By Kathy Ostrowski, Legislative Director, Kansans for Life
2014 saw many pro-life victories for Kansas, the fruit of decades of efforts by pro-lifers to fight a culture of death through education, legislation and providing loving help to women feeling abandoned during pregnancy.
Kansans for Life played a key role in these efforts, with exciting new developments in the works.
Pro-lifers can proudly claim credit for the fact that pro-life candidates won all of Kansas’ statewide offices, along with 94 of the 125 seats in the Kansas House of Representatives in the 2014 elections. Notably, pro-life stalwarts Governor Sam Brownback and U.S. Senator Pat Roberts won re-election over their radically pro-abortion challengers.
As officially reported by the health department, the number of Kansas abortions dropped to 7,485 in 2013, from 7,598 in 2012 (2014 numbers aren’t available until March, 2015). Many reasons contributed to the continued drop, including the improved availability of informed consent information online and increased utilization of pregnancy care centers statewide.
Kansas has enacted some of the most protective laws in the nation, including:
* No late-term abortions (after 22 weeks pregnancy) are allowed in Kansas because of a 2011 pro-life law acknowledging the unborn child’s ability to feel pain.
* Abortions for sex-selection reasons are illegal.
* Minors must secure two-parent consent to abortion.
Kansas is now down to three abortion clinics
The Kansas City Aid for Women abortion clinic closed abruptly at the end of July. It claimed the reason for the sudden closure was the retirement of its 73-year-old abortionist.
But the clinic was notorious for a string of abortionists with lengthy histories of malpractice cases and disciplinary actions issued by the state medical board. Not surprisingly, Aid for Women failed to attain a state-issued license in June 2011 after passage of the Kansas clinic licensure and regulation law– a pro-life law currently under legal challenge. The clinic admitted to Time magazine at the time [http://content.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2080926,00.html] that they’d “have to gut the place” to be in compliance. Kansas women and unborn children are safer with the closing of this substandard clinic.
Kansas continues to successfully defend pro-life laws promoted by Kansans for Life
A major pro-life legal win occurred in early May when Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri dropped its 2011 lawsuit in federal court. They had filed suit against the Kansas budget provision that directs the state health department to award Federal Title X family planning contracts primarily to full service public health clinics rather than “specialty” clinics like Planned Parenthood. In this way, tax money subsidizes full-service healthcare for the indigent
After the Kansas budget authority was upheld, Planned Parenthood’s already-failing “abortion-feeder” clinic in Hays closed its doors – showing that this clinic relied on government money to survive.
Just weeks ago, Planned Parenthood of Kansas & Mid-Missouri also backed out of another lawsuit, in federal court, just days before it was headed to trial. At issue was their past refusal to obey a provision of the 2013 Pro-Life Protections Act that required that every abortion clinic website have a live link on their home page that connected to the state’s Woman’s Right to Know website. The law intends that there be “one-click access” to sonogram images and information about the development of the unborn child to anyone remotely, or directly, considering abortion.
In 2014, an injunction opposing the same weblink provision was dismissed in state district court. The block had been granted to the Center for Women’s Health (run by the father and daughter team of Herb Hodes and Traci Nauser).
All three Kansas abortion clinics are now compliant with that live link. Thus, the fourth success for defense attorneys under Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt in defending sound pro-life laws promoted by Kansans for Life.
Kansans are persistently pro-life and that persistence is paying off.