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PBS gives inside look at top fetal surgery centerI was dog-tired last night, but I had been intrigued by the promos earlier this week for the PBS three-part special, Twice Born. The trailer starts out with this teaser:

“Thirty years ago, a group of pediatric surgeons came up with a radical idea. In the history of mankind the idea had never been proposed. At medical conferences few would take the idea seriously. The idea was this: to treat birth defects while babies were still in the womb.”

I tuned in. This “first-ever look inside the Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and its unique Garbose Family Special Delivery Unit” did not disappoint.

The first installment introduces the audience to key physicians and several patients at the Center. The Center specializes in “pregnancies complicated by birth defects” with an impressive claim: “More than 1,224 patients have undergone fetal surgery at our Center, the largest number of any hospital in the world.”

Twice Born focuses on treating serious medical problems detected in the womb, including invasive tumors, spina bifida, and twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome. The first show was well-paced and personalized the staff, particularly one physician whose daughter has a degenerative disease.

But beyond the pathos of the medical conditions depicted, and beyond the admiration for the dedication and compassion of the medical staff, a deliberate feeling kept rising in me: THIS is what medicine naturally aspires to…how marvelous…how noble! This is what physicians SHOULD be doing!

And I got teary-eyed–but not just because of the sad stories. No, my emotion derived from all the horrific things done to wonderfully developing babies in the womb that I’ve had to contemplate and explain as part of our state’s campaign to end dismemberment abortion.

The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act has passed both houses of the Kansas Legislature and awaits only the promised signature of pro-life Gov. Sam Brownback.

As part of the educational campaign, I’ve learned how these D& E/ dismemberment abortions are done: a living unborn child is demolished piece by piece inside the anesthetized mother, who is almost certainly unaware of the cruelly painful death being inflicted on her child. And then the “trained abortion specialist” coldly stares at the shredded body parts and reconstructs the tiny unborn child into a tray.

How did these abortionists get to the place where the unborn baby is reduced to a project to be heartlessly disassembled? How did they stray so far from the integrity of the fetal surgeons at the Children’s Hospital?

At one point they all attended similar medical schools. Ironically, Philadelphia is the very same town where notorious abortionist Kermit Gosnell did his grisly business! Yet the two kinds of physicians –fetal surgeons and abortionists– might as well live on different planets.

In the trailer to Twice Born, The Center’s Dr. N. Scott Adzick says

“We’re driven by trying to find solutions to those unsolved problems. It’s a miracle and a privilege to take care of patients. Babies are the future, what can be more compelling than a baby?…gosh!”

We can only hope that the magnificent medicine practiced at the Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment continues to be a beacon that guides and inspires our nation to throw over the madness that currently justifies abortion.

KFL senior lobbyist Jeanne Gawdun congratulates Rep. Brunk, Hutchins & Rubin

KFL senior lobbyist Jeanne Gawdun congratulates Reps. Brunk, Hutchins & Rubin after SB 95 passage

Today by a vote of  98 -26, the Kansas House passed landmark pro-life legislation, Senate Bill 95,”The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act.”

KFL Executive Director, Mary Kay Culp, thanked legislators for their diligence in tackling the issue and enacting a sound law crafted to withstand constitutional scrutiny that will stop a horrific procedure.

After the introduction of the bill in January by lead sponsor, Sen. Garrett Love (R-Montezuma), and 24 Senate co-sponsors, the bill generated immediate grass-roots support and passed the Kansas Senate, 31-9. SB 95 now heads to Gov. Sam Brownback, who has promised his signature.

SB 95 bans a particularly gruesome abortion method in which a living unborn child in her mother’s womb is ripped apart by an abortionist using sharp metal tools. In the words of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, the unborn child, “dies just as a human adult or child would: It bleeds to death as it is torn limb from limb.”[Stenberg v. Carhart, 530 U.S. 914, 958-959]

Model language for SB 95 was provided by the National Right to Life Committee, which made this bill its top state legislative priority. (see their press release here)

SB 95 was carried on the House floor by seasoned pro-lifer, Rep. Steve Brunk (R-Wichita), chair of the Federal & State Affairs committee which held the hearing on the measure. He was assisted on legal questions by another pro-life leader, Rep. John Rubin (R-Shawnee), chair of the Corrections & Juvenile Justice committee.

