Letters to the Editor

Letter: Right to know

July 10, 2013


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.


JohnBrown 4 years, 11 months ago

God gave each of us control over ourselves. We are each, independent individuals.

A fetus is not independent. Rather, it's dependent on the individual God gave control to of that body.

Quit telling my God what she can/cannot do!


Frederic Gutknecht IV 4 years, 11 months ago

True... Your point?

If that baby is not wanted, what should happen?

Will you take him/her/it and raise him/her/it as your own?

Do you think the state should support that life for the rest of its life?

Richard Heckler 4 years, 11 months ago

Why would women in the USA vote republican right wing ever?

Sexual Fundies

Their opposition to abortion is their backdoor approach to anti sex agenda. Which explains why they are anti contraception in spite of the fact that contraception will and does reduce abortions year after year.

Beware! http://www.truth-out.org/its-sex-stupid/1328651002

Richard Heckler 4 years, 11 months ago

Why do we not hear about the millions of abortions Planned Parenthood has very likely prevented? YES prevented. Do we not understand that Birth Control prevents abortions.

Planned Parenthood offers many many other services to a community. Rarely do we hear that Planned Parenthood is all about other medical services usually for those who cannot afford to go elsewhere. The news media drops the ball on this issue.

Planned Parenthood is a medical clinic. Why do we as informed citizens do not know this?


Richard Heckler 4 years, 11 months ago

What types of activities do some in this maze of right to lifers engage themselves against those who disagree? They kill doctors and blow up buildings which is nothing short of terrorism.

Some engage in verbal terrorism as they attack women for getting pregnant.

Do members of this movement actually believe God condones violent terrorism in any form?

With all of the choices that Planned Parenthood offers in abortion prevention I'm willing to wager that this approach prevents wayyyyyyyyyyy more abortions than all of the violent right to life groups combined. You decide.

--- Abstinence

--- Birth Control Implant (Implanon and Nexplanon)

--- Birth Control Patch (Ortho Evra)

--- Birth Control Pills

--- Birth Control Shot (Depo-Provera)

--- Birth Control Sponge (Today Sponge)

--- Birth Control Vaginal Ring (NuvaRing)

--- Breastfeeding as Birth Control

--- Cervical Cap (FemCap)

--- Condom

--- Diaphragm

--- Female Condom

--- Fertility Awareness-Based Methods (FAMs)

--- IUD

--- Morning-After Pill (Emergency Contraception)

--- Outercourse

--- Spermicide

--- Sterilization for Women

--- Vasectomy

--- Withdrawal (Pull Out Method)

People have used birth control methods for thousands of years. Today, we have many safe and effective birth control methods available to us.

All of us who need birth control want to find the method that is best for us. And each of us has different needs when choosing a method. If you are trying to choose, learning about each method may help you make your decision.

fiddleback 4 years, 11 months ago

"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."

Ms. Jenkins,

I can appreciate your pointing out that "whole, separate, unique" language was upheld as medically accurate by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. However, your rebuttal above is not a sound counter-argument. This new law contains all manner of compelled speech, and in the case of requiring mention of fetal pain at 22 weeks, the inapplicability is stark. All but 5% of abortions are performed before 15 weeks, and only 1% are performed after 21 weeks.

We all want women to be informed, but requiring this information to be told to the 99% percent of women with no proximity to 22 weeks is not offering them any relevant insight into their current gestational stage. Instead, it is a clear attempt to be prejudicial and dissuasive. The rest of this new law makes this political intent very clear-- there's the provision requiring doctors to mention higher risk of breast cancer with abortion, which is a debunked factoid with no other purpose than to frighten and dissuade.

There is no way to characterize this law as an even-handed attempt to inform women. Even pro-life citizens recognize that this law is a ham-fisted political cudgel, and that your movement's ends do not remotely justify these utterly coercive and inaccurate means.

jafs 4 years, 11 months ago

How on earth can a fetus, before the point of viability, be considered a "whole, separate" human life?

I agree with your post, by the way.

Liberty275 4 years, 11 months ago

How can it be a whole separate human before birth?

jafs 4 years, 11 months ago

Well, theoretically, if it's viable outside the womb, it's more like a separate life.

But I get your point - it's not separate until it's outside of the mother.

deec 4 years, 11 months ago

And every sperm cell and ova is a potential baby. Shall we criminalize "self-help?" In fact, every sperm release kills thousands of poor sperms who lose the race to the egg. Every menstrual cycle kills a potential baby. Every miscarriage, ditto.

jafs 4 years, 11 months ago

That doesn't make it "whole or separate" though.

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 11 months ago

Catherine Anthony Adair is a "former Planned Parenthood employee" with an agenda of her own and her own axe to grind. I can give you statements from just as many (if not more) people that used to be anti-abortion and switched sides.
In among all of this gibberish of legalese is not one refutation or defense of the outright lies that the state is mandating that women be told; lies that can and do actually threaten their health.
In response to Virginia's forced ultrasound law, pro-woman groups in that state have taken a page from radical anti-abortion groups and have started standing outside so-called "crisis pregnancy centers" and passing out cards similar to the one pictured below. They are adding the information that in almost all cases, an ultrasound from a CPC is unusable by a clinic that provides pregnancy terminations due to the fact that they are, in most cases, done by untrained, non-medical volunteers. In some cases, reports from CPCs are even "doctored", giving a gestational age far beyond what it actually is.
Are we going to be reduced to doing that in Kansas? It seems to me that we may have to.

jafs 4 years, 11 months ago

Interesting. Why not?

A small quibble - condoms are one of the less reliable methods of birth control, to my knowledge.

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 11 months ago

I agree, jafs. But when no other method is available it's still better than nothing and saying they "don't work at all" is an out and out lie.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 4 years, 11 months ago

That's not a REAL life solution. If you can't understand that, or fix that, or manage the repercussions of that, then you should probably consider yourself a murderer...which would be ridiculous, by the way.

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 11 months ago

This was printed yesterday in the Austin American Statesman newspaper by no less than the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
ACOG is the main governing and certifying body of all OB-GYN specialists in the entire country.
For more information on ACOG's position re: reproductive health law, please see this page.

Leslie Swearingen 4 years, 11 months ago

Now for the other side of the story. There must be other women than myself who loathe the words uterus and fetus. I much prefer womb and baby.

I can understand why a woman having decided on this procedure wants as little information as possible. She doesn't want something in her mind that would haunt her later. Research birth defects and you will find there are so many kinds and so horrible, some of them, that I would not want the mother to have to live the rest of her life with that picture in her mind. It would be bad enough to know that their is a defect and then have to make the decision.

When I was in my twenties I did go to Planned Parenthood and took "the pill" before I made the decision to become pregnant.

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 11 months ago

The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a Baltimore city ordinance that crisis pregnancy centers within the city limits had to follow "truth in advertising" laws and would not be allowed to give "clients" false or misleading information.
The very fact that they protested it (under "free speech" rights) says a lot.


Cait McKnelly 4 years, 11 months ago

"The GOP’s Anti-abortion Tactic: Order Teachers and Doctors to Lie."
"Aside from violating the trust that students, patients, and survivors place in teachers, doctors, and counselors, these laws demonstrate, yet again, that Republican attacks have nothing to do with science, or with appropriate regulation of healthcare, and everything to do with ideology."

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