By Kathy Ostrowski, Legislative Director, Kansans for Life
July 1 is the day that Senate Bill 95, the historic Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, is supposed to go into effect in Kansas. But, as always is the case with commonsense pro-life legislation, abortionists seek to win via the courts what they lost in the legislature.
The Overland Park Center for Women’s Health (CWH), run by the father-daughter abortion duo of Herb Hodes and Traci Nauser, filed for an injunction June 1. A hearing on the request is scheduled for Thursday morning in the court of Shawnee County district judge Larry Hendricks.
SB 95 would end a gruesome, barbaric, limb-ripping method of abortion performed on tiny, unborn living girls and boys. State health department statistics for Kansas abortions in 2014 show that this inhumane abortion method was employed 637 times, an increase of 9% from 2013.
Dismemberment abortions are every bit as brutal as the partial-birth abortion method, which is now illegal in the United States.
Indeed, the shocking act of a licensed physician dismembering an unborn child using sharp metal tools is so repulsive that the abortion attorneys filing the CWH legal challenge do not dare even mention the word dismemberment in their pleadings, much less try to justify it.
Instead, abortion filings are claiming this method is too necessary and “expeditious” to prohibit, and that the public and the abortionists will suffer irreparable harm if they are unable use it. The key CWF expert is a New York abortionist and teaching fellow who says that, without access to dismemberment, women will be subject to “painful, invasive medical procedures.”
Of course, there already is someone suffering from a “painful, invasive medical procedure”—the unborn child.
The abortionists’ attorneys offer the novel legal claim that preventing use of the dismemberment method would “violate the woman’s bodily integrity” by denying her the right to choose what abortion method she and her abortionist prefer.
What about the bodily integrity of the unborn son or daughter torn to pieces while the mother is under anesthesia?
The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act is model legislation drafted by the National Right to Life Committee. The law has also been passed in Oklahoma.
The state of Kansas’ legal filing strongly defends the dismemberment ban and points to the reasoning in the Supreme Court’s 2007 Gonzales v. Carhart decision which upheld the ban on partial-birth abortions:
1. “The government may use its voice and its regulatory authority to show its profound respect for the life within the woman.”
2. “Under our precedents it is clear the State has a significant role to play in regulating the medical profession.”
Abortion attorneys try to spin Gonzales and the 1992 Planned Parenthood v Casey abortion ruling to their own ends–in effect, that Kansas dare not foreclose on a favored method of abortion.
But among other counter-arguments, the Kansas defense team notes, “[T]he U.S. Supreme Court explained that …’Casey does not allow a doctor to choose the abortion method he or she might prefer … [and physicians] are not entitled to ignore regulations that direct them to use reasonable alternative procedures.’ ”
The state of Kansas asserts that attorneys for Hodes and Nauser have not demonstrated, “that the alleged irreparable injury outweighs the harm to the State’s well-established interest in promoting human dignity and barring a procedure deemed inhumane.”
The state of Kansas will argue forcefully that no injunction against the dismemberment ban is deserved.
We will soon see what the court decides.