansas as Medical Misogyny: Kansas Mandates Substandard Abortion Care.”

His rebuke began by defining misogyny as “hatred, dislike, mistrust of women, or prejudice against women.”  Of course abortion is itself an anti-woman act, half the time destroying females, and all the time harming mothers who submit to the abortions. But not to Grimes.

Grimes claims that this new ban on a barbaric abortion method punishes women by denying abortionists the use of that method, leaving only “inferior methods.” And to him, that is ‘anti-women’.

But Grimes is showing the height of hypocrisy about treating women respectfully!

Grimes knows, as well as those of us who followed the partial-birth abortion litigation, that abortionists under oath admitted that they don’t tell the mother the actual procedure of the dismemberment abortion,  merely referring to it as a ‘D&E.’ Planned Parenthood of Kansas & Mid-Missouri is equally unforthcoming. On its website it describes the method as “removal of the pregnancy with forceps.”

In what other medical treatment or surgery would that kind of paternalistic/ misogynistic omission of facts even be attempted?

It is the ultimate in disrespect and deception– misogyny–to hide the truth from a mother contemplating abortion that the dismemberment method demolishes her unborn child until the baby bleeds to death! And pity the women who are just now discovering that is the kind of abortion they have already obtained.

Grimes’ wrath is really directed at the U.S. Supreme Court which upheld, in 2007, a ban on another brutal, inhumane procedure —partial-birth abortion. How ironic (but unsurprising) that partial-birth abortion defenders also insisted that delivering all but the baby’s head and then plunging surgical scissors into her skull and suctioning out the child’s brain was ‘safer for women.’

However, the High Court, in that 2007 ruling, wrote (emphasis added):

Any number of patients facing imminent surgical procedures would prefer not to hear all details, lest the usual anxiety preceding invasive medical procedures become the more intense. …It is, however, precisely this lack of information concerning the way in which the fetus will be killed that is of legitimate concern to the State. The State has an interest in ensuring so grave a choice is well informed. It is self-evident that a mother who comes to regret her choice to abort must struggle with grief more anguished and sorrow more profound when she learns, only after the event, what she once did not know…” Gonzales v. Carhart, 550 U.S. 124, 159-160

The dismemberment law now in place in Kansas and Oklahoma exposes what happens in a abortion. Any departure from the truth is misogynistic, and furthers the myth that women need abortion.

What they need is the truth.

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rate down graphic (2)A snarky taunt hurled at pro-lifers through the years has been, “If you are against abortion, just don’t have one!”

With the Guttmacher Institute study concluding that abortions are at a 30-year low, as well as a lower national abortion rate and ratio, it appears that a lot of women, especially younger ones, are doing just that– not having abortions.

Moreover, these women rejecting abortion are not just located in states with protective pro-life laws, but across the nation, according to Guttmacher. There are several things to unpack here, with examples from our state of Kansas.

First, our opponents use Guttmacher’s report to scoff at the benefit of pro-life state legislation. They argue (1) that the number of abortions went down in states without pro-life initiatives; and/or (2) the data Guttmacher analyzed came before the upturn in state pro-life laws enacted during 2011-2013.

This seems to imply that no laws were in place benefiting women prior to 2011, which is absolutely untrue. The much-reported increase in state pro-life laws did not start with the election of a majority of state governors who were pro-life, beginning in 2010.

When Guttmacher (and Slate’s William Saletan, here) downplay the role of pro-life initiatives in reducing the number of abortions, they conveniently ignore a whole bevy of initiatives which have had the effect of helping women choose life, including:

  1. parental involvement laws,
  2. limits to tax-funded abortion,
  3. support for pregnancy assistance,
  4. and requirements for ultrasound viewing, waiting periods, and women’s right to know information.

For Kansas, electing a pro-life governor in 2010 was key, because governors can scuttle pro-life legislation with a stroke of the veto pen. During those years where abortion political influence held sway in Kansas, pro-lifers grew the number of pregnancy assistance centers and elected greater numbers of ‘proudly’ pro-life legislators. More protective laws could not be enacted –or older ones properly enforced– until we elected Gov. Sam Brownback in 2010.

