Cheryl Sullenger

Courts continue glacial pace as Kansas abortion clinics run amok

Cheryl Sullenger
By Cheryl Sullenger

Topeka, Kansas, August 1, 2012 (OperationRescue.org) – The State of Kansas will ask for summary judgment at a hearing on Friday, August 3, 2012, in a suit brought by Kansas abortionists challenging a clinic licensing law passed last year.

“We will be watching that hearing very closely,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue and Pro-Life Nation. “Given the history of abortion abuses in Kansas, the enforcement of the new law cannot come soon enough.”

Pro-life groups in Kansas have been trying to pass clinic licensing requirements since 2003 in order to add a layer of protection for women seeking services at abortion clinics that have never been inspected or accountable to any safety standards.

But for years, during the radically pro-abortion administrations of Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, who now serves the Obama Administration as Secretary of Health and Human Services, and her hand-picked successor, Mark Parkinson, common sense regulations meant to protect women from exploitation by unaccountable abortion clinics were repeatedly vetoed even though they had the overwhelming support of the public and the State Legislature.

Under the Sebelius/Parkinson administrations abortion clinics ran amok while they were politically shielded from accountability under Kansas law.

Finally, a sweeping change in the composition of state government in 2010 enabled the long-sought clinic licensing legislation to be signed into law. Just as the law was to go into effect, it was blocked by a Federal Court judge in a case filed by abortion clinics that have histories of resisting oversight and engaging in abortion abuses.

“This is a case of the inmates running the asylum,” said Newman. “Abortion clinics have been caught red-handed breaking the law or admitting to abuses, yet they have managed to keep the authorities, who have the law on their side, on the defensive.”

The court delays have been insufferable. The challenge was first filed in Federal Court in June, 2011, where the court blocked enforcement of the law. When it appeared that the Federal Court would not rule in their favor, the abortion clinics involved in the case dropped their Federal suit and refiled in state court. This reset the case and caused almost a year of delays.

Regulating abortion clinics

Clinic licensing and safety regulations have been passed in several states, including more recently Virginia, Maryland, and Mississippi. In Pennsylvania, several abortion clinics closed rather that bring their clinics up to standards when inspections conducted after an 18-year hiatus discovered massive deficiencies. Such inspections, like those required by the Kansas law, have been found to be constitutional and a vital function of the state, which is tasked with the duty to protect the public’s health and safety.

A requirement that abortionists maintain local hospital privileges has passed Constitutional muster in Missouri, yet remains inexplicably under injunction in Kansas.

There are three abortion clinics left in Kansas and each has its own set of problems, which abortion clinic licensing will only partially address.

Comprehensive Health of Planned Parenthood

The largest abortion clinic in Kansas is Comprehensive Health of Planned Parenthood. In 2003, it came under investigation for failing to report child rape. In May, 2009, Operation Rescue again documented Planned Parenthood’s willingness to ignore suspected child sex abuse. Yet, political interference ensured that Planned Parenthood was never charged.

In 2007, Planned Parenthood was finally charged with 107 criminal counts related to illegal late-term abortions and manufacturing evidence to conceal their crimes. The case languished in the State Supreme Court for years on Planned Parenthood appeals. Last fall, it was revealed that evidence critical to the state’s case was shredded under the Sebelius administration without notice to the appropriate authorities, causing the judge to dismiss the most serious charges. However, 58 criminal counts remain pending. Just three weeks ago, District Attorney Steve Howe announced that he had lost his expert witness in the case and was struggling to replace him. A status hearing is set for August 20, 2012, with no trial date in sight.

After five years, District Attorney Howe, who was a political rival of the prosecutor who initially brought the charges, has failed to bring the criminal case against Planned Parenthood to trial.

“Howe’s lack of will to prosecute crimes against Planned Parenthood is more than troubling and may be motivated by political animosity against his predecessor,” said Newman. “In the meantime, Planned Parenthood is making a monkey out of him. It’s embarrassing.”