Pro-life Rep. Becky Hutchins (R-Holton) spoke up for the victim of dismemberment abortion, the “living” unborn child. Then she talked about the “three D’s” associated with such abortions, (depravity, devaluation, and desensitization) as admitted by former abortionist George Flesh:

“Tearing a developed fetus apart, limb by limb, is an act of depravity that society should not permit. We cannot afford such a devaluation of human life, nor the desensitization of medical personnel it requires.”

Once again, opponents of SB 95 talked about anything other than the contents of the bill, mostly complaining that more money should be spent on pregnancy prevention.

Perennial abortion supporter, Rep. Barb Bollier (R-Mission Hills), offered a poorly-worded and unneeded medical exception for “ruptured membranes before 24 weeks.” SB 95 already includes exceptions for the life-of–the-mother and substantial and irreversible physical emergencies.

BACKGROUND
In the 42 years since Roe v. Wade was handed down, the Supreme Court has consistently asserted that States have compelling interests in regulating abortion to preserve the integrity of the medical profession and show respect for the unborn child.

“States also have an interest in forbidding medical procedures which, in the State’s reasonable determination, might cause the medical profession or society as a whole to become insensitive, even disdainful, to life, including life in the human fetus.” [Stenberg v. Carhart, 530 U.S. 914, 961]

Although the Court (in the 2000 Stenberg v Carhart ruling) did not uphold Nebraska’s ban on partial-birth abortions, in 2007 it did uphold the federal ban on partial-birth abortions in Gonzales v. Carhart. In both Stenberg and Gonzales, the justices closely examined the gruesome methods of both partial-birth and D&E/ dismemberment abortions.

“Those who oppose abortion would agree, indeed would insist, that both procedures [partial-birth and D&E] are subject to the most severe moral condemnation, condemnation reserved for the most repulsive human conduct” [Stenberg v. Carhart, 530 U.S. 914, 963

In Stenberg Justice John Paul Stevens, an abortion supporter, compared partial-birth abortion to dismemberment abortion—not to oppose either but to make the case that if the state had an interest in preventing one, it also did in preventing the other. He wrote “that the State furthers any legitimate interest by banning one but not the other, is simply irrational.” [Stenberg v. Carhart, 530 U.S. 914, 946-947]

Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsburg, also an abortion supporter, said in Gonzales that both methods “could equally be characterized as ‘brutal,’involving as it does ‘tear[ing] [a fetus] apart’ and ‘rip[ping] off’ its limbs.” [Gonzales v. Carhart, 550 U.S. 124, 181, 182]

The simple truth is D&E dismemberment abortions are as brutal as the partial-birth abortion method, which is now illegal in the United States.

Unborn child. 16 wks

Unborn child. 16 wks

Kansas is days away from a House vote on Senate Bill 95, the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act. The bill has already passed the Kansas Senate, 31-9, where pro-abortion senators refused to discuss the particulars of the abortion method (see here) which kills a baby by tearing her apart, limb from limb.

Looking ahead to see how the law might fare at the highest court, of great relevance to SB 95 are the two U.S. Supreme Court partial-birth abortion rulingsStenberg v Carhart (2000) and Gonzales v Carhart (2007).

Stenberg struck down Nebraska’s partial-birth abortion ban. Gonzales upheld the federal partial-birth abortion ban. Justice Anthony Kennedy was on the losing side in 2000 and the winning side in 2007.

In both cases, Justice Kennedy consistently blasted avoidance of describing what was actually occurring during both partial-birth and D&E /dismemberment abortions. Writing for the dissent in Stenberg, Kennedy asserted it was

necessary at the outset to set forth what may happen during an abortion… citizens [should examine] these grave and serious issues, as they must if we are to progress in knowledge and understanding and in the attainment of some degree of consensus.”

Kennedy faulted the Stenberg majority for exalting abortionists’ preferences and omitting

“the perspective of a society shocked when confronted with a new method of ending human life… The State’s constitutional authority is a vital means for citizens to address these grave and serious issues.

Kennedy also exposed the gruesome details of the D&E/ dismemberment method in his Stenberg dissent:

“As described by Dr. Carhart, the D&E procedure requires the abortionist to use instruments to grasp a portion (such as a foot or hand) of a developed and living fetus and drag the grasped portion out of the uterus into the vagina. Dr. Carhart uses the traction created by the opening between the uterus and vagina to dismember the fetus, tearing the grasped portion away from the remainder of the body…. [until the unborn baby] ‘bleeds to death as it is torn limb from limb… In Dr. Carhart’s words, the abortionist is left with ‘a tray full of pieces.’” 