Second, our opponents attribute fewer abortions to fewer numbers of women getting pregnant in the first place. They tout this as an obvious victory for contraception, either because women “were making conscious decisions to avoid pregnancy” (in the words of the authors, Rachel K. Jones and Jenna Jerman) or because of the use of “long-acting” contraceptives.

But even if this were true, this still doesn’t answer the fundamental question raised by the abortion ratio for 2011. The abortion ratio essentially compares the number of abortions to the number of births. According to Guttmacher,

there were 21.2 abortions for every 100 pregnancies ending in abortion or live birth in 2011. This is also the lowest ratio since 1973, the first year Roe was in effect.

The ratio was 30.4 in 1983 and was as high as 25.1 as recently as 1998.
So even if fewer women get pregnant, that doesn’t answer the question why more of them are choosing life.

A pro-life mindset is at work nationwide–as witnessed by polling showing pro-life self-identification at 48%. This is the result of a strong national pro-life movement that educates at so many levels and continues to challenge the “normalization” of abortion. The natural by-product is more pro-life laws.

However, Saletan claims pro-life laws are “a waste of time” that “can’t possibly affect women in states without such laws.” To agree with that would be to assert that women in abortion-friendly states don’t have an awareness of what’s happening elsewhere, don’t use the internet, and do wholly adopt the mentality of their state legislature to their personal lives.  Not likely.

Saletan discounts not only the success, but the relevance of the pro-life movement for changing the culture, because “legal moralism is losing its grip on this country.” It just isn’t the case, he says, that “by enacting legal restrictions in one state, you’re affecting the moral convictions of women in other states.”

Really?  If pro-life laws are a waste of time, why are they so desperately fought by abortion supporters–and to a nationwide audience? Why did national pro-abortion media sources work so hard (to name just a few examples) to

  • portray Kansas and other states adopting Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection acts as legislating against medical science;
  • deny the confirmed biological connection between induced abortion and breast cancer; and
  • mischaracterize a Kansas law disallowing wrongful birth lawsuits as ‘support for doctors to lie to pregnant women’?

Obviously, these media attacks are meant to dissuade individual women from learning the truth and to scare other states from adopting pro-life laws.

The Kansas “Women’s Right to Know and See” law–passed in 2009—gave women not only the option to see their child’s ultrasound taken inside the abortion clinic, but also created a state health department-run website
. But only under a pro-life governor in 2011, was the law properly implemented so that the website included real-time sonography of the developing unborn child. As  a result we think Kansas has the best pregnancy information website in the nation.wrtk header (2)

And building on legislative intent to fully inform women, the Kansas’ 2013 Pro-Life Protections Act includes the “first-in-the-nation” requirement that the link to the state “Woman’s Right to Know” abortion information website be positioned on an abortion clinic’s home page.

Pro-life laws not only have concrete effects on abortion decision-making, they have a “teaching” function that extends beyond state lines. Abortion interests don’t want that “Woman’s Right to Know” link displayed on their home page. They want it tucked away somewhere on their website so that while few women will see it, the abortion clinic can claim it was accessible.

Can such links to gestational information with active 4-D Ultrasound films affect women in states without this law? Yes–thanks to the Internet.

This is just one example. Guttmacher (and Saletan) can insist that pro-life initiatives have no (or very little impact) but common sense and experience says otherwise. Collectively, pro-life laws are contributing to our nation’s ever-decreasing choice for abortion.

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unborn feel pain (2)Kansas and nine other states have passed abortion bans recognizing the unborn child as a pain-capable human being at 20 weeks post-fertilization, which is the same as being dated 22 weeks from woman’s last menstrual period, or LMP.

In 2012, Arizona passed a “hybrid” abortion law that included the fetal pain issue but would affect pregnancies 2 weeks earlier than all other similar “pain” bans. It was immediately sued, upheld in state district court and struck down by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (which does not govern Kansas). Today, the U.S. Supreme Court has declined the appeal to review the Ninth circuit’s decision.

Medical science now recognizes that the unborn child at 20 weeks post-fertilization possesses all the physiological structures needed for pain perception.

The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) created the pain-capable model legislation with hope the U.S. Supreme Court would review such a law, focusing specifically on scientific data about pain which has never been presented to them in an abortion case.  This data includes studies outside the abortion arena verifying that the thalamus, not the cortex, is needed for humans to perceive pain. [Read documentation at doctorsonfetalpain.com about the issue.]

