To the editor:
Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid Missouri recently sued Section 14 of the 2013 Prolife Protections Act, claiming freedom of speech violation because they must refer women to Kansas Department of Health and Environment information stating that abortion terminates the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being. In 2008, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the medical accuracy of this definition, which already occurred in “right to know” materials.
The 1992 Supreme Court’s Casey decision guaranteed women’s reception of medically accurate informed consent materials from the state. Planned Parenthood’s assertion of freedom of speech violation is faulty because they may refute this information, which, sadly, at least one abortion provider in Kansas does on its website.
Planned Parenthood also disputes a section clarifying a law from 2011 stating that women must be informed that a 22-week gestation fetus possesses the anatomical structures to experience significant pain. PP claims inapplicability because they do not usually perform abortions after 22 weeks. A woman should choose to consider whether her child at 21 weeks can feel pain. See http://www.doctorsonfetalpain.com/fetal-pain-the-evidence/5-documentation/ about fetal pain and use of anesthesia by doctors performing surgery on children in-utero.
Parts of Section 14 copy into statute information already available. A former PP worker, Catherine Anthony Adair, reported that counselors use words like “clump of cells” or “contents of the uterus” and avoid information about fetal development (http://www.lifenews.com/2012/01/18/ex-abortion-clinic-employees-women-are-pushed-into-abortions/).This law helps prevent future neglect and provides women access to accurate information for their decisions.