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Judge Franklin Theis

Judge Franklin Theis

With a “refusal to rule” late Friday afternoon, a local judge continues to thwart state oversight of abortion facilities as permitted under the pivotal 1992 Planned Parenthood v Casey U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

To the consternation of pro-lifers, the 2011 Kansas abortion clinic licensure law remains blocked in the Topeka court of District Judge Franklin Theis.

On Friday afternoon, Judge Theis denied the state of Kansas’ request that he rule on whether the law discriminated against women, as alleged by the litigants, the Overland Park Center for Women’s Health [CWH].

Attorney Sarah Warner, representing the office of Attorney General Derek Schmidt, explained that

the litigants’ “equal protection” claims as a reason to overturn state abortion laws had been rejected 20 times by the U.S. Supreme Court going all the way back to 1977.

In other words, failed arguments should be dismissed.

Warner also told Judge Theis that the Supreme Court has upheld the state’s ‘compelling interests’ in regulating the medical profession and in insuring the health and safety of women inside abortion clinics. Warner referenced the ”jaded” history of unregulated practitioners. She noted that the murder trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell had unfolded during the law’s passage, adding further evidence of the need of such regulation.

Theis listened to the state argument for nearly an hour, then to the short (approximately seven-minute-long) rebuttal from one of CWH’s five seated attorneys.

Judge Theis then restated his initial position–that “he needs facts” and that both sides should continue to plan for trial. “I don’t think you can make a decision without learning the total picture,” Judge Theis said.

In other words, he ducked the critical question he was supposed to answer: whether certain ‘already settled’ claims should be eliminated and focus on whether the state had indeed issued ‘rational’ medical facility oversight.

THREE LAWSUITS FROM ONE CLINIC
At the conclusion of his remarks, Judge Theis mentioned the ‘elephant in the room.’ This was an allusion to the injunction against Senate Bill 95–the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act– in which Larry Hendricks, another district court judge, shockingly held that the Kansas state Constitution contains a right to abortion. That request for an injunction was also filed by CWH.

CWH, the father-daughter duo

CWH, the father-daughter duo of Herb Hodes & Traci Nauser

Judge Theis.commented about the importance of whether such a ruling is upheld, and the fact that it could be headed to the state supreme court, which obviously would have an impact on this clinic law.

Also noted in the hearing was the third lawsuit in yet another district court—also filed by CWH—against the 2013 Kansas Pro-life Protections Act. Although that law is not blocked, the lawsuit challenging it also claims there is a state constitutional right to abortion.

Thus all three suits are linked to the appeal to the Dismemberment injunction ruling in which a single judge believes a hitherto undiscovered right to abortion exists in the Kansas state constitution.

BACKGROUND ON THE LAW
The comprehensive abortion facility licensure law would apply to hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, and physician offices in which 5 or more elective abortions were performed in a month. The law requires incident reporting, state health inspections, minimum building codes and local hospital privileges for practitioners.

While the law has been stalled, specific provisions defining abortion “for medical emergencies” and in-person physician delivery of abortion pills have been changed in the last two legislative sessions.

The clinic licensure law had immense public support after decades of abortion malpractice including deaths of 5 women following abortions by Kansas-licensed abortionists. A nearly identical licensure law had twice been passed and vetoed in 2003 and 2005 under former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.

Videotaped evidence was released today showing a top Planned Parenthood abortionist discussing their selling of baby parts and how they adapt their abortion methods to better obtain certain baby organs, including intact brains. Read more here.

At this point, it is unknown which states besides California are involved, but trafficking in baby parts from an abortion (or stillbirth) is a level 2 nonperson felony under Kansas law. Kansas law also prohibits using the partial-birth abortion method and not giving medical assistance to any babies born alive during abortion.

The hypocrisy and self-serving nature of the abortion industry is revealed in this recent video, particularly in light of claims made by defense attorneys challenging the new Kansas ban on dismemberment abortions.

First, to remind the reader: a dismemberment abortion is described in Kansas and Oklahoma law as one in which a still-alive unborn child inside the mother’s womb is ripped apart in pieces by the abortionist’s sharp metal tools until he or she bleeds to death.

The Kansas law banning such abortions was blocked from going into effect July 1 by an injunction obtained under Shawnee County Judge Larry Hendricks for the Overland Park father and daughter abortionist duo doing business as the Center for Women’s Health (CWH). The state Attorney General is appealing that ruling.

