Kansas legislature

Kansas Legislature

Planned Parenthood sues over new Kansas abortion law

June 20, 2013


TOPEKA — Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit Thursday over a new Kansas law requiring doctors to inform women seeking abortions that they're ending the life of a "whole, separate, unique, living human being."

Planned Parenthood's clinic in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park and its director, Dr. Orrin Moore, contend in the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court that the law violates doctors' free speech rights guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. They say the statement that an abortion terminates the life of a separate human being requires them to make "a misleading statement of philosophical and/or religious belief."

The new Kansas requirements take effect next month.

"It's called compelled speech, which is a violation of the First Amendment," Peter Brownlie, the Planned Parenthood chapter's president and chief executive officer, said during an interview. "The Legislature is attempting to force us to endorse the political views of the governor and his allies."

Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri is also attacking a provision of the law that requires its website to link to a Kansas Department of Health and Environment site on abortion and fetal development. Planned Parenthood contends it is required to endorse the health department's message.

Also, the lawsuit challenges a requirement that abortion patients receive information that a fetus can feel pain by the 20th week following fertilization. Planned Parenthood contends that statement is misleading but noted in its lawsuit that "all or virtually all" of the patients terminating pregnancies at its clinic do so before the 20th week, making the information "irrelevant."

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback is a strong abortion opponent who's called publicly on legislators to create a "culture of life" in Kansas. Legislators approved the new restrictions with large, bipartisan majorities in both chambers.

"I don't understand how it is a violation of the First Amendment when you are informing people, you are actually telling people what is going on," said Troy Newman, president of the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue. "They are the ones who are trying to keep information from the women."


riverdrifter 9 months, 4 weeks ago

One thing is for sure: Planned Parenthood will have elite and experienced attorneys on hand. Brownback/Schmidt will trot a bunch of true-believing crony/bozos out there (at taxpayer expense). Game over.


Liberty275 9 months, 4 weeks ago

It isn't a living being until it's a tax write-off.

This law is as goofy as seat-belt laws and beverage-size legislation. Government, please take your nose out of our business. You aren't our mother, you are the help.


Leslie Swearingen 10 months ago

FDA OKs Prescription-Free Plan B For All Ages, Ending Battle

I totally support making this available over the counter to whoever wants to buy it. This drug is very expensive so it would be difficult for all buy a few to afford it.


Richard Heckler 10 months ago

There is not a better source of information for both men and women on this issue than Planned Parenthood.

Politicians and biased groups are the least informed I say.


Fred Whitehead Jr. 10 months ago

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grammaddy 10 months ago

And while the State monkeys around with rights of women that were granted 35 years ago, I am still wondering- Where Are The Jobs that were promised?


angelus 10 months ago

"It's called compelled speech, which is a violation of the First Amendment," Peter Brownlie, the Planned Parenthood chapter's president and chief executive officer, said during an interview.

I don't disagree with his statement. At the same time that means government mandated warning labels on alcohol and tobacco should be unconstitutional as well.


brianjay1 10 months ago

If a fetus can survive outside of the womb at 5 months then the only decider of food supply is where the child is located. It would be criminal if one were locked in a room and couldn't reach food and starved to death. If that one is in a womb we call it choice? It is ignoring the facts of science and the realities of birth for the elimination of an inconvenience.


jafs 10 months ago

Since a fetus is growing, it's not "whole" yet. And, since it's inside of a woman's womb, connected to the woman's body and dependent on it to continue it's growth and development, it's clearly not "separate" either.

What's wrong with these people?


kansas_cynic 10 months ago

If Operation Rescue is in favor of it, you know it plain BS. Look at who the founder was, Randall Terry. Nothing else needs to be said, Randall, a total radical nutcase, a very fitting representative of Wichita.


deec 10 months ago

I guess if an embryo is a "whole, separate, unique, living human being" then it can just pack up its old kit bag and move elsewhere. Wait...


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