Kansas Supreme Court to Consider Whether Mothers Have ‘Right to Abortion’

Photo Credit: Oriol Martinez
Photo Credit: Oriol Martinez

TOPEKA, Kansas — The Supreme Court of Kansas is set to consider whether mothers in the state have a “right” to an abortion after an appeals court was divided on the issue in determining the constitutionality of a law banning dilation and extraction (D&E) abortions.

As previously reported, Republican Gov. Sam Brownback, a Roman Catholic, signed SB 95 into law in April 2015, banning what is termed as “dismemberment abortions.” The bill passed the Senate 31-9 last year and moved to the House where it likewise was approved 98-26.

The law prohibits “knowingly dismembering a living unborn child and extracting such unborn child one piece at a time from the uterus through the use of clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors or similar instruments that, through the convergence of two rigid levers, slice, crush or grasp a portion of the unborn child’s body in order to cut or rip it off.”

The practice is common among second trimester abortions—as early as 14 weeks—as the child’s body is extracted in pieces and arranged on a tray to ensure that all the parts have been removed from the mother.

“This is a horrific procedure,” Brownback spokesman Eileen Hawley told reporters. “He hopes the nation follows suit.”

While the bill prohibited the practice, it also noted that it does not apply to “an abortion which uses suction to dismember the body of the unborn child by sucking fetal parts into a collection container,” or vacuum aspiration abortions, which are commonly performed in the first trimester. It also provided exceptions for the life and physical health of the mother.

The law was challenged by abortionist Herbert Hodes and his daughter, Traci Nauser, who argued that it placed a burden on their “right” to perform second trimester abortions. In court, the state presented other options for ending the lives of the unborn.

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“The state has offered three alternatives to the standard D & E procedure: labor-induced abortion, inducing fetal demise with digoxin injections, and inducing fetal demise by cutting the umbilical cord (also known as transection),” the appeals court outlined.

Last June, Shawnee County District Judge Larry Hendricks placed an injunction on the enforcement of the law while the constitutionality of the legislation is decided in full in court.

“The alternatives do not appear to be medically necessary or reasonable,” he said. “[P]atients’ fundamental right to terminate a pregnancy will be unduly burdened if SB 95 goes into effect.”

The state then filed an appeal, and in January, the Kansas Court of Appeals announced that it was was evenly split over the matter.

The half that favored the injunction pointed to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex “marriage,” stating that the courts seem to find “rights” in the law that aren’t expressly written in the Constitution.

“[N]either the United States Supreme Court nor the Kansas Supreme Court has limited its interpretation of broadly worded federal and state constitutional provisions only to what was initially intended.” the judges wrote. “Just last year, the United States Supreme Court once again quite clearly embraced this notion of constitutional interpretation in its Obergefell opinion, which determined that there was a right under the Due Process Clause to same-sex marriage.”

It used the example and others to conclude that Kansas must include the “right” to abortion.

But the other seven justices that favored the law said that they weren’t convinced that abortion has ever been considered a right, nor should it be.

“Simply put, there is nothing within the text or history of §§ 1 and 2 of the Kansas Constitution Bill of Rights to lead this court to conclude that these provisions were intended to guarantee a right to abortion,” they wrote. “Our state’s founders held sacred the basic concepts of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and they expressed those sentiments in that order in § 1 of our Bill of Rights.”

“Even if Kansas courts were to find substantive due process rights under § 1, as opposed to a mere expression of traditional beliefs, we would not find a substantive due process right to abortion,” they continued. “The subject of abortion places the pregnant woman’s liberty interest directly at odds with the unborn child’s right to life.”

On Monday, the Kansas Supreme Court agreed to hear the case.

“The challenge we face is whether a majority of the Kansas Supreme Court will follow the U.S. Supreme Court’s holding that allows states to ban barbaric abortion methods,” Mary Kay Culp of Kansans for Life told reporters.

“I think the decision to review the case at this point is a recognition by the court that this challenge raises a really fundamental question, which is whether or not the Kansas Constitution protects the right to abortion and, if it does, what level of protection will women be able to get under the Constitution,” said Janet Crepps of the Center for Reproductive Rights.

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  • gizmo23

    Head chopped off or burned at the stake.
    ” Everyone knows a hot steak is better than a cold chop” – Curly Howard

    One method of death is better than others? Just another pro life feel good law

    • Nidalap

      Your words have a certain merit, Mogwai. Any manner of infanticide should be struggled against, not just the particularly ugly ones.
      There IS a reason why the details of abortion are kept hidden from the mothers though. If they were confronted with the cold, hard facts of it, there would be many more who would choose life instead.
      Still…now society has devolved to the point where that might not be the case in the near future. It’s not a very long stretch to foresee a time where the abortion industry openly embraces those images. One can almost envision them putting the very pictures on their banners and proclaiming “This is the face of freedom!”.
      Do we really want to live in THAT kind of society? 🙁

      • Jalapeno

        I’d rather live in a society where NEITHER side tries to use emotional manipulation…and maybe neither side would make weird assumptions like..say..’women don’t know what they’re getting into and need to be lectured on fetal development’.