CWH attorneys claim that dismemberment abortions are indispensable for women’s health and that any other abortion method endangers women. But today’s baby parts video expose shows certain abortionists are profiting twice from such second trimester abortions with a secondary fee ($30-$100) for each organ or body part.

In the video, the highest-ranking abortionist for Planned Parenthood breezily recounts how easy it is with ultrasound guidance to prevent crushing the desired baby parts with forceps while still completing the abortion. Yet in court filings, CWH claims that their choice of abortion method is dictated only by the woman’s safety.

Even today, all three Kansas abortion business websites list the so-called “description” of the dismemberment method (called D&E) as one in which the “pregnancy is removed.” This is so dishonest because a living unborn baby—not a “pregnancy”– is physically yanked apart, piece by piece, and reassembled in a basin to examine to insure no parts are left in the mother.

And now, we have great reason to believe that some of those pieces may be specifically targeted for resale! Imagine the horror for women who are not only learning that their past abortions actually tortured their living baby but that certain tissues and organs from their son or daughter were a second source of profit for the abortionist.

Shawnee District court judge Larry Hendrick

Shawnee  County District Court Judge Larry Hendricks

A state district court this morning in Topeka issued an injunction that bars the first-in-nation Kansas Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act [Senate Bill 95] from going into effect July 1.

Judge Larry Hendricks granted the block, which was filed and argued by the national Center for Reproductive Rights, on behalf of the Overland Park Center for Women’s Health –that has sued two other Kansas pro-life laws, still in litigation.

The Kansas Attorney General’s office had defended SB 95 as well-founded on U.S. Supreme Court language that upholds the states’ right to show respect for life inside the mother and to insure the integrity of the medical profession which it regulates.

As defined in SB 95, a dismemberment abortion is performed when sharp metal tools are used to grab and yank off limbs of a living, well-formed, unborn child inside the mother’s womb. Unfortunately, today’s hearing completely omitted the procedure’s description, and focused on dry legal points as if debating a parking lot boundary line.

Kansans for Life executive director, Mary Kay Culp, commented, “Kansans were outraged to learn of this barbaric method of shredding apart innocent unborn children and they will hold the judiciary responsible for rejecting the validity of this duly-passed law.”

In this morning’s hearing, Judge Hendricks totally echoed the abortion industry claim that the federal “right” to an abortion is fully upheld in the Kansas constitution. Hendricks ignores the key 2007 Gonzales ruling, in which the Court said:

“Casey does not allow a doctor to choose the abortion method he or she might prefer …[and physicians] are not entitled to ignore regulations that direct them to use reasonable alternative procedures.”

Even pro-abortion justices of the U. S. Supreme Court have acknowledged that the dismemberment of a living unborn child is as brutal and inhumane a method of abortion as the partial-birth abortion procedure, which is now illegal throughout the country.

SB 95 allowed exceptions for an abortion needed to prevent the death or physical damage to the mother. The federal Partial-birth abortion ban allows only an exception to prevent death of the mother. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld that law in 2007.

Kansas health department statistics had shown a recent 9% rise in use of this inhuman dismemberment method, which was used to tear apart 637 living unborn children in 2014.

Kansans for Life believes that this law will eventually be upheld—mirroring the long, but successful partial-birth abortion battle in which the U.S. Supreme Court eventually acknowledged the validity of pro-life legislation.

stop dismembering posterJuly 1 is the day that SB 95, the historic Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, is supposed to go into effect in Kansas.

But, as always is the case with commonsense pro-life legislation, abortionists seek to win via the courts what they lost in the legislature.

The Overland Park Center for Women’s Health (CWH), run by the father-daughter abortion duo, Herb Hodes and Traci Nauser, filed for an injunction June 1. A hearing on the request is scheduled for Thursday morning in the court of Shawnee County district judge Larry Hendricks.

SB 95 would end a gruesome, barbaric, limb-ripping method of abortion performed on tiny, unborn living girls and boys. State health department statistics for Kansas abortions in 2014 show that this inhumane abortion method was employed 637 times, an increase of 9% from 2013.

Dismemberment abortions are every bit as brutal as the partial-birth abortion method, which is now illegal in the United States.

