Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR)’

smaller baby in bronze judicial scale

Judges, protect the unborn!

Just before the holiday weekend, key arguments were filed with the state Supreme Court of Kansas on behalf of abortionists who want to continue dismembering living unborn babies limb from limb until they bleed to death, and from attorneys for the state Attorney General’s office who are defending the state’s ban on dismemberment abortions.

Last April 2015, Kansas was the first state to pass “The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act.” Four other states have now enacted this law –Oklahoma, West Virginia, Mississippi, and Alabama. The bill is on the governor’s desk in Louisiana and expected to be signed perhaps today.

The federal constitutionality of this ban has not been tested, but it was drafted as the logical consequence of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2007 Gonzales ruling upholding a federal ban on heinous partial-birth abortion method abortions.  Gonzales was based on the reasoning that abortionists’ preferences cannot trump compelling governmental interests in regulating the medical profession and voicing respect for human life and dignity.

Hodes & Nauser

Abortionists Nauser & Hodes

BACKGROUND, KANSAS LAWSUIT
Attorneys from the New York City-based Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) challenged the Kansas dismemberment ban in state court last June on behalf of Kansas City suburban father-daughter abortionists, Herb Hodes and Traci Nauser. They asserted that a hitherto-undiscovered Kansas constitutional foundation exists for abortions—one that precludes banning dismemberment method abortions.

 Judge Hendricks

Judge Hendricks

Shawnee District Court Judge Larry Hendricks found the novel CRR position so appealing that within moments of the oral arguments last July, he imposed an injunction preventing the ban from going into effect.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt sought immediately to undo that injunction with the Kansas state Court of Appeals. (see documents here) However the Court of Appeals rendered a split ruling January 22, allowing these abortions to continue unabated.

AG Derek Schmidt

AG Derek Schmidt

Both sides appealed to the state Supreme Court. (see AG supplemental filing and abortionist supplemental filing) In addition to arguing that the trial judge’s conclusion was in error, Schmidt’s office argued that the appellate ruling was –in fact—actually a 7-6-1 decision and is hopelessly confusing. The state Supreme Court has since agreed to review the matter but the hearing date has not yet been set.

NATIONAL IMPACT
If the claim that abortion is grounded in the state Constitution succeeds, the strategy will undoubtedly be used in every other state. Thus these new legal filings last week are of the utmost importance not just to Kansas but to all states. Of paramount concern is that credence will be given to these abortion attorneys’ claims:

  1. that a state Constitution must be contorted to contain an even more radical basis for unlimited abortion than that of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v Wade ruling;
  2. that the Kansas Bill of Rights language about “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” (that many states share) must elevate woman’s “self-determination” and “decisional autonomy” and ignore the distinct, separate rights of the fully-human unborn child; and
  3. that Courts must be emboldened to ignore plain reading standards and accept “evolving” reasons to invalidate duly-passed legislation.
KS court appeals

Kansas Court of Appeals

On Jan . 22, 2016, seven of the 14 members of the Kansas state Court of Appeals firmly rejected those claims. They acknowledged what seven other appellate judges ignored—that there is an unborn child’s right to life at stake.

“Because the Kansas Constitution provides no substantive due process right to abortion, our legislature is free to restrict abortion procedures to the extent it finds it appropriate.”

Furthermore, they rightly concluded there is no right to abortion “expressly found in the text” of the state Constitution and that “it should not be done by judicial decree.”

Ks Supreme Court

Kansas Supreme Court

As the Kansas Supreme Court begins consideration of this issue, they:

  • should refuse to take the pro-abortion activist stance which invents abortion protection that did not exist in the Kansas pre-Civil War Constitution, nor afterward, and
  • should properly stay within its judicial boundaries and affirm duly-passed laws that protect tiny unborn girls and boys from inhumane torture.

We can only hope and pray this Court will do the right thing.

Read Full Post »

Solicitor General Steve McAlister

Solicitor General Steve McAlister

While Wednesday’s full court hearing of the Kansas Court of Appeals was characterized by one of the 14 judges as “merely a whistle stop on the destination to justice,” it would be a mistake to underestimate the significance of the 90-minute hearing.

At issue is Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s appeal of a temporary injunction granted June 25 by a state court which blocked Senate Bill 95, the “Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act,” from going into effect.

The lawsuit was filed by father-daughter abortionists at the Center for Women’s Health, Herb Hodes and Traci Nauser, who attended the hearing along with a raft of attorneys, reporters, representatives of the other two Kansas abortion businesses, and members of Kansans for Life. Court staff had added extra chairs and a “cheat” sheet with the judges’ photos and names. No electronic devices are allowed, so notes had to be taken with old fashioned paper and pen.

This hearing was focused on the process of awarding an injunction, and not the content of the law enjoined. So it was not too surprising that not one word was uttered describing the horrific abortion dismemberment method that uses sharp metal clamps and scissors to tear apart, piece by piece, a well-formed, living unborn child.

Rather, the focus of the oral argument (45 minutes each, pro and con) was on pretty heavy-duty legal language–for example,  how federal “substantive due process” and “equal protection” (upon which Roe is based) are interpreted in state constitutions.

In simpler terms, will this court uphold the injunction by Shawnee County Judge Larry Hendricks that blocked the dismemberment ban from going into effect?

The Attorney General’s appeal alleges the injunction cannot hold because it is based on

  • a hitherto-undeclared “right to abortion” under the Bill of Rights section of the Kansas Constitution; and
  • misinterpretations of federal abortion decisions.