Abortionist Carhart, retains a Kansas medical license

Abortionist Carhart, retains a Kansas medical license

It is precisely this inhumane D&E/ dismemberment method which Kansas wants banned with SB 95.

Seven years later, writing for the majority Gonzales opinion that upheld the federal partial-birth abortion ban, Justice Kennedy penned,

[abortionists] acknowledged that they do not describe to their patients what [the D&E and partial-birth] procedures entail in clear and precise terms’) …[yet] “it is precisely the way in which the fetus will be killed that is of legitimate concern to the State.”

While the Court called abortion details important for public consideration, long-time abortion promoters David Grimes and Carol Joffe praised the suppression of that information Feb. 19 (see here). They wrote

“D&E shifts the emotional burden of the procedure from the woman to the physician, and that is entirely appropriate. One of our most important roles as physicians is to ease suffering, both physical and emotional. The specifics of abortion methods can be unpleasant…”

This is a stunning rebuke of the “choice” slogan! It praises a paternalistic denial of facts as “appropriate” for women considering D&E/ dismemberment abortion—something physicians wouldn’t dare do with patients facing other invasive medical procedures.

SHOCK FOR POST-ABORTIVE WOMEN
Hiding what happens in abortion is harmful to public policy-making. But also consider how shocking and profoundly disturbing the truth would be for women who have already obtained a D&E/ dismemberment abortion—no matter how long ago. It is likely the case that most of these women are only now learning what a horrible, painful death was inflicted on their unborn child!

Modern science makes that realization more palpable and more undeniable. Ultrasound technology and fetal medicine confirm how very developed is the unborn child in the second trimester– which is the age when many D&E/ dismemberment abortions are obtained. Excerpts (see here) from the Kansas Health Department “Woman’s Right to Know” handbook  explain:

Unborn child, 20 weeks

Unborn child, 20 weeks

At 14 weeks, the unborn child now produces a wide variety of hormones. Also, the arms reach final proportion to body size.
By 15 weeks, the entire unborn child, except for parts of the scalp, responds to light touch, and tooth development is
underway.
By 18 weeks, the unborn child will release stress hormones in response to
being poked with a needle.
By 20 weeks,
the larynx, or voice box, moves in a way similar to movement seen during crying after birth.

Did women know these gestational development facts before assenting to a D&E/ dismemberment abortion? Unlikely–since abortionists themselves have admitted in federal trials that they hid the gruesome details of the procedure, and current abortion supporters approve of that suppression.

When it comes to exposing that the action of D&E/ dismemberment abortion is to rip limbs and tear organs from living, unborn children, Justice Kennedy was correct to claim (in Gonzales) that “D&E is a procedure itself laden with the power to devalue human life.”

Kris Neuhaus

Kris Neuhaus

Remember the Kansas abortionist who over a period of seven years “rubber-stamped” post-viability abortions at the Wichita abortion clinic of the late George Tiller?

Ann Kristin (Kris) Neuhaus is her name and the Kansas Board of Healing Arts is having one heck of a time getting her state license permanently revoked.

This past January, the Board issued a second revocation against Neuhaus. Undaunted, Neuhaus returned to the court that overturned the first revocation. On March 3,

attorneys for Neuhaus petitioned Shawnee County Judge Franklin Theis to block the Board’s second (the new) revocation and dismiss the legal expenses that she had been assessed.

A little history: In April 2010, the Board initiated legal action to revoke the medical license of Neuhaus for failure to provide “standard of care” and professional record-keeping for 11 teens aged 10-18 who had obtained third-trimester abortions from Tiller in 2003.

The role Neuhaus was supposed to play under the law was that of an independent “check” on post-viability abortions by providing bona fide second opinions on maternal health.

At that time, Kansas banned all post-viability abortions except under rare occasions threatening maternal life or substantial and irreversible “harm.” But the legislative intent was blown sky high when a pro-abortion Kansas Attorney General ruled that the “harm” could be “mental.”

Tiller testified under oath about the details of his arrangement with Neuhaus. He said he had called over 100 Kansas physicians but none were willing to do such referrals for him.

Tiller said he was connected to a financially desperate Neuhaus who was willing to provide the legally required mental health referrals using an online “Psych-Lite” diagnostic tool. (Neuhaus was never trained as a psychiatric consultant.)