Indeed, the shocking act of a licensed physician dismembering a child repeatedly with metal tools while inside the mother’s womb is so repulsive that the abortion attorneys filing the CWH legal challenge do not dare even mention the word dismemberment in their pleadings, much less try to justify it.

Instead, abortion filings are claiming this method is too necessary and “expeditious” to prohibit, and that the public and the abortionists will suffer irreparable harm if they are unable to use it. The key CWF expert is a New York abortionist and teaching fellow who says that, without access to dismemberment, women will be subject to “painful, invasive medical procedures.”

Of course, there already is someone suffering from a “painful, invasive medical procedure”—the unborn child.

The abortionists’ attorneys offer the novel legal claim that preventing use of the dismemberment method would “violate the woman’s bodily integrity” by denying her the right to choose what abortion method she and her abortionist prefer.

What about the bodily integrity of the unborn son or daughter torn to pieces while the mother is under anesthesia?

The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act is model legislation drafted by the National Right to Life Committee. The law has also been passed in Oklahoma.

The state of Kansas’ legal filing strongly defends the dismemberment ban and points to the reasoning in the Supreme Court’s 2007 Gonzales v. Carhart decision which upheld the ban on partial-birth abortions:

  1. “The government may use its voice and its regulatory authority to show its profound respect for the life within the woman. ”
  2. “Under our precedents it is clear the State has a significant role to play in regulating the medical profession.”

Abortion attorneys try to spin Gonzales and the 1992 Planned Parenthood v Casey abortion ruling to their own ends–in effect, that Kansas dare not foreclose on a favored method of abortion.

But among other counter-arguments, the Kansas defense team notes, “[T]he U.S. Supreme Court explained that …‘Casey does not allow a doctor to choose the abortion method he or she might prefer …[and physicians] are not entitled to ignore regulations that direct them to use reasonable alternative procedures.’ ”

The state asserts that attorneys for Hodes and Nauser have not demonstrated, “that the alleged irreparable injury outweighs the harm to the State’s well-established interest in promoting human dignity and barring a procedure deemed inhumane.”

The state of Kansas will argue forcefully that no injunction against the dismemberment ban is deserved. We will soon see what the court decides.

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.)

147 studies show abortion-preterm link, but the denial continues

147 studies show the abortion-future preterm birth link, but pro-abortionists deny it.

The too-high rate of preterm births and low birth weight babies continues to plague state health agencies. But veteran pro-abortion apologist Dr. David Grimes assures readers in his recent Huffington post entry that any connection of premature births to abortion is merely an invention of “naive” pro-life enthusiasts.

Graves is brazenly dishonest.

The research into the  effects of induced abortion upon  future preterm births began in 1960 and now there are 147 statistically significant studies showing the connection. Many –if not most– women contemplating abortion wish to do get pregnant in the future. Is it not the essence of “informed consent” to make them aware of the possible consequences of that abortion for a subsequent pregnancy?

In July 2006, The Institutes of Medicine, which publishes several reports each year, issued a report “Preterm Birth, Its Causes, Consequences and Prevention.” The IOM cited abortion as an “immutable” factor for preterm birth.

Immutable means the effect cannot be undone; even smoking as a factor for lung cancer is not immutable. Now, granted that the “immutability” factor is buried on page 517-518 of the report, it’s still a bombshell! Ironically, Grimes was nominated to IOM membership in October 2006. Yet Grimes ignores the IOM finding.

As a trained epidemiologist and prolific author, it is unconscionable for Grimes to write there is only a “weak association” between abortion and an increased risk of subsequent premature deliveries and/or low-weight babies. There is such a high number of studies– including two “gold standard” meta-analyses (also called systematic reviews) in 2009—that demonstrate otherwise.

The APB link is settled science, according to this excerpt (emphasis added) from the invaluable book Complications: Abortion’s impact on Women (Lanfranchi, Gentiles, Ring-Cassidy, 2013)