This case only serves to re-emphasize the need to enact clinic licensing and safety requirements that are enforceable by medical regulators who understand that patient safety should come before politics. In the meantime, Planned Parenthood remains out of control and unaccountable.

Central Women’s Services, AKA Aid for Women

Earlier this year, a confidential informant leaked documents to Operation Rescue from Central Family Medical, also known as Aid for Women, that indicated the abortion clinic had illegally dumped private patient medical information and bloody refuse from abortions. Additional documents indicated that the Kansas City abortion clinic never reported incidents of suspected abuse. Videos taken outside the clinic showed women who were unable to walk without assistance being dangerously released after abortions.

Operation Rescue filed complaints with various state agencies demanding an investigation and enforcement of Kansas laws. While the Kansas Board of Healing Arts was quick to launch such an investigation, the Attorney General’s office has remained disturbingly unresponsive.

“It has been three months since we reported the violations at Central Family Medical and revealed the fact that disgraced abortionist Malcom Knarr, whose medical license was revoked for dangerous abortion practices in 1994, owns and operates the clinic. Yet it continues to operate doing business as usual. It appears that there is no sense of urgency to protect women from this predatory abortion business,” said Newman.

Central Family Medical was the first clinic denied licensure before the Court halted enforcement. It has joined with abortionist Herbert Hodes in his suit challenging the law.

Center for Women’s Health

The father-daughter team of abortionists, Herbert Hodes and Traci Nauser, originally brought suit to block the new clinic licensing law, refusing to submit their Center for Women’s Health abortion clinic to state inspection.

Hodes is no stranger to headlines in the Sunflower State.

According to the Wichita Eagle, Hodes testified on March 9, 2011, before the House Committee on Federal and State Affairs. The Eagle reported, “[Hodes] estimated that Kansas has seen ‘five deaths in the last five years’ because of abortion procedures.” Hodes later changed his tune and denied any abortion-related deaths occurred during that time span after his comments prompted demands from Operation Rescue that the Attorney General’s office investigate the spate of unreported abortion deaths.

Hodes and AFW also were part of a Federal lawsuit tried in 2006 challenging the state’s mandatory child abuse reporting requirements. They argued that abortion clinics should not be required to report suspected cases of child sex abuse when girls under 14 come to them for abortions. While initially the judge ruled that abortion clinics could report at their discretion, a change in the law later rendered that absurd ruling moot.

Other Kansas abortion abuses

The Kansas State Board of Healing Arts revoked the license of abortionist Ann Kristin Neuhaus last month after it was determined that she had for years improperly referred women for late-term abortions for mental health reasons after conducting negligently inadequate patient interviews that she attempted to pass off as mental health evaluations. The revocation was the result of a complaint filed by Operation Rescue. The abortion clinic she worked at had no oversight nor had it ever been inspected to ensure compliance with Board regulations or other laws.

The license of another Kansas abortionist, Krishna Rajanna in 2005 after it was documented that he ran a filthy abortion mill that was so nasty that one police detective later testified before the Legislature about the horrific conditions he experienced. The clinic had never been inspected and would still be operating if not for pro-life activists who documented and exposed the filth.

Operation Rescue’s own headquarters is now located in a former abortion clinic where appalling conditions existed, including mold and pest infestations, leaky roof and plumbing, a clogged drain in the room where abortion equipment was washed, and dangerously out of code electrical. It operated for 23 years without a state inspector ever darkening its doorway.

Need for another enforcement avenue

Gaining enforcement of the law by elected politicians in abortion-related cases has always been the weak link in Kansas, with the exception of former Attorney General Phill Kline.

“Politicians as prosecutors have never worked well in Kansas,” said Newman. “They either protect the abortion clinics as their ideological soul-mates or are too concerned about their political careers to aggressively take on the abortion cartel. Either way, they have left vulnerable women open for exploitation by abortion clinics that have been able to so far get away with defying the law.”

