By Kathy Ostrowski, legislative director, Kansans for Life
In the space of two days late last week, two lawsuits were filed against Kansas’ 2013 Pro-Life Protections Act, HB 2253.
Due to go into effect July 1st, the comprehensive Pro-Life Protections Act restricts tax funding for abortion businesses, bans sex-selective abortions, and codifies “Woman’s Right to Know” informed consent information prepared by the state health department since 1997.
As reported in the Kansas City Star on Thursday, Comprehensive Health of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri Inc. and its medical director, physician Orrin Moore, filed suit in federal court. They contend that section 14 of the Act compels them to approve of the government’s view of abortion, by which they mean the health information presented in the Woman’s Right to Know materials.
But a fair reading of abortion case law, especially the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1992 Casey ruling, absolutely supports the right of states to provide medically accurate materials relevant to the abortion decision.
The lawsuits target three items in HB 2253:
*the information about Pain capability of the unborn child at 22 weeks gestation (LMP) which is part of the state law passed in 2011;
*the statement that “abortion terminates the life of a whole, separate, unique living being”, (which the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals specifically upheld in June 2008); and
*the requirement that every abortion clinic website include a tagline with its hyperlink to the states Right to Know information page.
The following day came the announcement that HB 2253 in its entirety is being challenged in state court by the Center for Woman’s Health, abortionists Herbert Hodes, and his daughter, Traci Nauser. This is the same clinic that initiated the ongoing lawsuit against the Kansas abortion clinic licensing law of 2011.
Everything but the kitchen sink has been thrown into this filing, including the bogus assertion that free speech rights were being violated (the Supreme Court denied that assertion in Casey and in other related rulings). Abortionists are free to denounce the information the government requires them to provide. And they do!
As an example, the Capitol Journal article cited the example of a Kansas City, Kansas, clinic whose informed consent materials currently states:
“WE MUST UNTRUTHFULLY TELL YOU (KSA 65-6709(b)(5)) – ‘The abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.’ This is untruthful because the fetus is quite dependent upon, not separate from, the maternal placental oxygen and nutrient acquisition and kidney’s waste disposal. The word ‘whole’ implies ‘complete’ but the fetus is not truly completed until birth. Also, cancer is unique, human and living, yet not deserving of life.”
The lawsuit also seeks to overturn a provision of the law requiring abortion clinic websites to provide a link to a Kansas Department of Health and Environment page with accurate information about abortion and fetal development.
With clinics whose website information equates an unborn child with cancer, it’s no wonder they don’t want their own website’s link to state materials (something they have provided for years) to now additionally include the label that state materials are medically accurate.