Local judge invalidates Kansas law barring the dismemberment of living unborn babies

Outcome foreshadowed by 2019 Kansas Supreme Court decision

By Dave Andrusko

If ever there were any doubts that Kansans must pass the “Value Them Both Amendment” to the state constitution, they were eliminated Wednesday. 

In the first ruling since the Kansas Supreme Court found a heretofore unknown “fundamental right” to abortion hidden away in the Kansas constitution, Shawnee County District Judge Teresa Watson used the  2019 Hodes & Nauser v. Schmidt opinion to strike down the state’s ban on the dismemberment of living unborn babies, enacted in 2015.

“The abortion industry wants unlimited and unregulated abortion in our state — even live dismemberment of preborn children,” stated Jeanne Gawdun, Kansans for Life’s Director of Government Relations. “This is exactly why Kansas voters must approve the Value Them Both Amendment  on August 2, 2022. Women and babies in our state deserve better.” 

The language of the Value Them Both Amendment reads as follows:

Because Kansans value both women and children, the constitution of the state of Kansas does not require government funding of abortion and does not create or secure a right to abortion. To the extent permitted by the constitution of the United States, the people, through their elected state representatives and state senators, may pass laws regarding abortion, including, but not limited to, laws that account for circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest, or circumstances of necessity to save the life of the mother.

Thanks to a preliminary injunction issued by Judge Larry Hendricks early in the now-six year-long skirmish, the law has never been enforced. The Kansas Supreme Court’s decision, a whopping 199 pages long, is awash in the kind of [mis]reading of history you associate with the founding document of the abortion onslaught: Roe v. Wade.

But Hodes & Nauser v. Schmidt, handed down April 26, 2019, went even further. At the time of the decision, a  friend of mine captured the lecturing, hectoring tone of the decision perfectly: “When a state Supreme Court – in essence – criticizes the U.S. Supreme Court as not being pro-abortion enough, things have turned really, really bad.”

Kansas is one of 13 states to bar these gruesome, unbelievably violent  abortions. The other twelve are Nebraska, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, Kentucky, Ohio, North Dakota, and Indiana.

Lost in the shuffle is just how brutal the dismemberment of a living unborn human being is. Here is NRLC’s description. It is

a brutal type of abortion with the purpose of causing the death of an unborn child, purposely to dismember a living unborn child and extract 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.

As NRL News Today reported on multiple occasions, the Amendment, which passed overwhelmingly in both houses in 2021, is designed to keep existing pro-life laws in place and ensure that Kansas does not return to the days of being a destination for the most extreme abortion practices.  Every one of these protective measures drew bi-partisan support.