The pro-life side was represented by State Solicitor General, Steve McAllister– an experienced litigator, constitutional scholar, past law school dean, and former clerk to two U.S. Supreme Court justices.

The attorney for the plaintiffs seeking to keep dismemberment abortions legal was Janet Crepps, from the New-York-based Center for Reproductive Rights. Crepps is an experienced pro-abortion litigator, but she struggled to answer judges’ questions regarding Kansas law.

KANSAS CONSTITUTION PROTECTS UNBORN
The arguments Wednesday dealt nearly exclusively with the Kansas Constitution, and not the federal abortion rulings related to partial-birth and dismemberment abortion methods. McAllister strongly asserted that this court’s task was to assess prior Kansas rulings and not try to guess which way the Kansas Supreme Court might rule on this case in the future –as it is expected they surely will do at some point.

He presented strong evidence that the state framers particularly sought to protect natural rights, not un-enumerated, newly-evolved “rights.”

This stood in opposition to Judge Hendricks’ ruling which asserts a state abortion right that is “fundamental,” broader than that of Roe, and which bars any ban on the dismemberment method.

McAllister noted that abortion was illegal at the 1859 adoption of the state constitution, so how can any authentic reading of it re-interpret abortion to be protected? Moreover, abortion was criminally prosecuted in Kansas up until Roe.  Kansas case law, he argued, has interpreted the state constitution as specifically protective of the unborn child.

As a comparison, McAllister pointed out that doctors had filed—and lost—a lawsuit to find a “right” to practice medicine within the Kansas Constitution, so it seems absurd for abortionists to assert there’s a “right” to abortion found there!

Abortion attorney Janet Crepps

Abortion attorney Janet Crepps

WEAK LEGAL CLAIMS
Several judges pushed Crepps to defend why her clients were seeking to have Kansas courts secure a state right to abortion. Since the intended purpose of a temporary injunction is to prevent “harms” during litigation, they asked how was she really helping her clients by not using the federal court system where Roe already supports abortion claims?

Crepps’ reply was that every citizen has the right to ask the courts to find such individual protection under their state constitution. She noted that interracial marriage and gay rights were not originally acknowledged as rights.

At one point, Crepps was asked to elucidate specifically what was the “undue burden” involved from the Act: was it safety? cost? geographic access?

Crepps responded that the banned method took only one day to complete instead of three and that the Act left only “unreasonable alternatives” for women seeking second-trimester abortions. Throughout the hearing she repeatedly described one alternative method as requiring the insertion of a “spinal, 18-gauge needle into the stomach or vagina” to “cause demise.”

She didn’t say “fetal demise.” Just demise. Did the judges notice she left out the unborn child?

The chief Judge of the appellate court, Thomas Malone, promised a quick ruling but was unable to say when that would occur.

Read Full Post »

UPDATE, May 18:  Court denies abortion attorney fees.
Abortion supporters, including the Wichita Eagle editorial staff (here, here, here, here, and here and now here) take every opportunity to complain that Kansas tax money is being spent on litigation to uphold pro-life laws enacted in 2011. However, evidence now shows that it is actually abortion clinic attorneys who are trying to cheat taxpayers.

The most recent defense filing from the state of Kansas– in the lawsuit attacking a licensure law upheld in other states– is asking the court to deny any fee award to national and local attorneys for two abortion businesses:  the Center for Women’s Health and Aid for Women.

At issue is a “windfall” for clinic attorneys– according to the State– including over $78,000 for ineligible legal work as well as using indefensible attorney rates of $400 per hour.  All but one of the clinics’ attorneys lack ANY experience in this type of litigation, yet they charged nearly double what attorneys experienced in this specialty would charge- $225 per hour.

State attorneys (including the office of Attorney General Derek Schmidt) demonstrated how the court is being wrongly asked to pay (more…)

Read Full Post »

Bonnie Scott Jones (PBS photo)

The Pennsylvania grand jury criminal indictments at the “House of Horrors” abortion clinic of Kermit Gosnell was an extra “real-life” incentive for Kansas to pass abortion facility licensure and regulation this spring.

Yesterday, two Gosnell staffers– neither one trained or licensed for the work they did –each pleaded guilty to a variety of charges, including third-degree murder, taking part in a corrupt organization and administering drugs that caused death.

Medical tasks being “handled” by non medically-trained staff is one way abortion businesses cut costs.

Gosnell’s clinic is one example, but Kansas has had plenty of these ‘mills’, like the Kansas City abortion clinic of Krishna Rajanna.

In 2003, a whistle-blower reported that she and other untrained, low-paid, high-school drop-outs hired as receptionists (one who didn’t even speak English) were essentially running Rajanna’s clinic. The whistle-blower met with the local District Attorney, who afterwards asked for help from the state Board of Healing Arts. The Board disciplinary attorney responded they knew Rajanna had problems, but no law existed to correct them.

Eventually, that clinic was closed in 2005, more as a PR measure to give cover for then-Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to — again– veto an abortion licensure and regulation bill similar to the new law.

CLINICS PROMISE TO SUE REVISED RULES
When the Kansas department of health (KDHE) issued temporary abortion facility regulations for sanitation and patient safety July 1, attorneys for two abortion businesses [Aid for Women,Center for Women’s Health] got federal judge Carlos Murguia to block enforcement of the rules. The one remaining Kansas clinic, Planned Parenthood of Kansas Mid-Missouri, filed a similar lawsuit, but dropped it after they were able to meet the requirements.

Now that permanent regulations, slightly revised from the originals, are published and set to go into effect Nov. 14, the clinics are again announcing they will refile a suit. (more…)

Read Full Post »