TOPEKA — Comprehensive Health of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri (CHPPKM) has filed a federal lawsuit challenging a new Kansas law that requires–among other regulations–that abortionists tell mothers that they are killing a “whole, separate, unique, living human being.”
As previously reported, Kansas legislators passed the sweeping abortion bill in March of this year, which was then signed into law by Governor Sam Brownback.
“The legislature hereby finds and declares the following: (1) The life of each human being begins at fertilization; (2) unborn children have interests in life, health and well-being that should be protected; and (3) the parents of unborn children have protectable interests in the life, health and well-being of the unborn children of such parents,” the bill declares.
In addition to making a direct assertion on when life begins, the legislation prohibits abortionists from receiving tax breaks. Another section bars doctors-in-training at the state medical school from performing abortions on state time. A third requires that all abortionists notify women of the risks associated with having an abortion.
Furthermore, the bill also prohibits organizations that perform abortions from teaching in sexual education classes.
“No school district shall permit any person or entity to offer, sponsor or otherwise furnish in any manner any course materials or instruction relating to human sexuality or sexually transmitted diseases if such person or entity is an abortion services provider, or an employee, agent or volunteer of an abortion services provider,” it outlines.
However, as the regulations are set to go into effect on July 1st, Planned Parenthood is seeking to have the law halted and ultimately overturned. Its lawsuit filed this week in a Kansas district court asserts that the requirement to tell women that they are killing a “living human being” prior to an abortion forces them to make “a misleading statement of philosophical and/or religious belief.”
“It’s called compelled speech, which is a violation of the First Amendment,” local Planned Parenthood President Peter Brownlie told the Associated Press. “The legislature is attempting to force us to endorse the political views of the governor and his allies.”
Brownlie also takes issue with a section of the law that requires abortion providers to link to a page on the Kansas Department of Health and Environment website, which provides information about fetal development. Abortionists must additionally notify women that unborn children can feel pain after 20 weeks.
“We are in court to fight this overreaching law that violates our freedom of speech, and undermines a woman’s ability to trust her doctor,” Brownlie wrote in a news release announcing the lawsuit. “For government officials to force individuals and organizations to publically endorse the state’s views violates the fundamental principles on which our country is founded. Governor Brownback’s attempt to again inject politics into the relationship between a woman and her doctor will not stand.”
However, pro-life organizations in the state say that the laws being challenged merely require abortionists to tell women the whole truth about their irreversible decision.
“I don’t understand how it is a violation of the First Amendment when you are informing people — [when] you are actually telling people what is going on,” said Troy Newman of Operation Rescue.
“It’s nothing more than the state protecting its citizens,” Mary Kay Culp of Kansans for Life told reporters.