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Kansans for Life, the state’s largest anti-abortion organization, fought for weeks to maintain a clause in the legislation designed to discourage a court challenge over its ban on drug-induced abortions. The “non-severability” clause is essentially a self-destruct mechanism that would automatically wipe the entire telemedicine law off the books if sometime in the future the abortion ban is struck down.” Click this link to read the story

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     The unborn children won an important victory this last week, and the pro-abortionists demonstrated they were more concerned about promoting abortion than the healthcare needs of the general public. Your pro-abortion senators demonstrated an unprecedented radical pro-abortion ideology by refusing to conference on the telemedicine bill after votes in both the House and the Senate. This refusal may kill a bill that would provide fast, affordable healthcare through telemedicine.  (If you want to see how your Representative or Senator voted see our links below.)

     The debate involved a bill called the Telemedicine Act.  The bill would allow telemedicine, the delivery of healthcare services by video conferencing. The Telemedicine Act established coverage parity between in-person and telemedicine-delivered healthcare services and providers.

     Supporters of the bill indicated that this bill would improve access to health care. Doug Smith, Executive Director of the Kansas Academy of Physician Assistants, said in written testimony before the legislative committee, “Telemedicine services … can significantly improve the level of care provided to all, especially underserved populations. Sunee N. Mickle, Director of Government Relations at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, Inc. said in written testimony before the legislative committee, this bill will create, “…a new mechanism for thousands of Kansans to receive medical care in rural hospitals and from their primary care physicians or their mid-levels.” Mickle indicated the bill would, “… help Kansans receive greater access to the most immediate health care services.“

     Since the purpose of the bill was to save human life, Kansans for Life asked for pro-life language to be added to the bill so that there would be a clear protection for unborn children and that no abortions could be performed by telemedicine. The abortion provision was needed in this broad bill to avoid sowing confusion about any reversal of the Kansas abortion pill protocol, requiring in-person physician delivery of chemical abortions, first passed in 2011 and clarified in 2015, with strong bi-partisan support.

     This provision is needed to insure women are not denied physician exam and confirmation of an ectopic pregnancy when baby is unknowingly developing outside the womb. Ectopic pregnancy is not ended by abortion pills and would remain to grow, rupture, and cause the mother’s death.

     Prolife State Representative Kevin Jones (R-Wellsville), explained his vote by pointing out:

“Telemedicine is an important endeavor, but not if it can be used to murder the future leaders of our State. The proper language must be included in the bill with no compromise. We are Kansans For Life, not Kansans For Life Sometimes.”

     Planned Parenthood performs abortions by telemedicine at 24 locations in the United States and plans to open ten more locations across the country.  With the latest KDHE statistics showing that chemical abortions in Kansas continue to rise, (up from 53% in 2016 to 58% in 2017), and once again higher than the national average of 45%, it was important that the telemedicine bill strongly reaffirm the state’s pro-life position.

     Realizing how important this bill was for thousands of patients needing healthcare, Kansans for Life worked hard to reach a compromise so the bill could pass. Working with other interested parties and stakeholders, Kansans for Life successfully found language that both promoted the bill while prohibiting telemedicine abortion. This version had bi-partisan support and passed the House unanimously.

     This compromise was not good enough for the pro-abortion lobby. The pro-abortionists wanted telemedicine abortions despite the laws protecting the lives of women on the books so they had the committee strip these important pro-life protections and sent the matter to the Senate for approval.

     Here is some background on what the committee did and why it is important. The Conference Committee stripped important pro-life protections and put the bill in a conference committee report. While the conference committee report on S Sub HB 2028 contained language prohibiting the delivery of abortions by telemedicine, it did not contain the clause making the abortion prohibition language non-severable. A non-severablity clause is language inserted in a bill that tells the court if you strike this one provision you must strike the entire bill. The non-severability clause is critical to the abortion language. Without it, the section prohibiting abortions by telemedicine would be struck down by a court. After a court strikes the pro-life language the remaining provisions would promote abortions by telemedicine. With the non-severability clause the abortionist wanting to do telemedicine abortion would not benefit by bringing a lawsuit.

