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

The governors and attorneys general of 22 states (including Kansas) have joined together to file an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief to support Alabama’s ban on dismemberment abortions.

A temporary restraining order against Alabama’s Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act was issued in July 2016, one year after Kansas’ identical ban also was blocked, although the Kansas challenge is taking place in state, not federal, court.

Last Friday, the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals received the joint “amicus” brief organized by Louisiana’s Attorney General. Included are six states which have passed this ban [Arkansas, Louisiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma and West Virginia] and sixteen which have not [Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin].

Gov. Sam Brownback signs ‘first-in-nation” ban on
dismemberment abortion

This filing reminds that –as noted in the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2007 Gonzales ruling upholding the federal ban on partial-birth abortions– states have the right to pass abortion restrictions that (1) protect and foster respect for the unborn, and (2) regulate the medical profession as to judgment and ethics. Moreover, the amicus continues,

“the abortion method involved in this case is an exceptionally gruesome one, potentially even more so than the ‘partial-birth’ procedure at issue in Gonzales.”

ABORTION METHOD MISREPRESENTED
One method of abortion after the first trimester is induced labor abortions, done mostly in hospital settings. The child is prematurely delivered and dies.

Most other abortions obtained at that gestation are done surgically by “D&E,” in which the birth canal is dilated and the unborn child extracted.

The abortion industry defense of dismemberment abortions has been the claim that “D&E” is safe and used for 95% of second trimester abortions.

However, all D&E abortions are not being banned under the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, model legislation supported by NRLC and first enacted in Kansas.

Dismemberment abortions of still-living unborn children are a subset of D&E method

By design, this law bans only one specific method used upon a still-alive unborn baby. The law is defined as the tearing apart of an unborn child while still alive in the mother; a child who, in the words of U.S, Justice Anthony Kennedy, “dies just as a human adult or child would: It bleeds to death as it is torn limb from limb.” [Stenberg v. Carhart, dissent, 530 U.S. 914, 958-959]

To explain defending a law “requiring fetal demise before dismemberment,” the states authoring this brief insist they

do not intend to sanction abortion generally. They also regret being placed in the incongruous position as advocating for fetal death as a humane alternative to a procedure that should have no place in civilized society.”

ABORTIONISTS NOT FREE TO CHOOSE
States like Kansas that have enacted the dismemberment ban, have heard abortionists rely on the claim that because D&E abortions are “the most common,” that the state dare not ban them. But the state is not banning all D&E abortions, as noted above, a distinction that most media accounts resolutely miss. The multi-state amicus brief notes,

Kansas A.G. Derek Schmidt

“Even when some abortion providers consider a forbidden procedure to be medically preferable, the State’s reasonable resolution of the tradeoffs prevails. Abortion providers instead must work to find abortion methods that are more consistent with respect for life.”

Of course, the ultimate goal is for the Roe regime, and abortions, to end.

In the interim, it is promising that Kansas has emboldened 21 other states in supporting the federal appeal of the block on Alabama’s Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act. According to the amicus,

“By limiting the use of particularly ‘brutal’ abortion procedures, States further respect for life, both in society at large and in the medical profession in particular. They also protect women from the deep grief many of them are likely to feel if and when they later discover exactly how their unborn children were killed.

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Julie Burkhart

Julie Burkhart

Oklahoma– Kansas grieves with you on the sad occasion of last week’s opening of the South Wind Women’s Center in Oklahoma City (SWWC-OC), run by Kansas abortion entrepreneur, Julie Burkhart.

We grieve that more innocent, unborn babies will be brutally destroyed while an exuberant press regurgitates Burkhart’s inane “Trust Women” propaganda, written by their new press agent– a former long-time reporter for the McClatchy-published Wichita Eagle—such as:

  • metro areas without abortion clinics are “underserved communities;”
  • Burkhart’s businesses “provide high-quality health care,” and
  • the public believes her clinic “is going to serve the community well.”

The new clinic will perform abortions up to 21.6 weeks. Burkhart has been predicting for months that it will do “1,500 abortions in the first year, increasing to as many as 3,000 per year after a few years.“

Trust Women Foundation boasted last Monday that it received a $100,000.00 grant from the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock in New York to open more clinics in “underserved communities.” Notwithstanding, apparently, when residents don’t want them opened.

Oklahoma citizens didn’t want another abortion shop. Pro-life prayer vigils are already being held outside SWWC-OC.

In fact, Oklahomans wanted, and achieved, a state ban on dismemberment abortions, although—as in Kansas– the law is being litigated and not yet in effect.

Thus, tragically, many more hundreds of well-developed, fully-formed babies will soon die in excruciating pain when Burkhart’s practitioners use sharp-toothed metal tools to tear them apart, limb from limb, using the gruesome dismemberment method. dismemberment-brochure-art

And to add insult to the barbaric process, Burkhart charges up to $2,000.00 for each dismemberment abortion.

Burkhart says six practitioners will staff SWWC-OC. One is already notorious–  Colleen McNicholas, a traveling ob/gyn employed by Planned Parenthood in St. Louis, Missouri, as well as by Burkhart in Wichita, Kansas.

A fawning May article in Marie Claire began with this chilling data: “By the end of her eight-hour workday, [McNicholas] will have terminated 31 pregnancies.”

Although likely penned by the author to portray McNicholas positively, that sentence betrays the hardened reality of Burkhart’s business:

each hour, four beautiful unborn children will undeservingly suffer grisly deaths. Each hour, Burkhart will reap thousands of dollars in profit.

That’s not health care at all. Nor is it serving the community.

And that is why we grieve.

