Archive for Friday, August 9, 2013

Agreement would narrow suit over state abortion law

August 9, 2013


— Attorneys for Kansas and Planned Parenthood have reached an agreement over how parts of a new state abortion law will be enforced and are seeking to narrow the organization’s federal lawsuit against that statute to a single issue.

The lawyers filed their agreement Friday in U.S. District Court. If Chief Judge Kathryn Vratil accepts it, Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit will challenge only a requirement that abortion providers include a link on their website home pages to a state health department site about abortion and fetal development, along with a statement that says the information is objective.

Planned Parenthood also initially challenged a requirement of the new law, which took effect in July, to provide women seeking abortions information suggesting that a fetus can feel pain by the 20th week of pregnancy. In addition, the lawsuit attacked a rule enacted in 2011, requiring that information also assert that an abortion terminates “the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.”

Under the agreement, the state will consider abortion providers in compliance with the last two requirements by giving patients access to the state health department’s materials, which contain the statements.

Peter Brownlie, president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, said the organization, which performs abortions at a clinic in Overland Park, worried the state would attempt to force providers to alter their own material for patients to include the statements.

“The state agreed that wasn’t necessary,” Brownlie said. “We consider it a small step forward for Kansas women and providers.”

Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s office did not immediately comment on Friday’s filing.

The new law also bans sex-selection abortions, blocks tax breaks for providers, prohibits providers from furnishing materials or instructors for public schools’ classes and declares as a general policy that life begins “at fertilization.” Planned Parenthood isn’t challenging those requirements.

The website-link requirement already has been blocked by a state court judge in a separate lawsuit filed in Shawnee County by Dr. Herbert Hodes and his daughter, Dr. Traci Nauser, who perform abortions at their Overland Park health center. Hodes and Nauser are challenging the entire law, but the judge in their case allowed most of it to take effect.


Kate Rogge 4 years, 7 months ago

Yet more junk science from the Kansas government with its legislated attempts to compel public support of its insistent and pernicious ideological "science." Planned Parenthood should have continued to fight it and they would have won at the U.S. Supreme Court level.

In 2011, a divided three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in New York, blocked the law [stipulating that recipients of USA AIDs monies must have “a policy explicitly opposing prostitution and sex trafficking"], saying it “compels grantees to espouse the government’s position on a controversial issue.” In summarizing the majority opinion in the courtroom on Thursday, Chief Justice Roberts said he could not improve on what Justice Robert H. Jackson had said in announcing a decision from the bench “70 years ago last Friday.” That 1943 decision, West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, struck down a law compelling public school students to salute the flag. “If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation,” Chief Justice Roberts said, quoting Justice Jackson, “it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion or other matters of opinion, or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein."

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 7 months ago

You know, there's something I find odd.
The entire population of the US (including it's legislators) now have access, through the internet, to some of the most brilliant scientific minds in the world and their collective knowledge. Nor is researching that knowledge particularly difficult. If, for some reason (such as money), the people have elected a particularly stupid legislator that doesn't have the minimum brain cells required to do that research for him or herself, they have staffers that can do it for them. And yet they continue to produce legislation on the basis of "junk science" and ideology that flies in the face of all of the hard work and effort that these scientists and researchers put into their work.
About a year and a half ago, I spoke with a woman who is a research neurobiologist at the University of Washington. Her CV is pretty impressive. She did her PhD and laid the ground work of her initial research at Vanderbilt, in Nashville, then moved to UW Seattle. She has spent her entire career studying pain and the neuro science behind it.
She was angry and discouraged with all of the red states passing "fetal pain" bills. She showed me the research on which these bills were being passed and pointed out to me the deep flaws in that research; the lack of scientific method, the tininess of their cohorts, even the selectivity of choosing their subjects for those cohorts. She also pointed out that, in many instances, that research was actually funded BY large anti-abortion organizations, looking to whitewash and give respectability to their agenda. Most damning to her, however, was that not a single bit of that research was ever accepted for publishing and peer review in any known and respected scientific journal (such as JAMA, JACOG, the Lancet or their international counterparts). (Any scientist in any discipline that reads this knows that peer review is an essential part of research. Real scientists actually depend on each other to have flaws in their research pointed out to them by their colleagues.)

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

Somehow there are people who prefer ideology over reality.

It is odd, but unfortunately more and more common these days.

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 7 months ago

This came from Faux Noise, the "National Enquirer" of television news. This means that, although there may be a grain of truth to it, what is truth and what is exaggeration is hard to tell.
It is known that every one of the "50 members of Congress" that requested the investigation are also known anti-abortion legislators and every one of them is a "Republican" (read RINO).
In other words, it's a witch hunt, with which Kansans should be very familiar, given the behavior of their own state legislators and Governor.

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 7 months ago

"Lifesite News"? Really? REALLY? Time to drag out the lollerskates.

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

The very first sentence in the first link I checked said "Spurred by a group of anti-abortion legislators..."

Water 4 years, 7 months ago

Small potatoes Fast Eddie. Show me a govt agency, I'll show you wasteful spending. It's an easy accusation.

Garth Atchison 4 years, 7 months ago

Why can't "Libertarians" understand that outlawing choice for individuals goes against their professed beliefs? OR Why can't humans understand that the Earth cannot support endless and uncontrolled reproduction. The only way it will work, is if we have endless war to control the population. Your "pro-life" stance is unsustainable, unless you agree to murder a large number of people, routinely, elsewhere in the world.

deec 4 years, 7 months ago

And too bad men don't glue their zippers shut.

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

Why do you only speak of "women's" choice and not men's?

Men aren't helpless or hapless either, right?

Kate Rogge 4 years, 7 months ago

Birth control measures can and do fail, Pheps, and women may become pregnant despite efforts to prevent it (efforts used by both women and men, BTW). Your point seems to be that women should engage in sexual intercourse only when they wish to become pregnant and carry that pregnancy to term. Anything other than that decision must mean that non-intentionally pregnant women are 1) at fault, and 2) must carry that unintentional pregnancy to term as punishment for their non-precreationally intentioned sexual activity. That's baloney no matter how you slice it.

hedshrinker 4 years, 7 months ago

Again, why are women supposed to stay pure as the driven snow unless they are ok w becoming pregnant and following thru w that, but the same standard doesn't apply to men?.. And ultimately.nobody has ever suceeded in preventing recreational sex as much as we may find that unwise,despicable and in fact dangerous, at least for the women involved, so why can't we all agree to help people deal AS THEY CHOOSE with the often unintended consequences I find it reprehensible that in the 21st century we are still making women the only responsible party...for birth control and disease protection fees, for character assassination of an activity that both genders engage in , and for the child-rearing if a pregnancy is the result of the sexual activity. Are we really that primitive and judgemental?

Kate Rogge 4 years, 7 months ago

Really? Sex is 'the process' to you? Oh, honey, what you've been missing.

deec 4 years, 7 months ago

An estimated 31,000 women are impregnated via rape annually in the United States.

Why are women always blamed for not staying unpregnant. Women don't go around knocking themselves up.

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