By Kathy Ostrowski
Nearly 99 % of the Kansas Pro-life Protections Act, HB 2253, will go into effect on Monday after the Center for Women’s Health (CWH) in Overland Park failed to get the entire law enjoined in state court.
Two minor provisions have been blocked while the case proceeds under Shawnee District Judge Rebecca Crotty. Judge Crotty ruled that CWH had not met the legal standard for winning a restraining order against the entire law –even though they had submitted an “everything but the kitchen sink” legal filing.
What will not go into effect from HB 2253 is
* a specific medical emergency definition already in Kansas statute that needs clarification for abortions before 22 weeks gestation, and
* a new requirement that the clinic website’s homepage put a descriptive label on a hyperlink to the state’s right to know website .
Neither provision is substantive and clarification of the definition can easily be remedied.
As to the hyperlink, Kansas abortion clinic websites have long included the state link, but object to the labeling of the state information as medically accurate. The U.S. Supreme Court , in its 1992 Casey ruling, established the state’s right to force clinics to provide access to scientifically accurate information prepared by the state concerning gestational development and medical risks of abortion since women had routinely been given misinformation, including that their unborn child was “only a clump of cells.”
In related litigation, another clinic is suing HB 2253. Comprehensive Health/Planned Parenthood of Kansas Mid-Missouri last week filed in federal court to obtain an injunction against section 14 of the law, which governs the state-prepared informed consent. Their legal filing also objects to the hyperlink labeled as medically accurate, as well as the information about the pain capability of the unborn child at 22 weeks gestation, and the sentence “abortion terminates the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.”
Kansas City federal judge Kathryn Vratil denied Planned Parenthood an immediate injunction on Wednesday but the matter is not closed, with another hearing scheduled for July 29.
CWH is the medical office of Overland Park abortionists, Herbert Hodes and daughter Traci Nauser, who sued to block implementation of the 2011 Kansas abortion clinic licensure law.
In the new suit against HB 2253, they assert that they are motivated by their Jewish religion to perform abortions. They also complain that the law
* wrongly states pregnancy begins at conception;
* unfairly bans funding for abortion, ends tax breaks for abortion businesses, and protects pro-life entities from retaliation; and
* prevents abortionists from attending school functions or from volunteering. [This is a misstatement of the provision that prevents school sex-ed classes from using abortion staff and their materials, which is a law that Missouri enacted several years ago]
Although Kansas taxpayers must now defend this law in court, during that time almost the entire law will be in effect. We are confident of prevailing against baseless clinic objections and are relieved that the court limited intervention to two very minor issues.
UPDATE: ABORTION LAWSUITS vs KANSAS
The state Attorney General’s Office has promised to “rigorously defend” HB 2253, assisted by the same law firm utilized in three other suits filed against pro-life laws enacted in 2011.
In the first case, Kansas won a challenge from the ACLU against the law banning private insurance from automatic coverage of elective abortion.
The second suit, opposing the state’s selection of full service public clinics and hospitals for Title X grants, is on appeal, awaiting a long-overdue ruling from the Tenth Circuit. In the meantime, taxpayers have been forced to send $343,000 to Planned Parenthood and the now-defunct Dodge City Family Planning Clinic.
The third suit, in which CWH blocked the long-sought state law regulating abortion clinics, is moving at a snail’s pace.
Unfortunately, the abortion industry refuses to accept the democratic process of lawmaking, insisting on searching out activist courts in hope of undoing abortion regulation.