Clinic regulations would add another avenue of enforcement by regulators that have the legal authority to close dangerous abortion clinics that cannot or will not comply with the law. That is a level of oversight that has never existed in Kansas.

“We are praying the State’s motion is successful,” said Newman. “Women in Kansas simply cannot afford the risk to their lives and health that comes with more delay.”

Take action

Operation Rescue continues to ask the public to express concerns to District Attorney Steve Howe, asking him to aggressively prosecute Planned Parenthood.

Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe
Voice: (913) 715-3000
E-mail: district.attorney@jocogov.org
The public is also encouraged to contact Attorney General Derek Schmidt and ask for an investigation into complaint against Central Family Medical for the non-reporting of abuse and other violations.

KS Atty. Gen. Derek Schmidt
Voice: 1-888-428-8436
Fax: (785) 296-6296
E-Mail form: Click here

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Are you praying for the upcoming Synod on the Family? You should be, and here’s why

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By John-Henry Westen

Catholics, and all Christians who value family values, should be praying earnestly for the Catholic Church as a struggle over critical family issues is coming to a head in the run-up to the Extraordinary Synod on the Family, which takes place October 5-19. 

Augmenting the concerns is the fact that some of the cardinals closest to Pope Francis himself are increasingly in public disagreement over crucial matters related to faith and family. For some, the concerns reach right to the pope himself.

While Synod preparations have been going on for a year, Sunday’s weddings of 20 couples in St. Peter’s Basilica by Pope Francis presented a figurative, and perhaps foreboding launch.

In a press release prior to the ceremony, the Rome diocese inexplicably went out of its way to highlight the fact that some of couples the pope was going to marry were cohabiting. "Those who will get married Sunday are couples like many others,” it said. “There are those who are already cohabitating; who already have children.”

Unsurprisingly, the mainstream press took the bait and seized upon this statement to run headline after headline pushing the confusing notion that the event was a prelude to, or evidence of, a change in Church teaching on marriage.

Headlines like: 

All I can do is pray that the public fallout from these wedding ceremonies does not foreshadow the public outcome of the Synod. If so, we could be headed for a tragedy akin to the tragedy of the late sixties when, despite the proclamation of the truth of Humanae Vitae against contraception, the effect among ordinary Catholics was a near universal rejection of the teaching in practice.

What to expect at the Synod

The official list of those taking part in the Synod includes 114 presidents of Bishops’ Conferences, 13 heads of Eastern Catholic Churches sui iuris, 25 heads of the dicasteries of the Roman Curia, nine members of the Ordinary Council for the Secretariat, the Secretary General, the Undersecretary, three religious elected by the Union of Superiors General, 26 members appointed by the Pontiff, eight fraternal delegates, and 38 auditors, among whom are 13 married couples and 16 experts.

You’ve undoubtedly heard of Cardinal Kasper’s intervention at the Consistory of Cardinals earlier this year, in which he laid out a contentious proposal to allow Catholics who have been divorced and then ‘remarried’ outside the Church to receive Communion. 

Since then a bevy of heavy-hitter cardinals have fought that proposal, including:

Today, however, Cardinal Kasper said the “attacks” from these cardinals were not so much directed at him but at Pope Francis, since, claims Kasper, he discussed his intervention with the pope and gained his approval.

The claim has some basis, since the day after Kasper made the proposal, before it was made public, Pope Francis praised it publicly.  According to Vatican Information Service, the Holy Father said:

I read and reread Cardinal Walter Kasper's document and I would like to thank him, as I found it to be a work of profound theology, and also a serene theological reflection. It is pleasant to read serene theology. And I also found what St. Ignacius described as the 'sensus Ecclesiae', love for the Mother Church. ... It did me good, and an idea came to mind – please excuse me, Eminence, if I embarrass you – but my idea was that this is what we call ‘doing theology on one's knees’. Thank you, thank you.

Of note, Vatican correspondent Sébastien Maillard, writing for France’s La Croix, reports today that Pope Francis is “irritated” by the release of a book containing criticisms of the Kasper proposal by five cardinals.

