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Posts Tagged ‘Abortion Clinic Licensure Act’

scientifically human

There is nothing newsworthy in today’s press release from the Guttmacher Institute (the former research arm of Planned Parenthood) asserting that pro-life laws in Kansas are not “science-based.”

Abortion promoters are trying to steer the public away from the absolutely irrefutable scientific fact that each abortion destroys a tiny unborn living member of the human family. That’s the science that matters—and it is demonstrated in every sonogram.

KFL Executive Director Mary Kay Culp commented,

the one truly irrefutable scientific fact in the abortion debate is the humanity of the unborn child; if they come up with a scientific report proving that wrong, we’re all ears.”

As they have regularly done in the past, Guttmacher misstates Kansas law. Kansans for Life has repeatedly reported errors, with documentation, to no avail.

In the state comparison chart, Guttmacher asserts that only two Kansas “provider” provisions are being litigated. However, all four “provider” provisions are part of the 2011 Abortion Clinic Licensure Act, enjoined and not in effect due to litigation stalled in the court of Judge Franklin Theis since June of 2011.

The PR problem the abortion industry faces is the increased pro-life convictions of the voting public, which has strongly elected pro-life legislators, the majority of all sitting governors and the new Trump administration.

Kansans have overwhelmingly supported the laws Kansas has passed. We cringe at our past history as the late-term abortion capital of the nation. It would be a travesty for the Kansas State Supreme Court to believe otherwise as they prepare to issue a ruling on whether our pre-Civil War Constitution contains a right to abortion broader than that created by Roe to Wade.

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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.

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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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baby with dollarsThe periodic complaint/report on money spent to defend pro-life laws in Kansas was posted by the Associated Press Tuesday, part of the continuing mainstream media’s ‘framing’ that there are too many new pro-life laws with big legal price tags.

The first story was headed, “$1.2 million paid in attorney fees to defend anti-abortion laws.”

“To defend” seems like a hopeless challenge, doesn’t it? The truth is, the state has won all lawsuits concluded so far, as well as additional concessions in ongoing litigation!

Since not even one legal victory was mentioned in the story, I requested a correction. Kansans for Life asserted that the public has little interest in the names of the law firms, but rather deserves at least a hint of the results of their tax expenditures. A.P.’s updated story was reworded slightly to include that two laws had been “successfully defended.”

But beyond the frustrations of incomplete and inaccurate mainstream media reporting about abortion, it’s important to understand the context of those legal fees and why pro-lifers should not– and do not– fear passing sound laws.

Since his inauguration in January 2011, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has signed nine pro-life laws and four state budgets that include pro-life provisions. Subsequently, abortion interests have filed 10 legal challenges to three laws and one budget provision but Kansas is the big winner. Let’s examine the lawsuits in three segments.

KANSAS’ LEGAL WINS

1. Of the nearly $1.2 million total over four years’ time, $425,000 was expended opposing Planned Parenthood of Kansas-Mid Missouri. Kansas’ position prevailed in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals after some very bad examples of judicial activism in the lower court. This necessitated high-powered legal skills.

U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp

U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp

Upheld was the Huelskamp-Kinzer provision to the annual Kansas budget. Instead of going to Planned Parenthood, nearly $400,000 in annual federal Title X family planning is now designated as prioritized to full-service public clinics and hospitals that serve the patients from infants through the aged, instead of going to the special interest businesses.

On balance, the cost was a good investment, when considering the legal fee is nearly recouped in one year’s time, and then every year after when the Title X money is renewed.  Not to mention that tax money is dedicated to true health care, not abortion referrals.

KFL President Lance Kinzer

KFL President Lance Kinzer, former House Judiciary chair

2. In 2011, Kansas passed a law preventing private healthcare dollars from automatically paying for elective abortions. To secure that victory cost $149,000 in legal fees. The plaintiffs (one a Planned Parenthood employee and one a N.O.W. lobbyist) dropped their suit in May 2012, before the trial began.

It’s hard to estimate overall cost benefits in this one, but clearly the win goes to employers who don’t have to compromise their conscience by providing employee insurance that would be used for abortions, and lessening the amount available to cover bona fide employee medical needs. The victory also helps rebut activists’ demand that abortion be “mainstreamed” into medicine.

3. The remaining $620,000 of the $1.2 million in legal expenses has been used to deal with a variety of attempted injunctions and lawsuits against two laws (a clinic licensure law and an “omnibus” law covering a variety of restrictions).

During extensive and ongoing negotiations, Kansas’ extremely knowledgeable attorneys forced the abortion team to abandon some of their initial challenges, including opposition to informed consent materials about the humanity and pain-capability of the unborn.

These are important concessions that contribute to the overall national field of abortion litigation. Once a claim is rescinded in one court, it carries possible precedential weight in other courts.

In 2011, Kansas enacted a long-sought abortion clinic law initiating state licensure, inspection, and injury reporting. It also required abortionists to have local hospital privileges and banned “webcam” abortions.

Two Kansas City-area abortion clinics sued in federal court. When they lost their bid for a temporary injunction in federal court, they tried to charge Kansas $220,000 for 6 weeks’ legal work! (That makes the 3 year fee of $425,000 in item #1 look like a steal by comparison!) But Kansas’ defense lawyers prevailed and the abortion attorneys did not get that money.