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"the Hand of Hope" photo by Michael Clancy, 1999

“the Hand of Hope”by Michael Clancy, 1999

Six states have now banned brutal and inhumane abortions that dismember fully formed unborn children.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards signed into law “the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act” last Friday, joining — in order– Kansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Mississippi, and Alabama, whose citizens embraced the necessity of passing this model legislation provided by the National Right to Life Committee.

In coverage of this law, most outlets, particularly  the Associated Press, refuse to even use the term “dismemberment” which is defined in this legislation.  Also unsurprisingly, the media  never challenge abortion supporters to defend the appalling savagery of slicing a living unborn baby to pieces.

Yet, even with biased media coverage, the public understood the gruesomeness of sharp metal tools tearing apart the tiny limbs of well-developed children while in their mothers’ wombs.

A majority of Americans who increasingly describe themselves as pro-life know that abortion is not done on a blob of tissue. Many of them confirmed that understanding after seeing a famous photo of a little hand reaching out of his mother’s womb.

That milestone photograph is called  “The Hand of Hope” taken Aug. 19, 1999 by Michael Clancy. The photo took the world by storm when it first appeared in USA Today on Sept. 7, 1999. The tiny hand of Samuel Armas, at 21weeks gestation, is captured grasping the skilled hand of the doctor performing innovative surgery to correct spina bifida. All this occurs while Samuel was still in his mother’s womb.

“I could see the uterus shake violently and then this little fist came out of the surgical opening,” Clancy recalls. “It came out under its own power. When Dr. Bruner lifted the little hand, I fired my camera and the tighter Samuel squeezed, the harder Dr. Bruner shook his hand.”

Gov. Brownback

Gov. Brownback

Gov. Sam Brownback remarked about that photograph in his May 5, 2015 letter commemorating the signing of the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act in Kansas:

“What a visually impactful moment: the delicate, miniscule hand with each finger and nail, trustingly holding on to the doctor. There is little debate over whether the child in utero is alive; the debate is over whether or not the child is a life worthy of protection.

Clancy’s lens encapsulates so much meaning in that one shot: a vulnerable, functioning, unborn child, not yet ready to survive outside of his mother who nevertheless lies completely at the mercy of the physician’s medical talent—and ethics.

Clancy says he was “pro-choice” before the snapshot, but not afterwards.

He recognized in that one critical moment what was actually at stake in abortion—not a “choice” but a unique and unrepeatable human individual connected to the human community.

Truly, the unborn child developing in the safety of his mother’s womb is absolutely at the mercy of the laws regulating physicians. Preserving the dignity of that relationship between the mother, child and physician dictated that six states prohibit barbaric dismemberment method abortions.

All pro-lifers who have worked so hard to enact the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act —and those in other states yet to do so– would no doubt agree with this thought from Gov. Brownback’s letter:

“Protection is at the heart of this law. Protection of an actively developing baby with his or her unique DNA, and who can be seen thumb-sucking, hand-waving, and smiling in routine sonography. A defenseless child with so much potential.”

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Gov. Brownback signs historic Act

Gov. Brownback signs ban
on dismemberment abortion

The National Pro-Life Religious Council will honor Kansans and Gov. Sam Brownback on Jan. 22 with the National Pro-Life Recognition Award for the enactment of the “Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act.”

The presentation is part of the annual events at the Washington, D.C. March for Life, marking the tragic 1973 U.S. Supreme Court Roe v Wade ruling that legalized abortion and the destruction of an estimated 58 million unborn children.

Fr. Frank Pavone, head of Priests for Life and president of the NPR Council, has announced that Gov. Brownback will be a guest of honor at the prayer gathering at Constitution Hall, 1776 D Street NW, in Washington, D.C., opening with a Catholic Mass at 7:30 a.m., and followed by an interdenominational service from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. The event is free and open to the public, with no tickets required.

Members of the NPR Council Host committee include representatives from the National Right to Life Committee, Family Research Council, Alliance Defending Freedom, Bott Radio Network, and other pro-life groups.

Gov. Brownback released this statement:

“As Governor of Kansas I have signed 15 Right to Life bills reaffirming our commitment that life at all stages is sacred and valuable. I appreciate the efforts of the National Pro-life Religious Council, Priests for Life and their allied organizations in recognizing the people of Kansas and their elected officials at the National Prayer Service. Kansas has enacted legislation protecting unborn children from dismemberment abortions, and I encourage other states to do the same. I ask you, therefore, to join me at this prayer service, so that the action we have taken in Kansas can be an encouragement to similar efforts throughout this great land.”

2015 Rally for Life 2015 Rally for Life urges ban on dismemberment abortion bans

2015 Rally for Life in Topeka

The historic “Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act”  prohibits a gruesome method in which the abortionist tears apart a living, well-formed, unborn child– piece by piece –with sharp metal clamps and scissors.

The draft legislation for the “Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act” was developed by Kansans for Life with the National Right to Life Committee; Sen. Garrett Love (R-Montezuma) was lead sponsor. Public support for the bill was overwhelming and ceremonial bill signings by Gov. Brownback were held in four Kansas cities.

  • The Act is currently blocked in Kansas by a temporary injunction, awaiting a ruling from the State Court of Appeals.
  • Oklahoma passed the Act and it is under injunction in federal court.
  • The Act is being considered in several other state legislatures and has been filed in the U.S.House of Representatives.

The “Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act” was crafted to be upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, with the same reasoning they cited for upholding a ban on partial-birth method abortions in 2007 (emphasis added):

“[W]hen it has a rational basis to act, and it does not impose an undue burden, the State may use its regulatory power to bar certain procedures and substitute others, all in furtherance of its legitimate interests in regulating the medical profession in order to promote respect for life, including life of the unborn.” [Gonzales v Carhart, 550 U.S. at 158]

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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.

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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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.

ABORTION STAFF SURVEYED
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.

STAFF TRAUMATIZED
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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