     When Sen. Vicki Schmidt (R-Topeka), made the motion to adopt the conference committee report, pro-life Sen. Ty Masterson (R-Andover), offered a substitute motion to not adopt the report and send the bill back to the conference committee.

    Pro-life Senator Steve Fitzgerald (R-Leavenworth), in supporting the pro-life position stated:

“It is telling that the opponents of including a non-severability clause for the prohibition of abortion by telemedicine say the clause is of no importance as a court will undoubtedly disregard any severability clause and they claim that the prohibition of using telemedicine for abortions is redundant and unnecessary. Yet, they fight, as we see, to exclude the non-severability clause that passed the House unanimously on the pretext that the House conferees would not accept it. The real reason is that they realize that with non-severability it is unlikely that the section on abortion would be challenged in court as the remainder of the bill is too important. The only reason why non-severability is opposed is to prepare for an anticipated suit against the prohibition of abortion by telemedicine. There can be no other reason. They are setting the conditions for that suit. Again, with non-severability it is unlikely that the matter would come before the court as no suit would be brought. Without nonseverability we can expect the proponents of abortion to bring suit as soon as possible. That will endanger all of our anti-abortion laws and that is their ultimate aim.”

     Pro-life Senator Caryn Tyson (R-Parker), later stated in her explanation of vote:

“We must protect LIFE.  Telehealth is the delivery of health-related services via telecommunications, including telephone or internet.  By not including anti-severability language in the telehealth bill, the statute will leave a window open that could allow a judge to interpret law allowing abortions via telehealth.”

     Unfortunately, Sen. Masterson’s motion failed by a vote of 20-20.  You can see how your senator voted here. (A yea vote is a pro-life vote) The Senate then adopted the conference committee report on S Sub HB 2028 and sent it to the House of Representatives for a vote.

     Fortunately for the unborn children, the Senate did not have the last word. In the House, Rep. John Barker (R-Abilene), championed the pro-life cause by offering a substitute motion to not adopt the conference committee report. Pro-life representatives Eric Smith (R-Burlington), Randy Powell (R-Olathe), Susan Humphries (R-Wichita) and Sean Tarwater (R-Stilwell) all spoke on the House floor in support of Rep. Barker’s motion. The motion passed 75-45 and S Sub HB 2028 was sent back to the conference committee. You can see how your representative voted here. (A yea vote is a pro-life vote)

     The legislature reconvenes on Thursday, April 26. Should the Health Conference Committee meet again, it is critical that the non-severability clause specific to the language prohibiting the delivery of abortions by telemedicine be reinstated.

     Now the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee Chair Vicki Schmidt refuses to conference the bill placing at risk all the patients that would benefit from telemedicine.

     Once again, a radical pro-abortion ideology threatens human life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Kansas filed a petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court on the recent 10th circuit ruling concerning Medicaid funding of Planned Parenthood. Last February 21, 2018, the 10th circuit federal appeals court1 ruled against the Kansas attempt to cut off Medicaid funds for Planned Parenthood.2  Various State governments including Kansas attempted to cut Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood after the release of videos about the sale of fetal body parts. Then Governor Brownback had issued orders that Planned Parenthood would not be a provider that could use Medicaid funds as there were other providers available. Our Kansas Government officials alleged in the lawsuit that “Planned Parenthood manipulates abortions to harvest organs with the highest market demand” and that “PPFA executives are willing to negotiate fetal-tissue prices to obtain profits.” Planned Parenthood is one of the nation’s largest abortion providers.

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals decided against the State of Kansas. The State filed for what is called a Writ of Certiorari which is a legal paper asking for the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case. The U.S. Supreme Court is not required to take the appeal. The U.S. Supreme will sometimes take a case for review when the lower courts split as they are on this legal issue. 

Gov. Jeff Colyer said, “Kansas is a pro-life state and Kansans don’t want state dollars being used to support abortion providers. The medical needs of Kansas women will continue to be met by other providers in the Medicaid and KanCare network.” 

We applaud the Kansas government for looking out for taxpayer’s money by questioning contracts made with Planned Parenthood.

 

Footnotes:

  1. Planned Parenthood of Kansas, et al. vs. Anderson 16-3249
  2.  Medicaid funds are not used to pay for abortions with certain exceptions. Starting in 1977, the Hyde Amendment banned the use of any federal funds for abortion, allowing only exceptions for pregnancies that endanger the life of the woman, or that result from rape or incest. The legislature removed from our Kansas state budget direct funding of Planned Parenthood years ago.