“Thanks to two recently-published systematic reviews it is now settled science that women who have had one or more induced abortions significantly increase their chances of later giving birth to a preterm or low-birth-weight child.
Shah and colleagues analyzed 37 sound studies, and determined that the adjusted estimate of increased risk of low birth weight births was 24 per cent after one abortion, and 47 per cent after more than one abortion. The adjusted risk of preterm birth — meaning under 37 weeks’ gestation — increased by 27 per cent after one abortion, and 62 per cent after two or more abortions.
Swingle and colleagues reviewed 21 sound studies and concluded that one induced abortion increased the adjusted risk of a subsequent preterm birth by 25 per cent, while two or more abortions increased the risk by 51 per cent (Adjusted risk, means after other variables such as income, age and marital status have been taken account of).
More important, they found that women with prior induced abortions have 64 per cent higher risk of a very preterm delivery (under 32 weeks gestation) compared to women with no prior induced abortions. Both these studies confirm the “dose-response” effect; in other words, the more abortions a woman has, the greater her risk of later having a preterm and/or low weight birth child. Why should this be so? The explanation is that in a surgical abortion the cervix is forced open, thereby weakening it. The more abortions a woman has, the weaker her cervix is likely to become.”

This excerpt belies Grimes’ claim that the relevant science misgroups women, doesn’t screen out other factors, and misunderstands “causation.”

For example, the large Kissler study he dislikes, clearly says, “Observational studies like ours, however large and well-controlled, will not prove causality.” But it adds, importantly, “Health care professionals should be informed about the potential risks of repeat induced abortions on infant outcomes in subsequent pregnancy.”

As a health “professional,” Grimes should stop denying the obvious.

A.G. Derek Schmidt

A.G. Derek Schmidt

As expected, opponents of Kansas’ historic new ban on dismemberment abortion are seeking an injunction in the Shawnee County District Court of Judge Larry Hendricks to prevent the measure from going into effect July 1st.

The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, signed as SB 95 on April 7, defines Dismemberment abortion as

“knowingly dismembering a living unborn child and extracting such unborn child one piece at a time from the uterus through the use of clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors or similar instruments that, through the convergence of two rigid levers, slice, crush or grasp a portion of the unborn child’s body in order to cut or rip it off.

This is a law with overwhelming public support in our state. Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt issued a short comment: “As is our duty, our office will provide for a vigorous defense of the state’s duly enacted law.”  Schmidt allocated funds for this expected challenge.

Monday’s challenge by the Overland Park Center for Women’s Health (CWH)– as well as its earlier two suits in 2011 and 2013– was ostensibly filed to block abortion restrictions from going into effect. However, the even deadlier legal goal is to get a state Supreme Court ruling upholding CWH assertions

that the Kansas state Constitution actually contains a fundamental right to abortion! This kind of ruling would devastatingly undo Kansas’ past pro-life laws.

The Attorney General’s legal team, however, has already responded in past filings that any such claim of an abortion right existing in our pre-Civil War state Constitution is “a fantasy.”

The CWH plaintiffs are the father-daughter abortion duo, Herb Hodes and Traci Nauser. In his submission to the legislature during consideration of SB 95, Hodes wrote that the dismemberment method is “the safest and most expeditious” and, without it, “the sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship” would “be jeopardized.”

They also insist that a ban on an abortion method that brutally and painfully dismembers a living unborn child somehow undermines “women’s autonomy” and “bodily integrity.”

Consider how bizarre an inversion that assertion is! The barbaric ripping apart of a living unborn baby is being demanded in the name of a so-called “sacred relationship” between an abortionist and his client seeking an “expeditious” termination.

There are some very ugly truths revealed in the abortionists’ supporting testimony that will be examined in future posts. Here are a few of the reasons given in Monday’s filings by those battling for the “right” to keep performing inhumane dismemberment abortions:

  • alternate methods using feticide injections require a lot of medical skill and are too “upsetting” for many women;
  • labor-induction methods are more time-consuming and unable to be handled in free-standing clinics.

Which brings us to the matter of the necessary cost of defending our laws. Pro-abortionists inevitably bring this up as if it was the legislature’s fault that they file suit. The media helps them complain by only reporting abortion-related legal expenses without ever inquiring about the costs for other laws being defended by the Attorney General. Kansans for Life asked for a breakout.

The Attorney General’s office responded that their outside legal expenses for all cases totaled $8.14 million from 2011 through 2014. The highest costs went to school funding battles at $1.48 million (18% of total), followed by water rights at $1.41 million (17%), and tobacco settlements at $1.21 million (15%). In fourth place is the defense of pro-life laws at $1.10 million, only 13% of the 4-year total. A variety of other cases make up the balance.

And it is important to remember that the state of Kansas to date has won all completed lawsuits brought by abortion interests.

Kansas will continue to protect the unborn, no matter the price.

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