What actually transpired, however, was that the “independent” referral from Neuhaus came after she interviewed abortion-seekers (almost exclusively from out-of-state) inside Tiller’s clinic just minutes before the procedure was initiated! All this was verified in a Wichita trial record from May 2007.

The Board charged Neuhaus with improperly evaluating those vulnerable girls and breaking state regulations requiring a proper health record for each patient. After extensive hearings by Administrative Law Judge Edward Gashler, the final order of revocation against her license was issued in July 2012 for “professional incompetence” and “failing to meet minimum requirements for maintaining records.”

Neuhaus appealed the order to a pro-abortion district court—that of Judge Theis. In March 2014, Theis overturned the Board’s revocation, concluding it was too “harsh” a penalty for Neuhaus’ atrocious record-keeping. Theis also disagreed with the finding of incompetence and ordered another review by the Board.

This past January, the Board issued

 a second revocation against Neuhaus on the single issue of incomplete medical files for those 11 teens. This was her “third strike” said the Board;

she had been cited in past years for improper patient documentation and had violated her legal stipulation to amend her ways.The Board order characterized her as stubborn and “incapable of successful rehabilitation,” and assessed legal costs at just under $32,000.

But earlier this month Neuhaus petitioned Judge Theis to again block the Board’s revocation and dismiss the legal expenses.

The saga continues.

Rep. Couture-Lovelady

Rep. Couture-Lovelady

Rep. Steve Brunk

Rep. Steve Brunk

As grassroots support swells, Kansas is moving quickly to enact the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act (SB 95). The bill has already passed in the Senate, 31-9, and a House committee, 14-6.

In a D&E/dismemberment abortion, a living unborn child bleeds to death as she is ripped apart by metal tools inserted inside her mother’s womb.

SB 95 takes into consideration some of the reasoning the U.S. Supreme Court used in 2007 in upholding a ban on partial-birth abortions, including this statement:

“Congress stated as follows: ‘Implicitly approving such a brutal and inhumane procedure by choosing not to prohibit it will further coarsen society to the humanity of not only newborns, but all vulnerable and innocent human life, making it increasingly difficult to protect such life.’ The Act expresses respect for the dignity of human life.” [Gonzales v. Carhart, 550 U.S. 124, 156-157]

What appears to be the all-but-inevitable passage of SB 95 has produced such a terror among abortion supporters that they are alleging the bill impinges on OB-GYN healthcare– which is demonstrably untrue.

Unable to defend the indefensible, a new low in cynical politics was observed Wednesday. An unwavering pro-abortion Representative tried to use pro-life language as a “poison pill.”

In the Kansas House Federal State Affairs committee debate on SB 95, Rep. John Wilson (D-Lawrence), tried –and failed–to sabotage the bill with language drafted to “ban abortions after a heartbeat is detected.”

The Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Elise Higgins, was asked to weigh in by the committee vice-chair, Travis Couture-Lovelady (R-Palco). But she refused to endorse the “Wilson Heartbeat amendment” language.

Couture-Lovelady later told the press , ”[Wilson is] a pro-choice representative and he said so, his motive was to kill the bill.”

The media labeled Wilson’s action as “provocative.” It was evident that he wanted pro-life representatives to feel conflicted.

Chairman Steve Brunk (R-Wichita) clarified the “politics” at play, particularly for the freshmen members of the committee. He reminded that legalized abortion is a creation of the Court and even though he was personally supportive of reaching a new benchmark under a Heartbeat ban, such legislation deserved its own hearing as a stand-alone bill after future input from national pro-life legal advisors.

Rep. Joe Scapa (R-Wichita) asked whether Wilson would support a stand alone Heartbeat bill, but Wilson dodged a direct response.  After his insincerity was clarified, the committee voted down the amendment, with some members re-iterating their support for the goal of maximum protection for the unborn.

Rep. Bud Estes (R-Dodge City) pointed out how the debate had strayed from the content of the bill–the inhumane treatment of the unborn child. Of course, this is exactly the aim of abortion advocates who revel in press coverage that replays side issues and ignores talking about what abortionists are doing to unborn children.

SB 95 passed out of the Fed-State committee 14-6 with 2 pro-life committee members absent, and awaits scheduling for debate on the House floor.

Legislators are well supported in focusing on the actual cruelty of dismemberment abortion. Speaking on behalf of the majority of the U.S Supreme Court, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote:

“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 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. 124, 158,159]

Lt. Gov Colyer

Lt. Gov Colyer

The Kansas Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, SB 95, passed out of the House Federal and State Affairs committee this morning.