 

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Keep Kansas Pro-Life

A KS court has ruled that the KS ban of dismemberment abortion of a living unborn child violates our State constitution.

We will propose a constitutional amendment that would allow the State to pass laws on abortion.

Keep Kansas #Prolife http://ow.ly/zrDw30iCQje

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Is there a need to amend the Kansas Constitution?

Yes. As explained below the Kansas courts have “found” the right to an abortion in the Kansas Constitution. Kansans for Life favors a constitutional amendment to make it clear that the right to an abortion is not in the Kansas Constitution. The constitutional amendment we support will make it clear that the legislature can regulate abortions, including limiting late-term abortions, partial birth abortions, and ban the dismemberment abortion of a living unborn child. This amendment will not change the court rulings that are based on the U.S. Constitution.

Will this proposed amendment ban all abortions?

No. It will make it clear that the right to an abortion is not in the state constitution and the people through their elected representatives have the right to regulate abortion.

What difference does it make?

A constitutional amendment will save thousands of lives. Here is why.

 

The state legislatures have difficulty regulating abortion now because of a series of U.S. Supreme Court decisions limiting the state legislatures from passing laws regulating abortion. The U.S. Supreme Court decisions started with one called Roe v. Wade which ruled state regulation of abortion unconstitutional under the U.S. Constitution.

It is foreseeable the U.S. Supreme Court will reverse itself if our president appoints additional pro-life judges to the U.S. Supreme Court. If Roe v. Wade is reversed, state legislatures would be able to regulate abortion, but not in Kansas, if our Kansas courts “find” the right to abortion in our State Constitution.

This new constitutional right could potentially threaten all our pro-life laws on the books today. If we pass this state constitutional amendment, when Roe v. Wade is reversed the legislature can regulate abortion. So if we pass the amendment thousands of lives will be saved, if we do not thousands of lives will be lost.

 

Background:

Two abortionists sued in Shawnee County District Court challenging the constitutionality of the April 7, 2015, live dismemberment abortion ban claiming there is a right to an abortion in the Kansas State Constitution.  The caption is HODES & NAUSER, MDs, P.A. et al. vs. DEREK SCHMIDT, et.al. Case No. 2015CV490.

The District Court Decision:

The Shawnee County District Judge Hendricks ruled for the Plaintiffs reasoning that provisions of the state constitution have been interpreted to reflect the federal law. The ban in his opinion would violate the federal law, therefore it must also violate the state constitution. Shawnee County District Court Judge Hendricks ruled on a Motion for Preliminary Injunction for the plaintiffs in June of 2015.

Why  this case is unique:

The lawsuit is unique because it expressly made a claim ONLY under the Kansas State Constitution and specifically under Sections 1 and 2 of the Bill of Rights of the Kansas Constitution.

The most relevant part of the Kansas Constitution Bill of Rights states:

Section 1 provides: “All men are possessed of equal and inalienable natural rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

The Kansas Court of Appeals Decision:

The Kansas Court of Appeals in a 78 page, a 26,589-word opinion handed down on January 22, 2016, affirmed with seven Judges voting to affirm, and seven Judges voting to overturn the lower court. Judge LEBEN wrote the opinion joined by Judges PIERRON, MCANANY, BUSER, STANDRIDGE, and ARNOLD-BURGER, JJ.  ATCHESON writes a concurring opinion. Judge Leben concluded that Section One of the Kansas Constitution Bill of Rights effectively duplicates the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, so they apply federal law governing abortion as Kansas constitutional law. MALONE, C.J writes a dissenting opinion joined by Judges GREEN, HILL, BRUNS, POWELL, SCHROEDER, AND GARDNER. The dissenting opinion disagreed pointing out that “[T]he best and only safe rule for ascertaining the intention of the makers of any written law[] is to abide by the language they have used.” showing the Kansas Constitution is not similar to the 14th Amendment.

 The current status:

The case is pending before the Kansas Supreme Court. The case has been fully briefed, and the Court had a hearing in March of 2017.

 

 

 

 

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