June 24, 2011
Will Kansas Be The First Abortion-Free State?
There remain only three abortion clinics in Kansas, and as of July 1, 2011, they may not be granted licenses to continue their operations under a new law mandating minimum health and safety standards for abortuaries.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment soon will begin inspections and according to a new state law, unless clinics providing abortions can pass minimum safety standards, they cannot be licensed and therefore could not legally continue to abort pre-born babies. Under the law, the Health Department has the authority to deny, suspend or revoke an abortuary’s license, as well as the ability to issue fines for violations, and even going into court to ask that a facility be closed.
The new standards include having an emergency door that can accommodate a gurney. The lack of such a door contributed to the death of a victim in Pennsylvania after a botched abortion by the notorious Kermit Gosnell. Other common-sense safety requirements include maintaining proper emergency equipment, drugs and protocols, having proper lighting and ventilation, lavatory areas, and spaces for the sterilization of surgical equipment. Since it is a common practice for abortion clinics to employ under-trained, unqualified staff, under the new law, clinics also must have a licensed nurse on premises when abortions are performed.
First to be inspected is Comprehensive Health of Planned Parenthood, an Overland Park abortion clinic that is currently facing 107 criminal charges related to illegal late-term abortions, with a hearing set for July 14-15. The initial inspection for this facility is said to be a two-day review; and the other two Kansas abortion clinics also will be inspected within the next few days.
Then District Attorney Phill Kline filed criminal charges in 2007 against the clinic, but the case languished until last October when a District Court ruled that the case could go forward and remanded it back to the current District Attorney Steve Howe’s office for prosecution. However, it was not prosecuted until public pressure was brought to bear on Howe to follow through with the prosecution, including nearly 5,000 listeners who logged onto a webcast detailing the political corruption and political rivalry between Kline and Howe that has caused the case to stagnate.
It is clear that the facilities which perform abortions should have to meet the same minimum medical safety standards as other medical clinics, otherwise they are subjecting women to shoddy and unsanitary medical practices. Several states are passing and considering legislation requiring those minimum standards. Congratulations to Kansas for passing this law and moving forward to implement its provisions.
All of the pro-life legislation introduced (and passed) during the current legislative session has come from the U.S. House of Representatives, and, on the whole, never sees the light of day in the more liberal, pro-abortion, Democrat-controlled Senate.
But two courageous pro-life Senators, Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) have introduced the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (CIANA) which will help states enforce their laws requiring parental notification prior to an underage child obtaining an abortion.
Currently, some 36 states have parental consent and/or notification laws, according to Sen. Rubio. He explains that many times these laws are undermined and circumvented by those who simply travel to other states. In fact, we know from some of the undercover videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s nefarious practices in various states that in some instances, underage girls were encouraged by PP employees to cross state lines in order to avoid parental consent or notification laws. To help thwart those evasive tactics, CIANA would require abortion providers to notify a parent of an out-of-state minor before performing an abortion. This means that even with the very disparate state laws regarding parental involvement all across our country, those state laws would be enforced no matter where the abortion might take place.
Sen. Hatch notes that the bill includes “appropriate exceptions and safeguards in order to focus on what unites the vast majority of Americans, that parents should be involved before their child has an abortion. This bill is a legitimate and constitutional way for Congress to help protect children and support parents.”
CIANA allows for punishment, in the form of fines or imprisonment, of physicians who knowingly perform an abortion on a minor who has traveled across state lines and any individual who transported the minor across state lines. This legislation does not apply in the cases of a medical emergency, abuse or neglect.
Though some might think this bill to be a “lost cause” in the Senate, a similar measure was approved in slightly different versions by both the House and the Senate in 2006. (The conference committee was unable to reconcile the two versions so it never became law.) However, the Senate, had, in fact, passed S. 403 in July 2006 by a 65-34 vote and 35 of those YES votes were from senators who are still in office today, including nine Democrats. Of those nine Dems, three are up for election next year (Carper, DE; Nelson, FL; and Nelson, NE) and one (Kohl, WI) has announced that he won’t be running again. So, the numbers could add up: 47 Republicans plus nine Democrats equals more than enough votes to pass the bill. And surprise! One of the 35 YES votes was Sen. Reid of Nevada! This could get very interesting.
ACTION: Email your U.S. Senators HERE and urge him or her to become a co-sponsor of this Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act, CIANA, and to support the bill when it comes to the Senate floor.
Within the last week, there has been a flurry of activity among Presidential hopefuls so let’s continue looking at them from a pro-life perspective. Appearing last weekend at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, several of the would-be GOP candidates spoke and met with the 1000+ attendees.
Among those speaking was former PA Senator RICK SANTORUM who pledged his pro-life support and touted his pro-life record as a former U.S. Senator.
Congresswoman MICHELE BACHMANN (R-MN) was also in New Orleans, and she wowed the crowd with her stirring speech that included the life issue as one of the three “legs” of her campaign stool, along with fiscal issues and national security.
Congressman RON PAUL (R-TX) voiced support for overturning Roe v. Wade and returning abortion issues to the states.
HERMAN CAIN of Georgia also gave a rousing, crowd-pleasing speech but failed to mention the life issue.
Photo lines were longest for Gov. Perry and Rep. Bachmann, with attendees waiting in line for upwards of 45 minutes to get photos and, for some, signed copies of Perry’s Fed Up book.
Sparks flew as two of the GOP Presidential hopefuls, MITT ROMNEY (who did not attend) and HERMAN CAIN, were chastised by the Susan B. Anthony List for refusing to sign their organization’s pro-life pledge, as the other announced candidates had done. The pledge itself consists of four parts: 1) a promise to nominate judges who are Constitutional originalists who will not legislate from the bench; 2) a pledge to appoint only pro-lifers to relevant administration positions; 3) a commitment to “advance pro-life legislation” and in particular to end taxpayer funding of abortion and Planned Parenthood; and 4) an agreement that if elected as President, the candidate will “advance and sign” fetal pain abortion legislation.
Romney subsequently put out his own pro-life pledge, which appeared June 17 in National Review On-Line, and Cain indicated that the language pledging to “advance” a fetal pain bill was inappropriate as the Congress would be the entity to advance such a bill, which he said he would sign if President.
More Presidential candidates pro-life updates next week!