Planned Parenthood sues to block Kansas law telling mothers baby is ‘separate, unique, living human’
KANSAS CITY, KS, June 21, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – An abortionist and his local Planned Parenthood affiliate sued in federal court Thursday to stop a law that would tell women considering abortion that an unborn child is not a part of her own body and that unborn children can feel pain by the third trimester of pregnancy.
Abortionist Orrin Moore, director of the Overland Park Planned Parenthood, sought to block a provision of the Kansas 2013 Pro-Life Protections Act that requires abortionists to inform mothers who seek abortions that they are ending the life of a “whole, separate, unique, living human being."
According to Moore, the statement that an abortion terminates the life of a separate human being is “a misleading statement of philosophical and/or religious belief.”
He claims in his lawsuit that the law violates his First Amendment right to free speech by forcing him to say something he personally believes to be untrue.
Moore was joined in his lawsuit by Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, which objects to a section of the law that requires abortionists to inform patients that an unborn child can feel pain by the 20th week following fertilization. Planned Parenthood claims that information is “irrelevant” because “all or virtually all” of the patients at their Overland Park abortion center abort before the 20th week of pregnancy.
The lawsuit also seeks to overturn a provision of the law requiring abortion clinic websites to provide a link to a Kansas Department of Health and Environment page with accurate information about abortion and fetal development.
Kansas has required informed consent since 1998, but launched the website in 2009 to more efficiently convey the required information, which includes an interactive, real-time ultrasound simulation of normal pregnancy development.
Abortion providers have long objected to informed consent requirements on free speech grounds using the “compelled speech” argument. But the Supreme Court ruled in 1992’s Planned Parenthood vs. Casey that the state has a right to require abortionists to disseminate medically accurate data, and it is not a violation of abortionists’ free speech rights because they are free to try and refute it if they wish, so long as they provide the information.
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Many do just that. For example, the website for the Aid for Women abortion clinic in Kansas City has posted on its state-mandated informed consent page this bullet point which simultaneously provides and disputes the required state info:
“12. WE MUST UNTRUTHFULLY TELL YOU (KSA 65-6709(b)(5)) – “The abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.” This is untruthful because the fetus is quite dependent upon, not separate from, the maternal placental oxygen and nutrient acquisition and kidney’s waste disposal. The word “whole” implies “complete” but the fetus is not truly completed until birth. Also, cancer is unique, human and living, yet not deserving of life.”
The same office embeds its required link to the state’s informed consent webpage in the following political rant:
“We are being forced by Republicans to use our website resources to say untruthful things about the State's proLife [sic] website in hopes that you will visit their website and change your mind away from abortion. We must have this signage or go to jail. Republicans also don't believe that rape causes pregnancy, nor ever too many children. They are stupid. Let's vote them out of office. However, here goes... "The Kansas Department of Health and Environment maintains a website containing objective, nonjudgmental, scientifically accurate information about the development of the unborn child, as well as video of sonogram images of the unborn child at various stages of development. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment's website can be reached by clicking here."
Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit, if successful, could allow abortion centers to remove informed consent from their websites completely.
Kathy Ostrowski of Kansans for Life said the lawsuit, like others aimed at overturning the state’s strong abortion laws, is a nuisance and a waste of taxpayer money.
“The money taxpayers are forced to use to defend all of the Constitutionally-sound Kansas pro-life laws are a result of the abortion clinics’ greed,” Ostrowski wrote on the group’s blog. “This is the fourth challenge to Kansas pro-life laws. Kansas won the suit against the abortion insurance law; awaits a ruling on appeal to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals on the 2011 Title X funding law; is enduring an ongoing state court lawsuit opposing state health department oversight of abortion clinics, which – by precedent in other states – is a meritless suit.”
Ostrowski said she is “confident” that Kansas will prevail against Planned Parenthood in court, and urged the state to hold the line on its pro-life legislation.
“Kansas should strongly oppose any injunction or potential consent order that would censor those few lines of information, and force the reprinting of the state Right-to Know booklets,” Ostrowski said. She called on the court to refuse the injunction requested by Planned Parenthood.
Ostrowski defended the bill from its pro-abortion critics and accused Planned Parenthood of trying to keep valuable information from women.
“[T]he Pro-life Protection Act is a response to the notorious omissions by clinics when it comes to abortion harms and the true gestational development of unborn children,” she said. “The women considering abortion should be afforded all accurate data and they are the ones harmed by today’s litigation.”