        • Nidalap

          Well, as long as there exist emotions that people can be swayed by, there will exist people who will make use of them, for good or ill.
          Some women DON’T know what they’re getting into, and don’t really think about the child within them. Were it not so, the facts would not be hidden from them, nor have so great effect when revealed…

          • Jalapeno

            Oh, I am absolutely not delusional enough to think that pro-life groups would stop trying so hard to be manipulative.

            It’s funny, too, because the only thing that’s been shown to sway the decision at all is showing an up to date ultrasound to women who were already unsure and often wanted the information from the ultrasound anyways.

            So..it’s not even really effective, it’s just a way to punish women. It’s not fooling anyone.

          • Nidalap

            Really now? Are you delusional enough to believe that pro-life groups are the ONLY ones who employ manipulation? You may claim not to like it, but you only seem compelled to speak against only one side on the issue.
            How is it punishing these women? Is it maybe making them feel some kind of shame for wanting to end the life of a child because it’s inconvenient to them?
            Shame is an emotion with a purpose. Sometimes it’s meant to be experienced…

          • Jalapeno

            “You may claim not to like it, but you only seem compelled to speak against only one side on the issue”

            Maybe..because it’s one side that stands out to me? One side that fits with the context of women seeing pictures and changing their minds on abortion?

            “How is it punishing these women?”

            Seems like you’ve answered your own question there, even using choice words like ‘inconvenience’. People want women to feel bad about the choice they make, so they go out of their way to make sure it happens.

            So..people are trying to cause a negative reaction in someone as a response to something that they did. Sounds like a punishment to me.

          • Nidalap

            Ah! You’re one of those “safe space” folks! Any differing views violate it!
            If truth is a punishment to you, you will ever attempt to avoid it.
            If that’s how you wish to live, well, you’re certainly not alone…

          • Jalapeno

            Not quite.

            You are talking about people trying to ensure that people have a negative emotional reaction to something because other people think they shouldn’t be doing it.

            Not think that it’s acceptable to manipulate people like that doesn’t mean that I want to avoid the truth or keep it from them or refuse to see it myself or anything like that. It just means that I find it to be morally reprehensible.

          • Nidalap

            Heh. You found something morally reprehensible. Then you presented an argument that it shouldn’t be done.
            I’m cool with that. Why aren’t you? 🙂

          • Jalapeno

            Cool with..other people doing things that I find morally reprehensible?

            Cool with…other people telling me that my lack of support for emotional manipulation is akin to a ‘safe space’?

          • Nidalap

            So…what you’re saying is…if someone is doing something you find to be morally reprehensible, you should be allowed to speak out against it.

            And also…if anyone tells you your lack of support for that action is somehow wrong (or even reprehensible itself) it’s okay to be a bit miffed about it.

            Okey-doke! 🙂

          • Jalapeno

            It *feels* like you’re trying to call me hypocritical…I don’t actually see it though, especially since I don’t actually care if other people get miffed that I dare criticize their methodology..so I’ll just assume that you’re not saying that at all.

            Of course, I’m also a bit confused on why it switched from “emotional punishments are okay” to “people can say what they want”..so..oh well.

      • Josey

        Mogwai, you answering a demon and giving merit to it?

        • Nidalap

          Ha! No. It’s from the old Gremlins movie. It was what the old, Chinese shopkeeper called the cute, lovable fuzzball whose progeny became gremlins once fed after midnight. Billy named him Gizmo. (^_^)

          • Josey

            oh ok, gotcha and I forgot that gremlin was named Gizmo. the reason I asked is because the definition of Mogwai is this according to Chinese tradition, mogwai are certain demons, which often inflict harm on humans. God bless you Nidalap, you have a wonderful sense of humor. 🙂

          • Nidalap

            Awww! (^_^) Thanx! That must’ve been where they got the idea from to call it that in the movie.
            Heh. When I Googled it to check the spelling, it brought up a bunch of pages about some Scottish musical group! Wonder what they based THEIR name on? 🙂

          • Josey

            interesting, will have to chk it out but they must have had same idea

    • Josey

      don’t agree with you often but you’re right on this one. 🙂 It’s an election year so they say what they think will placate ppl to get votes, that’s all. The only solution is to stop killing the innocent and teach young men and women to respect their bodies and to wait till they are able to care for an infant, not give them a easy way out by abortion. Not all give into abortion and yes they struggle financially but love overcomes it all every time. I can vouch for I had a child at the age of 16, many wanted to adopt him but I couldn’t give him up, yes we struggled financially and in other ways but he is alive today and is a wonderful person with a heart for those who are abandoned and hurting, he would give his shirt off his back and go w/out so another could be warm. I give the glory to God for he is who he is because of God working in him and he has a purpose on this earth no matter how small or big, the ripples spread out to all but if we kill them we as a society lose out.

