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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.

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stop dismembering posterGreat news from Kansas. Friday morning the Senate approved SB 95 the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, by a vote of 31-9.

Crafted by the National Right to Life Committee to withstand Constitutional scrutiny, SB 95 heads to a very receptive House, where it is expected to pass easily, and then on to pro-life Gov. Sam Brownback, who promised to sign this bill.

Lead sponsor Sen. Garrett Love (R-Montezuma) began yesterday’s formal discussion on the Senate floor by recounting how members of the Senate Health committee heard an ex-abortionist describe this method

“of tearing the arms, legs, and other body parts off until a baby dies. Hearing the description made myself and many other members of the committee feel sick [especially] when learning nearly 600 such abortions occur each year in Kansas.”

Sen. Love, the ‘youngest-ever-elected’ to the Kansas Senate, discussed his new baby daughter and coming to love her more through her ultrasound imaging at 12 and 19 weeks gestation, the time frame when most dismemberment abortions occur. He said,

“people in my generation are outraged by this procedure; they see the sonograms of their friends, family and their own babies on Facebook and realize that in those pictures are little, defenseless babies. They need us to defend them because they cannot defend themselves…This is a truly barbaric practice we must end in Kansas.”

Unfortunately, none of the eight Democrat Senators supported the bill and only two strident abortion supporters, Marci Francisco (D-Lawrence) and David Haley (D-Kansas City) chose to speak yesterday. Unsurprisingly, neither discussed the dismemberment method per se.

Sen. Francisco took pains not to use the word dismemberment and referred to ‘the procedure’ as being very safe for women. She offered one amendment that would gut the entire bill replacing it with new language eliminating many pro-life provisions enacted over the past five years. Her amendment was strongly rejected.

Sen. Haley riled up his peers by saying SB 95

  • would cost too much to defend,
  • was purely a political ploy using inflammatory terms of ‘unborn child’ and ‘protection,’ and ‘dismemberment,’
  • was advanced by people who are anti-science,
  • was improperly being debated by male Senators, who have no right to vote on this issue since they can’t ever get pregnant.

He finished by calling himself a  defender of mothers, grandmothers, sisters, daughters who should not be restricted from access to ‘healthcare’ –i.e. abortions.

Of course these are all side issues, which were easily and quickly rebutted. Thus, it was clearly demonstrated in the Kansas Senate, that the pro-abortion side has no substantive defense for the barbaric abortion procedure of dismembering living, tiny unborn babies with sharp metal tools.

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KFL press conferees Jean Gawdun, bill sponsor Sen. Garrett Love and KFL counsel, Jessica Basgall

“Dismemberment ban” introduction featured (L-R) KFL senior lobbyist, Jeanne Gawdun;  bill sponsor, Sen. Garrett Love; and KFL counsel, Jessica Basgall.

Kansans for Life held a press conference Wednesday morning to introduce “The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act.” See TV coverage,  here and here.

The public is largely unaware that the standard method for second-trimester abortions involves the brutal limb-by-limb dismemberment of living unborn children.

According to the KDHE (Kansas Department of Health & Environment) in 2013, 578 such abortions were performed using what is termed the “D & E” abortion (Dilation and extraction) method. (see Table 42, pg 101, here)

D & E “remains the most prevalent and cost-effective method of second-trimester pregnancy termination in the USA,” according to the National Abortion Federation Abortion Training Textbook. A medical illustration of a D&E dismemberment abortion is available here.

Kansans will recoil when they actually comprehend this horrific abortion method, as they did when they learned about the gruesome Partial-Birth Abortion method. Bill sponsor, Senate Majority Whip, Garrett Love (R-Montezuma) said,

“In visiting with my constituents, many have been stunned that this practice (dismemberment) is going on in Kansas and have demanded that it be stopped. I am proud to sponsor this ground-breaking legislation,”

The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act was crafted by the National Right to Life Committee, and defines dismemberment as:

“extracting him or her one piece at a time from the uterus through use of clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors or similar instruments that, through the convergence of two rigid levers, slice, crush, and /or grasp a portion of the unborn child’s body to cut or rip it off. This definition does not include an abortion which uses suction to dismember the body of the developing unborn child by sucking fetal parts into a collection container.”

LITIGATION STRATEGY
Dismemberment abortion is one of six recognized abortion methods used after the first trimester.

In 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court Gonzales v Carhart ruling upheld a federal ban on the gruesome Partial Birth method of abortion– which, arguably, may even be less barbaric than dismemberment abortion— because other methods were available.