Unfortunately, an activist state court did block the licensure law on behalf of the abortion father-daughter duo doing business as the Center for Women’s Health. After a long stall, the lawsuit against the licensure law is now moving on a fast track. The state of Kansas has asked the judge to rule out three claims of equal protection infringement, as questions of law.

In 2013, Kansas passed the Pro-Life Protections Act which removed tax advantages for abortionists, updated informed consent statutes and initiated a ban on sex-selection abortions. The same abortionist duo suing the licensure law also sued this law, and secured a temporary injunction on emergency and weblink provisions. Planned Parenthood also worked to get an injunction in federal court on the weblink requirement.

Kansas prevailed in getting both injunctions dissolved, forcing all clinics to post a link to state materials about gestation. Our talented defense lawyers won the first claim against the suit challenging the entire Pro-Life Protections law and further litigation is proceeding in district court.

Legal victories come at some cost, but what price is there for saving unborn children?

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Abortion supporters continue their brazen complaints that Kansas has already spent nearly $480,000 in legal fees defending 3 pro-life laws enacted in 2011.

But it’s those very abortion supporters that are forcing that drain in state resources, for profit and ideological motives, plain and simple.

Let’s look at the three lawsuits and examine what is really at stake.

1. The family planning funding prioritization is a new measure, attempted this year in differing forms by a half dozen states, with Kansas having arguably the strongest legal ground.  Wichita Judge Thomas Marten placed the law on hold by injunction and ordered supplemental money sent to the three businesses that did not meet the new criteria. The Kansas Attorney General has appealed those actions to the 10th Circuit appellate court, and a ruling on the merits of the appeal is expected at any time.

This lawsuit was filed because financially-failing Planned Parenthood branches in Wichita and Hays, and one independent business in Dodge City, were not going to get nearly $375,000 in Title X state subsidies under the new law. No services formerly provided to Kansas women were being eliminated.  In fact, the only change was that the state would only contract for reimbursements with public clinics serving the poor, and in fact, would provide BETTER access to a full range of health care.

This lawsuit is little better than extortion, backed implicitly by the pro-abortion Obama administration and the federal agency that controls Title X money–HHS, headed by former Kansas governor, Kathleen Sebelius.

2. The law banning coverage of elective abortion in private insurance plans without a separately purchased rider, is not new.  It survived past court challenges and has operated in other states, like Missouri, for decades. Part of eastern Kansas has been covered this way by Blue Cross during that time! This law is operating without an injunction, but is headed for trial next year.

This law was sued by the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) ostensibly on behalf of unspecified women who can’t afford to pay for their own abortions.  But the suit is really a steppingstone to changing the “privacy” basis that undergirds the so-called legal right to abortion. The ACLU is still searching for courts willing to rule abortion is healthcare that must be paid for under the constitutional guarantee of “equal protection.”

Although abortion lawyers have pressed this “gender equality” argument unsuccessfully for decades, they are back at it again, at OUR taxpayer expense.

3. The third lawsuit (actually a series of 3 suits) has blocked the new law instituting state licensure, oversight and inspection of abortion businesses sought by Kansans since 2002. Currently there are only 3 abortion sites in Kansas, all in the Kansas City area, although there are threats to open a new one in Wichita this summer.

After a public fuss (and a suit they filed and then dropped) the Overland Park Planned Parenthood met the new minimum standards for licensure. The other two clinics didn’t, and sued the preliminary agency regulations from KDHE, while securing an injunction. So the law is not currently in effect.

Now get this: the pro-abortion voices complaining loudly about legal fees, themselves wasted a bundle when they filed suit in federal court in July, and then switched their game plan to file suit in state court in November. So last week, lawyers for the 2 clinics formally dropped the first lawsuit and are itemizing months of legal expenses– which will get paid by state taxpayers– if the abortion team prevails in the newer suit.

Next post: the real reason the abortion clinics’ lawyers changed from federal court to state court.

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Christin Gilbert, 2005 Wichita abortion death

Overland Park, Kansas abortionist, Herbert Hodes, traveled to Topeka Wednesday to testify against the abortion clinic licensing bill, but while doing so, revealed something neither the committee nor the public has ever heard–that there have been 5 maternal abortion deaths in Kansas over the past 5 years!

This bombshell admission alone should prove why Kansas needs the Abortion Clinic Licensure  Act, HB 2337, which was the subject of the House Federal & State Affairs committee hearing that continues today.

So, an abortionist who came to oppose clinic licensure inadvertently gave us the very reason to pass this legislation!  This begs the question if there were that many maternal abortion deaths, how many abortion injuries are occurring ?

HB 2337 and its twin in the Senate, SB 165, are essentially the same legislation to regulate clinics that former Gov. Sebelius vetoed twice, claiming it was unneeded in 2003 and that it unfairly singled out abortion in 2005.

HB 2337 creates abortion incident reporting to KDHE and professional boards such that the death of an aborted mother is reported within 1 business day and other injuries within 10 business days.

Unfortunately, the hearing was on a shortened time frame and committee members wanting to further question Hodes learned he would not be able to return Thursday. Some of the questions to pose would be:

1) How did Hodes hear of these deaths, and were any from his business?

2) How many deaths were reported to the state Board of Healing Arts? Kansans for Life has (more…)

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