Some quick analysis of today’s decision:

1) The U.S. Supreme Court continues to resist taking abortion cases. This is the second abortion case deferred this term– the earlier Court decision avoided a chemical abortion law from Oklahoma.   The Court is only pressured into taking on an issue when there are conflicting appellate decisions. Only one circuit has ruled on pain-related abortion bans, the (notoriously overturned) Ninth circuit.

2) The U.S. Supreme Court did not outright rule against the constitutionality of abortion bans for pain-feeling unborn children. But because the Court does not explain why they decline cases,  we are left to wonder exactly why the Court declined to examine Arizona’s law. It may well be that the bill at their doorstep had too many dimensions: not only did Arizona conjoin a second issue of late-term abortion safety with the issue of  pain to unborn babies–it also lowered the pregnancy date two weeks below where there is currently the most medical evidence for pain capability.

3) Abortion forces will certainly try to wave today’s action as a warning against states contemplating enacting pain-capable legislation. However, we still believe a “clean” law sticking to 20 weeks post-conception/22 weeks LMP is totally defensible. The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2007 abortion ruling(Gonzales), affirmed that states have compelling interests for enacting abortion regulations, and declined to list those interests. The Gonzales ruling said states may pass protective legislation based on science even when “medical consensus” on that data was lacking.

We regret that the U.S. Supreme Court has skirted examination of the issue of fetal pain, and left abortion interests encouraged by today’s action.

See further information from NRLC here.

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baby finger hand (2)Andrea Grimes, writing at RH reality check, a pro-abortion blog, has issued a clarion call to forestall a Texas proposal that would require three hours of adoption counseling prior to any abortion. Her plan? Undermine pro-lifers’ “hold” on the issue by “exposing” adoption as a corrupt, woman-coercing, money-making cartel!

But to come up with such a counter-factual, counter-intuitive slur, Grimes must set up several egregiously false claims:

  • that adoption “is not an alternative to abortion, but rather an alternative to parenting”; and
  • that adoption victimizes both the mother and child.

The first premise is artificial—that “pregnant people” [her absurd term] are either pro-death or pro-life, and, if the latter, are deciding between parenting and adoption. But those struggling with a ‘problematic’ pregnancy are not so easily pegged, and can change course after reflection. Grimes gives no source for the “research” she claims that women open to adoption “never considered abortion as a viable option.”

Then Grimes asserts that the proposal for pre-abortion adoption counseling ”would serve predominantly to detain, and perhaps shame, pregnant people who are already in a time crunch.” But far from ‘shaming’ women, the great majority of women facing unanticipated or ‘problematic’ pregnancies would be empowered by facts, such as accurate information about support systems, maternity homes, and adoption options.

Grimes announces that adoption leaves parents and adoptees with “complicated and mixed emotions about their experience…[and] not unilaterally the joyful exploration of loving kindness.. heroism and bravery.” Well, no duh.

She maliciously paints adoption facilitators and supporters as suppressing or denying such totally expected after-effects. Why? You guessed it–for the greater goal of profit and/or religious ideology.

This is untrue and unfair, but not unsurprising given that Grimes’ target audience of “reproductive justice” advocates frame all issues as battles against patriarchy, capitalism, and Christian fanaticism.

The heart of Grimes’ call-to-action is this very self-satisfying pronouncement:

“[A]ccusations leveled at the so-called abortion industry by anti-choice reproductive rights opponents—specifically, that coercive ‘abortionists’ are solely interested in creating and maintaining demand for their services for the singular purpose of making money off hoodwinked and/or ignorant clientele—could be aptly applied to the largely unregulated domestic and international adoption industry.“

Whereas the self-serving, coercive claims against abortion are true, Grimes’ allegations of a coercive adoption cartel remain just that—allegations without actual cases cited. And the tactic is stated—to attack pro-lifers by associating us with adoption agencies which she has demonized.

Let’s not forget that adoption is not a “political weapon” for pro-lifers. It is a practical remedy for the situation of a child not born into a welcoming family who will otherwise be killed by abortion.

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