      • gizmo23

        My gripe is that many think electing a certain person or party is somehow going to end abortion. Politicians use the pro life movement for their own gain, nothing more.

        • Josey

          I think that is true, they could have ended this very simply along time ago but instead they are placating ppl to get votes, maybe not everyone of them but the majority don’t want abortion to go away. It is the same with border security, they could have done something about that many yrs ago as well

    • AugustineThomas

      In a country with a baby-murdering Nazi majority, you try to stop the mass murder anyway you can.
      You guys have done well for your master Satan. You’ve now murdered over a billion babies in cold blood.

      • gizmo23

        Who is ou guys?

        • AugustineThomas

          It’s real proof of the cancerous nature of Secularist beliefs that Secularists are increasingly unable to argue and just attempt to annoy or silence those they disagree with. (I think it’s the fact that Secularists are now raised on a bunch of brain-dead, crude, soulless popular entertainment like South Park, Family Guy, Girls, etc.)

  • JustChris1976

    Culture of death (AIDS and abortion) vs culture of life. Two radically different worldviews.

    • gizmo23

      Aids is somehow promoted ?

      • AugustineThomas

        Do you need us to explain to you how people get AIDs? Or have you been so brainwashed in public school that you think it’s impossible that there’s a connection between encouraging people to have dangerous, non-monogamous sex and the proliferation of a disease that is one of the consequences of having dangerous, non-monogamous sex?

        • gizmo23

          Who is encouraging ? AIDS is transmitted through blood and most AIDS cases in the world are spread by hetorosexual contact

          • AugustineThomas

            That’s because 99% of the world is heterosexual.

            Homosexual males have 16000% more STDs than heterosexual males. That’s proven by many demographic studies.

            All men and women who engage in homosexual perversion are far more likely to be depressed and commit suicide than those who don’t.
            And, before you blame those who rightly reject homosexual perversion, African Americans before the 1960s were far more dehumanized and oppressed than people who suffer from homosexual perversion, yet they never showed the same rates of depression and suicide because they remained devoutly Christian throughout that period and were obviously not engaging in perversion by having the skin color God gave them.
            Skin color comes from God. Homosexual perversion comes from Satan just like heterosexual perversion.

  • robertzaccour

    We need legislation to pass that protects the babies. Oh yeah, we already do. It’s called The Constitution. What happened to that?

    • Josey

      Not to mention it’s against the law to murder and yet America has killed over 70,000 babies since Roe vs Wade in which she never aborted the baby but gave it up for adoption,they conveniently leave that bit of info out when referring to that case and the number is probably bigger than that, they always underestimate numbers when it fits their agenda but exaggerate statements when it will benefit them. Blacks should be outraged since most aborted babies are black or the poor. If all black lives matter as they say then every adult black should come out against abortion and the drug and gangs in their neighborhoods. I actually saw a video of a black woman being interviewed where she was singing obama’s praises because she got a free cell phone, really you sell your soul for freebies that will be taken away soon. If black lives matter then all blacks need to get their act together and reject the freebies that buy votes for the one’s who enslaved them years ago and still are enslaving them with poor education and a lack of jobs. You think your spokesperson Al Sharpton is doing w/out? No, he’s living in a nice home and making money off your backs while you are finding it difficult to put food on he table and struggling to pay your bills. And he is stirring up racial divisions, he is a NWO puppet, wake up. We of other races are not against you and besides in Christ there is no race, only believers, teach your children the truth, educate them for the schools aren’t doing it.

    • http://www.bing.com/ Martin Smit

      At the high society parties and at all the very best schools, it is quite fashionable to interpret the constitution broadly – to consider the broad sweeps of the pen as it passed over the paper, and note that the same pen, if wielded today by the judge and his first year lecturer, would have written letters that are not only shaped differently, but arranged so as to form a vastly different meaning. This is how the left generates rights, and there’s still a lot left to “right”.

      • robertzaccour

        I see what you mean. The Constitution is not a “living document” meant to be altered over time. It was carefully written and should be applied as it is written in regards to “natural rights”.

        • donalddefreeze

          If the Constitution wasn’t intended to be a living document, the founders who wrote it would have not included a mechanism to change it, so that claim is therefore bogus.

          And there is no more of a fundamental “natural right” than body autonomy and the inherent right to determine one’s own destiny.

    • AugustineThomas

      Outside of a few devoted Americanists, very few people care at all about the Constitution.
      The Constitution is a document like any other, it isn’t magical. An immoral people will create an immoral country, whether or not they have the Constitution.

  • WorldGoneCrazy

    D&E abortion (“cartoon” video):

    http://www .abortionprocedures .com/

    Actual abortions (warning – GRAPHIC!):

    http://www.abortionno .org/

    Pro-aborts: know the “great cause” you are fighting for.

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    No one has rights to murder an innocent life.

  • AugustineThomas

    You need to start introducing all the pro-baby-murder zealots as Secularists.
    “Barack Obama, a Secularist who believes deeply in murdering children as a form of birth control, said…”