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Posts Tagged ‘U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’

Excerpt from medical illustration of dismemberment abortion

Excerpt from medical illustration of dismemberment abortion, at 16 wks gestation

After Kansas passed SB 95, “The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act,” I’ve taken numerous calls from the media about the new law. Those phone interviews inevitably end with a final question to me, “What’s next?”

Mentally, I respond AARGH! This is the kind of question reporters ask a sports team manager after a winning season so he can offer hints about trading players, new game tactics, and other items meant to keep fans interested.

But pro-life advocacy is not a game where we try to keep pro-lifers engaged by teasers about next year’s legislative agenda. Pro-lifers are  keenly interested in what is taking place right now even as they are thoroughly engaged for the long haul–until Roe is undone.

Rather, what I have been telling reporters is that Kansans for Life is focused on pursuing the public education campaign about SB 95 which has been muzzled by the mainstream media.

Our immediate concern is clarifying what exactly this law does by revealing what factually occurs in a dismemberment abortion. Most news reporting has failed to explain to readers that SB 95 outlaws abortions in which living unborn children get torn apart in their mother’s wombs with sharp metal tools until they bleed to death.

There is some surprise when I point out to them that even though the bill was signed into law on Tuesday—no small feat by a long stretch, believe me — the impact of this law cannot fully be appreciated until the facts about it, which have been largely suppressed, become widely known.

With rare exceptions, the mainstream media has partnered with abortion advocates to hide the facts about this barbaric, inhumane “procedure,” and have framed their reporting to talk about anything but what happens and to whom. This is the same obfuscation that occurred in the decade prior to 2007 when the Supreme Court upheld the ban on the gruesome partial-birth abortion method.

Do I have examples? Many. Here’s one.

The day after Gov. Sam Brownback signed the bill banning dismemberment abortions into law, what was on the front page of the Topeka Capital Journal (the sole newspaper for the capital of Kansas)? News (and photos) about an upcoming local high school play.

On page 2, the headline in the Capital Journal read “Brownback signs abortion bill.” [WHAT abortion bill?] The subhead in small, fainter type did say “Legislation bans ‘dismemberment’ procedure in state.” The continuation of the story on page 3 had a large two- line header, “Abortion: legal action may follow.” This advances the abortion industry’s prized meme—abortion is nothing but politics and lawsuits.

Just imagine if the second headline had read instead, ‘Illegal to tear apart unborn babies.’ Better yet, imagine if thousands of people sipping their morning coffee saw that truth on the front page.

Since its introduction in January, SB 95 has routinely been headlined as a ‘ban on a common form of abortion’ or a ‘ban on second-trimester abortions.’ That inability to convey the crucial point of the law was demonstrated in the Tuesday Associated Press article used by most mainstream TV reports and other international outlets. In that story, the opening sentence read that Kansas had banned, “a common second-trimester abortion procedure that critics describe as dismembering a fetus.”

“That critics describe?” Well, what is the average reader to think about that? That the “critics” (assumed to be pro-life advocates) are creating meanings that don’t exist? Accurate news reporting would have quoted the law’s definitional section:“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.”

Note, also, the 2000 Stenberg ruling, where Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy quoted abortionist LeRoy Carhart. In describing this abortion “technique,” Carhart used the terms ‘dismember’ and ‘dismemberment.’ Yet, the public is told that only abortion “critics”— not the law itself, or abortionists, or judges –have chosen the terms. The implication, of course, is that we made it up!

The ENTIRE point of the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act is to wake up America to the true victim of abortion- the inhumanely shredded unborn child! It is not, as the media prefers to discuss, how abortionists and their spokeswomen feel.

Note to media: once you fully and accurately explain this law and its impact, we might start thinking about next year’s agenda.

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 Gov. Brownback signs SB 95, with (l-r) the Kansans for Life Legislative team: Jeanne Gawdun, Kathy Ostrowski and Jessica  Basgall, J.D and conferees Michael Schuttloffel, Executive Director  Kansas Catholic Conference, and Barbara Saldivar, State Director for  Concerned Women for America.

Gov. Brownback signs SB 95, with (l-r) the Kansans for Life Legislative team: Jeanne Gawdun, Kathy Ostrowski and Jessica Basgall, J.D., and Barbara Saldivar, State Director, Concerned Women for America  and Michael Schuttloffel, Executive Director, Kansas Catholic Conference.

This morning, Gov. Sam Brownback signed into law the historic “Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act,”  SB 95. It will go into effect July 1.

Gov. Brownback commented, “This is a horrific procedure and we are pleased to ban it in Kansas and we hope it will be banned nationally.”

To commemorate this ground-breaking and first-in-the-nation measure, Gov. Brownback will travel across Kansas for ceremonial signings of the bill on April 28. (Locations will be announced in the near future.)

The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act generated immediate grassroots support after introduction in January by lead sponsor, Sen. Garrett Love (R-Montezuma), who remarked, “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.”

Records released on April 1 by the Kansas Health & Environment Dept. show that in 2014 this D&E method was used in 637 abortions, or 8.8% of the total 7,263 Kansas abortions reported.

SB 95 bans a particularly gruesome abortion method in which a living unborn child in her mother’s womb is ripped apart into pieces by an abortionist using sharp metal tools. Abortionist LeRoy Carhart testified under oath that the unborn child is alive because he is watching him/her on ultrasound during the procedure. In the words of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, the unborn child in a D&E/ Dismemberment abortion, “dies just as a human adult or child would: It bleeds to death as it is torn limb from limb.”

Testimony provided by Kansans for Life emphasized that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a ban on the partial-birth method of abortion in 2007 after two cases, Stenberg v Carhart and Gonzales v Carhart. In both cases, the Court closely examined both the partial-birth and D&E/ Dismemberment abortion methods and found them to be “brutal.” The Court noted

 “[it’s] necessary at the outset to set forth what may happen during an abortion.” … and,  “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, 958 & 961

On March 25, the House overwhelmingly passed SB 95 by 98-26 after the Senate had easily passed the measure, 31-9, on Feb 20. (see here and here)

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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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