The Court said that states had the right to ban a method of abortion in order to preserve the integrity of the medical profession and express profound respect for the developing unborn child. In that ruling, Justice Anthony Kennedy (considered the ‘swing’ abortion vote on the Court) described the dismemberment method:

“The fetus, in many cases, dies just as a human adult or child would: It bleeds to death as it is torn apart limb by limb. The fetus can be alive at the beginning of the dismemberment process and can survive for a time while its limbs are being torn off. The process of dismembering the fetus continues until it has been completely removed. A doctor may make 10 to 15 passes with the forceps to evacuate the fetus in its entirety…”

This new legislation includes a strict emergency exception, criminal and civil penalties, and privacy protection for court proceedings. It will be introduced in the Kansas Senate next week.

Since  2011, Kansas has barred abortion after 22 weeks gestation (20 weeks post-fertilization) due to the research-confirmed pain-capability of the unborn child. In 1998, Kansas barred Partial Birth Abortions.

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U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS)

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS)

Kansas’ U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts has taken a leadership role in battling government restrictions on health care and to that end, on Tuesday filed the “Repeal Rationing in Support of Life Act,” see video here.

This is the third in a series of bills, part of a comprehensive effort by Sen. Roberts, to prevent the federal government from limiting access to life-saving medical care for patients at all stages of life.

“Obamacare has made many Americans fearful that cost-cutting and rationing of care will limit their options for health care at a time when they are vulnerable–when they are sick or battling a life threatening condition,” Roberts said. “By introducing this bill, we are fighting against hidden barriers to treatment and life-saving medicine.”

Roberts’ bill targets four rationing provisions of Obamacare for repeal:

1) the “excess benefit” tax coming into effect in 2018, which unfairly limits employee plans from keeping pace with medical inflation;
2) the current exclusion of adequate health insurance plans from the exchanges;
3) limits now curtailing senior citizens’ ability to add their own money in addition to Medicare payment for health insurance including Medicare Advantage; and
4) federal limits on the care doctors are allowed to give their patients.

Roberts’ legislation (see bill details here) is endorsed by the National Right to Life Committee, which has delineated rationing dangers in Obamacare in this NRLC report and in a recent Q & A article here.

Mary Kay Culp, executive director of Kansans for Life, stated, “Obamacare authorizes Washington bureaucrats to create one uniform, national standard of care that is designed to limit what private citizens are allowed to spend to save their own lives. We commend Senator Roberts for his bill and his consistent leadership to end Obamacare’s rationing.”

The bill is cosponsored by Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).

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Rep. Steve Brunk, lead sponsor of Alexa's Law

Rep. Steve Brunk (R-Wichita) lead sponsor, Alexa’s Law

It has been well documented for decades that pregnant women have been attacked and murdered in order to kill their unborn children. The development of abortion-inducing drugs, however, has produced an increasing crime wave of abortion by trickery.

There was nationwide news coverage of the trial and conviction this month of Floridian John Andrew Welden for committing abortion by secretly swapping his pregnant girlfriend’s medication with abortifacient pills that killed their unborn child.

Now comes the indictment of a Kansas man for allegedly sneaking crushed abortion pills into his girlfriend’s pancakes, killing their unborn child.

On Tuesday, the office of Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt issued this criminal complaint against Scott Robert Bollig for first degree murder, attempted first degree murder, aggravated battery and distributing adulterated food, causing the death of an unborn child at 8-10 weeks estimated gestation.

Part of the pro-life agenda has been to pass laws that uphold the full humanity of the unborn child, including prosecution for both victims following crimes committed against pregnant women and their unborn children.

The criminal complaint against Bollig is based on just such a law– “Alexa’s Law,”— passed in Kansas in 2007, read more here and here.

Kansas was the 35th state (of now 37) to pass such a law, modeled on the 2003 federal “Unborn Victim of Violence Act” designed by the National Right to Life Committee. (see this NRLC list)

Alexa’s Law protects unborn children from fertilization through full term, while some states have enacted limited protection after viability.

Within six months of passage of Alexa’s Law, two pregnant women and their unborn children were murdered in Kansas, and their murderers convicted under this law. Here are the cases known to Kansans for Life that have since utilized Alexa’s Law for charging and convictions:

  1. Sedale Fox was convicted of two first degree murders for shooting his girlfriend to death and the death of their unborn child on Jan. 8, 2008. Read more here.
  2. Andrew Guerrero was convicted for three murders by shooting, committed on Feb.3, 2008—his ex-wife, her 8-month-old infant and an additional unborn child detected in autopsy. Read more here.
  3. Jason Cott was convicted of two counts of first degree murder for the Jan. 20, 2010 strangulation of his wife and death of their unborn child. Read more here.
  4. Ricardo Barnhart was convicted of two counts of aggravated battery for the beating of his wife and injury to their 38-week gestation unborn child on March 19, 2013; mother and child survived. Read more here.
  5. Richard Bennet was charged with 2 counts of attempted murder for the stabbing of his pregnant ex-girlfriend on June 18, 2013. she and the unborn child survived the attack. Bennet was sentenced to parole on lesser charges after the girlfriend later died in a freak accident before his trial. Read more here.
  6. Bryant Seba has been charged with two counts of first degree murder after he allegedly shot and killed his pregnant neighbor and unborn child on July 24, 2013. Read more here.
  7. Scott Bollig has been charged with first degree murder for the premeditated murder of his unborn child, Jan. 26, 2014; the mother survived, after allegedly being tricked into eating abortion-causing medication. Read more here.

“Alexa’s Law”—a tool enacted to uphold the value of any human victim of crime– is being utilized in crimes of abortion “by deceit” not even envisioned when the law was passed.

Pro-lifers are working diligently on all fronts to overturn the unjustifiable legalization of abortion, including building a cache of laws that recognize the humanity of the unborn and protect the unborn whenever possible.

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unborn feel pain (2)Kansas and nine other states have passed abortion bans recognizing the unborn child as a pain-capable human being at 20 weeks post-fertilization, which is the same as being dated 22 weeks from woman’s last menstrual period, or LMP.

In 2012, Arizona passed a “hybrid” abortion law that included the fetal pain issue but would affect pregnancies 2 weeks earlier than all other similar “pain” bans. It was immediately sued, upheld in state district court and struck down by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (which does not govern Kansas). Today, the U.S. Supreme Court has declined the appeal to review the Ninth circuit’s decision.

Medical science now recognizes that the unborn child at 20 weeks post-fertilization possesses all the physiological structures needed for pain perception.

The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) created the pain-capable model legislation with hope the U.S. Supreme Court would review such a law, focusing specifically on scientific data about pain which has never been presented to them in an abortion case.  This data includes studies outside the abortion arena verifying that the thalamus, not the cortex, is needed for humans to perceive pain. [Read documentation at doctorsonfetalpain.com about the issue.]

Some quick analysis of today’s decision:

1) The U.S. Supreme Court continues to resist taking abortion cases. This is the second abortion case deferred this term– the earlier Court decision avoided a chemical abortion law from Oklahoma.   The Court is only pressured into taking on an issue when there are conflicting appellate decisions. Only one circuit has ruled on pain-related abortion bans, the (notoriously overturned) Ninth circuit.

2) The U.S. Supreme Court did not outright rule against the constitutionality of abortion bans for pain-feeling unborn children. But because the Court does not explain why they decline cases,  we are left to wonder exactly why the Court declined to examine Arizona’s law. It may well be that the bill at their doorstep had too many dimensions: not only did Arizona conjoin a second issue of late-term abortion safety with the issue of  pain to unborn babies–it also lowered the pregnancy date two weeks below where there is currently the most medical evidence for pain capability.

3) Abortion forces will certainly try to wave today’s action as a warning against states contemplating enacting pain-capable legislation. However, we still believe a “clean” law sticking to 20 weeks post-conception/22 weeks LMP is totally defensible. The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2007 abortion ruling(Gonzales), affirmed that states have compelling interests for enacting abortion regulations, and declined to list those interests. The Gonzales ruling said states may pass protective legislation based on science even when “medical consensus” on that data was lacking.

We regret that the U.S. Supreme Court has skirted examination of the issue of fetal pain, and left abortion interests encouraged by today’s action.

See further information from NRLC here.

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Pro-Life Action League envelopes NARAL supporter headed to hear Sebelius (photo by Matt Yonke)

Yesterday at a Chicago NARAL fundraiser, 300 attendees gave some of their loudest applause (according to the AP) to HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ mention of the Obama administration mandate that health insurance plans cover birth control without copays.

But beyond the ever faithful pro-life presence of the Pro-Life Action League, another rebuke to Sebelius was today’s good news that the U.S. House will be voting next week on a pro-life bill to UNDO abortion in Obamacare.

HR 358 the “Protect Life Act” is sponsored by Congressman Joe Pitts, and co-sponsored by all four Kansas U.S. Representatives:  Tim Huelskamp, 1st district; Lynn Jenkins, 2nd district; Kevin Yoder, 3rd district; and Mike Pompeo, 4th district. Express your support here.

UPDATE,Oct.13: In a 248-173 vote, the House approved the Protect Life Act, however Senate Democrats oppose it and President Obama has promised to veto it.

Modeled on the former “Stupak-Pitts” amendment, HR 358 would correct the numerous abortion-expanding provisions kept in the final health care law and contains important conscience protections for (more…)

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