As LifeSiteNews.com reported yesterday, one of those authors, Cardinal Raymond Burke, is being demoted from his headship of the Apostolic Signatura. The only post planned for the 66-year-old cardinal thus far is patron of the Order of Malta. 

Cardinal Burke’s pre-Synod interventions go beyond the divorce and remarriage question and into the matter of homosexuality.  In a recent interview Cardinal Burke gave a clear refutation of the misuse of Pope Francis’ famed ‘Who am I to judge’ quote to justify homosexuality.

While the issue of the Church’s teachings on homosexuality is seldom raised in reference to the Synod, with most of the emphasis being placed on the question of divorce and remarriage, it is mentioned in the working document, or ‘Instrumentum Laboris’, of the Synod.

As with the matter of divorce, no doctrine regarding homosexuality can be changed, but much confusion can still be sown under the auspices of adjustments to “pastoral” practice. Without a clear teaching from the Synod, the effects could be similar to the shift in “pastoral” practice among dissenting clergy after the promulgation of Humanae Vitae, which led to the use of artificial contraception by most Catholics.

Already and for many years there has been de facto broad acceptance of homosexual sexual practices in many Catholic schools, universities and many other institutions, with many staff being active homosexuals in open defiance of Catholic moral teaching.

Regarding the Synod’s deliberations on homosexuality, it does not bode well that one of Pope Francis’ personal appointees to the Synod is retired Cardinal Godfried Danneels.  The selection is remarkable because of Danneels was caught on tape in 2010 urging a victim who had been sexually abused by a bishop-friend of Danneels, to be silent.  Then, only last year Danneels praised as a “positive development” that states were opening up civil marriage to homosexuals.

Then, just this week, as reported on the Rorate Caeli blog, one of the three Synod presidents gave an interview with the leading Brazilian newspaper in which he said that while stable unions between homosexual persons cannot be equated to marriage, the Church has always tried to show respect for such unions.

The statement matches that of another prominent Synod participant, Vienna’s Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, who in 2010 spoke of giving more consideration to ‘the quality’ of homosexual relationships. “We should give more consideration to the quality of homosexual relationships. A stable relationship is certainly better than if someone chooses to be promiscuous,” Schönborn said.

In the end, while there is currently a public battle in the Vatican that is unprecedented in modern history, the faith will not and cannot change.  As faithful Catholics, and Christians, we must cling to the Truths of Christ regarding the family and live them out in our own lives first and foremost.  That is difficult, to be sure, especially in our sex-saturated culture, but with Christ (and only with Him) all things are possible. 

Plead with heaven for the pope and the bishops in the Synod.  LifeSiteNews will be there reporting from Rome, and, with your prayers and support, be of service to those defending truth.

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Poet: I ‘would’ve died’ for my aborted daughter’s ‘right to choose,’ just ‘like she died for mine’ (VIDEO)

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By Ben Johnson

What kind of mother asks her baby to die for her? And what kind of media outlet celebrates that?

To take the second question first, The Huffington Post is promoting a video featuring Scottish “poet” Leyla Josephine, celebrating her decision to abort her daughter. The video, “I Think She Was a She,” was uploaded to YouTube a month ago.

In the video Josephine, decked out in military camouflage, justifies herself in part by saying that she would have been willing to serve as a sacrifice to abortion just as she offered her daughter to the idol of “choice.”

“I would’ve supported her right to choose – to choose a life for herself, a path for herself. I would’ve died for that right like she died for mine,” she said.

In the next rhyming line, she addresses her unborn daughter: “I’m sorry, but you came at the wrong time.”

“I am not ashamed. I am not ashamed. I am not ashamed," she continues – a phrase she repeats a total of six times. She repeats the phrase "This is my body" three times. (She also takes the Lord's name in vain once.)

In the early part of the video, she describes her belief that her child was a girl and imagines a life where she had given birth to her daughter.