The committee rejected a disingenuous 19 page amendment from pro-abortion Rep. John Wilson (D- Lawrence) and passed the bill 14-6 with two absent.

The House will take up the measure for a floor vote, possibly next week. The Senate has already passed the bill and Gov. Sam Brownback has promised to sign it.

Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer offered testimony in support of SB 95 on Monday, saying no issue in the 2015 session was more important than adhering to the sanctity of life.

“It is remarkable to think anyone could oppose prohibiting a tortuous act that literally dismembers an unborn child limb-by-limb. …just as in the case of partial birth abortion, even many of those who may consider themselves “pro-choice” cannot allow a gruesome procedure like dismemberment abortions to occur in our state.”

SB 95 bars the inhumane and nearly inconceivably painful D&E method of abortion in which the abortionist tears apart a living unborn child in the womb with sharp metal tools.

The legislation was provided by the National Right to Life Committee and tailored for Kansas. It takes into consideration some of the reasoning the U.S. Supreme Court used in 2007 in upholding a ban on partial-birth abortions. In Gonzales v. Carhart, the High Court said,
” 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. 124, 158)

Michael Schuttloffel

Michael Schuttloffel challenged SB 95 opponents

Senate Bill 95, the “Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act,” was the topic of the Kansas House Federal State Affairs committee this morning. But only pro-life proponents actually discussed the dismemberment abortion procedure in clear language while testimony from opponents neither mentioned the procedure by name or explained what takes place.

The measure has already passed the state Senate on a vote of 31-9.  Pro-life Gov. Sam Brownback (R) has promised to sign this bill. Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, M.D. testified in person in support of SB 95.

Speaking in opposition to SB 95 were essentially the same few abortion defenders who came to the first hearing on the bill in the Senate. They were utterly bereft of meaningful testimony, including Elise Higgins, the lobbyist for Planned Parenthood and Julie Burkhart, Wichita abortion business owner.

Rather than talking  about what happens in a dismemberment abortion–  arms, legs, and other body parts are torn off a baby until she dies–the message of opponents was to allege that the bill tied abortionists’ hands from using the safest method and could lead to costly legal fees when the law is challenged in court.

They noted that Kansas has already paid over a million dollars defending pro-life laws but opponents of SB 95 failed to mention that Kansas has won all completed lawsuits and is narrowing the final two still in progress.

But there were two individuals today whose attitudes did not likely win the hearts and minds of committee members.

One wrote that she had needed to undergo repeated “D&C” procedures years ago.  (A D&C  is when a gynecologist scrapes the uterine walls.)

In oral testimony, she incorrectly charged that SB 95 would have prevented her from getting the treatment she needed. But a D&C is not an “D& E” which is an intentional grasping and ripping of body parts of the unborn child.

She wagged her finger at the committee, accused them of oppressing one gender (women), and lectured  them that the issue is too “private” for their consideration.

Actually, the U.S. Supreme Court, in consideration of the methods of partial-birth and dismemberment abortions,  has said that legislatures are the appropriate factfinders– and that if clear language is not used, the public is disserved!

Another witness told the committee that the state had no business creating laws that restricted abortion because “For some women, happiness and even basic survival is dependent on not having a child.”

The eugenic flavor of her comments prompted Rep. Jan Pauls (R-Hutchinson) to gently probe whether the witness was really advocating that babies were better off being aborted than being born into poverty?  The witness basically answered yes.

She also asserted that “this bill caters to a specific religious perspective on when life begins.” This dodge was predicted (and answered) in earlier comments that morning from Michael Schuttloffel, director of the Kansas Catholic Conference:

“[Abortion supporters regularly assert in these hearings that the humanity of the unborn] is a philosophical or religious question, not a scientific question. So I want someone to explain to us today the science of how this is NOT a human being. This unborn child is alive. She has arms, legs, her own heartbeat, her own brainwaves, her own blood, often a different blood type from the mother, and her own human DNA What is this– if it is not a human being?

I really think [opposing] legislators–before they vote against this bill –should go visit an abortion clinic and see the results of a dismemberment abortion. [After] the [abortionist] removes all of the pieces of the baby to make sure they haven’t left anything behind…”

At the close of her testimony, Burkhart did invite legislators to visit “her” clinic, saying she is “very proud of it.” Do you want to bet she shows visitors the facility and not the tray with dismembered baby parts?

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