“I know she was a she,” she says. “I would have made sure that there was space on the walls to measure her height,” she adds. “I would have made sure I was a good mother.”

At one point she appears to describe the emotional aftermath of her choice as “a hollowness that feels full, a numbness that feels heavy.”

But she later calls the idea that her child was a girl or a boy “bull---t” and affirms, yet again, she is not ashamed.

This provokes a few observations:

1. If she knew her child's sex, she must have had a late-term abortion. Our gentle, healing restoration is needed in a world marred by so much aggression and anger in the name of political orthodoxy.

2. Fr. Frank Pavone has written, ”Did you ever realize that the same four words that were used by the Lord Jesus to save the world are also used by abortion advocates? 'This is My Body.'” To paraphrase him, he notes the difference. One, by surrendering His life on the Cross, gave life to the world. The abortion industry uses this phrase to impose its will on the bodies of separate, living human beings who have not harmed anyone.

3. The most chilling phrase in the video is her statement, “I would’ve supported her right to choose...I would’ve died for that right like she died for mine.”

First of all, her daughter did not die for the “right to choose.” Her daughter was not sacrificed for the inalienable “good” of keeping abortion-on-demand legal (and, in the UK, taxpayer-subsidized). Politicians are bribed to maintain it; no baby needs to die for it. Josephine's child died because HuffPo's hero of the moment chose not to carry the baby to term and place him/her in the hands of loving adoptive parents who would have cherished her baby – whether it was actually male, female, or intersex.

Josephine describes the emotions that actually led to the abortion only metaphorically – e.g., she compares the abortion to chopping down a cherry tree – but that angst is the root (so to speak) of the abortion, not the great and grand cause of assuring that other women have the right to go through the same soul-crushing grief.

That intimation that her daughter died for “choice” – that she offered her baby as a living sacrifice on the altar of abortion – confirms the darkest rhetoric of the pro-life movement: That for some in the movement, abortion is sometimes regarded as an idol.

And that raises one other, more universally held question: What kind of parent asks his son or daughter to die for the “right” to abortion? Parents are supposed to be the one who sacrificially care for their children, who forsake their own comfort, who do whatever is necessary – even die – to keep their children safe, healthy, and well. Josephine's blithe, “Sorry, but you came at the wrong time” sounds as hollow as a gangland assassin's apology to the family caught in the crossfire of a drive-by shooting. Abortion severs the love that God, or Mother Nature, or evolution, or whatever you choose to believe in placed within every pregnant woman to link the mother to her child.

The abortion lobby's rhetoric, which increasingly disregards the value of unborn life, is untethered by the bonds of human compassion, is fundamentally selfish and cold-blooded, and lacks a sense of humanity and brotherhood to the point of obliterating maternal love itself.

“Will a woman forget her child, so as not to have compassion upon the offspring of her womb?” God asks through the prophet Isaiah. “But if a woman should even forget these, yet I will not forget thee, saith the Lord.”

The pro-life movement exists precisely to set this upside-down order aright, to reinstate the natural love and compassion everyone should have for all of God's creation – most especially that between a mother and the innocent child she has helped create and fashion with her own DNA.

Cross-posted at TheRightsWriter.com.

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Cardinal Dolan greets worshipers and guests on the steps of Saint Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan after Easter mass on April 8, 2012 in New York City. Lev Radin / Shutterstock.com
Lisa Bourne

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Catholic leaders criticize Cardinal Dolan’s defense of gay group at St. Patrick’s Parade

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne
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New York Cardinal John O'Connor on the cover of the New York Post on January 11, 1993. http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/

New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan defended his decision to serve as grand marshal for the 2015 St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Wednesday, in the wake of widespread criticism from Catholics after he praised the organizing committee for allowing a homosexual activist group to march.

“If the Parade Committee allowed a group to publicize its advocacy of any actions contrary to Church teaching, I’d object,” Dolan stated in his weekly column. On the contrary, he argued, “The committee’s decision allows a group to publicize its identity, not promote actions contrary to the values of the Church that are such an essential part of Irish culture.”

Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, was not impressed with the cardinal’s argument. This is precisely about publicizing advocacy contrary to Catholic teaching,” he said.

“As a Catholic father I find there is rapidly contracting space where this shameful agenda is not stuck in the faces of my children,” Ruse told LifeSiteNews. “The Church should be protecting our children rather than abetting those who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of innocent souls."

Pat Archbold, a popular blogger at the National Catholic Register and who runs the Creative Minority Report blog, lambasted Dolan for suggesting the embrace and promotion of “gay identity” can be separated from the sin of homosexuality.

“This identity is not a morally-neutral God-given attribute such as male or female, black or white,” he said. “The identity is with the immoral choice to engage in immoral behavior.”

“The best that can be said in this situation is that these people choose to proudly identify themselves with an intrinsic disorder.  But in reality, it is worse than that,” he continued. “The people find their identity and pride in sin.  Either the Cardinal knows this or he doesn't, either way Cardinal Dolan reveals himself unequal to his responsibility as a successor of the Apostles.”

The parade committee changed its longstanding policy on September 3 after decades of pressure from homosexual groups. Upon being announced as the parade’s grand marshal later the same day, Cardinal Dolan said he had no trouble with the decision at all, calling it “wise.”

The organizers had never prohibited any marchers, but did not ban issue-focused banners and signs, whether promoting homosexuality or the pro-life cause.

Cardinal Dolan stated in his column Wednesday that he did not oppose the previous policy.

“This was simply a reasonable policy about banners and public identification, not about the sexual inclinations of participants,” he explained.

“I have been assured that the new group marching is not promoting an agenda contrary to Church teaching,” he said as well, “but simply identifying themselves as ‘Gay people of Irish ancestry.’”

The homosexual activist group that will march is called OUT@NBCUniversal, which describes itself as the employee resource group for LGBT & Straight Ally employees at the media giant.

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The network held the broadcast contract for parade coverage. Reports indicated the contract was about to expire, and that NBC joined in pressuring on parade officials.

Cardinal Dolan conceded in his column there were many thoughtful reasons for criticizing the parade policy change, and noted that he shared some of them.

“While a handful have been less than charitable in their reactions, I must admit that many of you have rather thoughtful reasons for criticizing the committee’s decision,” he said. “You observe that the former policy was fair; you worry that this is but another example of a capitulation to an ‘aggressive Gay agenda,’ which still will not appease their demands; and you wonder if this could make people think the Church no longer has a clear teaching on the nature of human sexuality.” 

However, he said, the most important question he had to ask himself was whether the new policy violated Catholic faith or morals.

In stressing that homosexual actions are sinful while identity is not, Cardinal Dolan said, “Catholic teaching is clear: ‘being Gay’ is not a sin, nor contrary to God’s revealed morals.”

Making opinion paramount, the cardinal offered that the parade committee “tried to be admirably sensitive to Church teaching,” and even though the original policy was not at all unfair, the committee was “realistic in worrying that the public perception was the opposite, no matter how often they tried to explain its coherence and fairness.”

“They worried that the former policy was being interpreted as bias, exclusion, and discrimination against a group in our city,” Cardinal Dolan wrote. “Which, if true, would also be contrary to Church teaching.”

When the decision was announced and Cardinal Dolan named the parade’s grand marshal, Philip Lawler, director of Catholic Culture and editor for Catholic World News, called it a significant advance for homosexual activists, and a significant retreat for the Catholic Church.

Pointing out in his column that the media will be correct to concentrate on that narrative at next March’s event, Lawler identified what he said is almost certain to be the result of the 2015 St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

“Next year there will be only one story-line of interest to the reporters who cover the annual parade in the world’s media capital: the triumph of the gay activists,” Lawler wrote.

“Photographers will be competing for the one ‘money’ shot: the picture of the contingent from OUT@NBCUniversal marching past the reviewing stand at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, under the benign smile of Cardinal Timothy Dolan.”

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