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Kansas Judge Won’t Let Abortion Clinics Escape Licensing Law

by Cheryl Sullenger | Topeka, KS | LifeNews.com | 8/6/12 11:52 AM

State

Shawnee County District Judge Franklin Theis denied a motion on Friday asking him to dismiss a state challenge to an abortion clinic licensing law that has been brought by two Kansas abortionists.

Despite his ruling, Judge Theis agreed with the State that abortion clinics should have some oversight.

“Abortion was originally a back alley business and obviously we don’t want the back alley brought into four walls. There’s enough concern that somebody ought to keep an eye on it,” said Judge Theis.

At issue is a law passed in 2011 that authorized the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to license clinics where abortions are done and develop a set of health and safety standards such clinics must meet. Operation Rescue testified for the need for permanent new standards at a special hearing last September, presenting KDHE with over 2,500 pages of documentation of known abortion abuses.

Representatives of Operation Rescue were in the court room on Friday to observe the proceedings.

Of the three abortion clinics in Kansas, only one qualified for licensing before the suit blocked enforcement of the law. A Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Overland Park applied for and received licensing based on temporary regulations on July 1, 2011, when the new law was to go into effect.

A second abortion clinic in Kansas City failed to receive licensing based on its application and was never inspected. Operation Rescue later revealed documentation of numerous abortion abuses occurring at that clinic, including the refusal to report child sex abuse and the illegal dumping of private patient information and bloody refuse from abortions. That clinic is currently under investigation by the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts based on information provided by Operation Rescue.

Herbert Hodes and his daughter Tracy Nauser, a father-daughter team of abortionists from Overland Park that operate the state’s third abortion clinic, refused the mandatory inspection and instead filed suit in Federal Court. That suit was dropped by Hodes and Nauser, who then refiled their challenge in state court, resetting the suit and delaying it for nearly a year.

“It’s not that plaintiffs can’t comply; they don’t want to and don’t think they have to. This is about them thinking that abortion cannot be regulated,” said Assistant Attorney General Steve McAllister, who argued the case for the state.

Hodes and Nauser were represented by a phlanx of out-of-state attorneys from the Center for Reproductive Rights. Those attorneys have asked for broad discovery that is aimed at questioning the Legislative process, and nearly everyone remotely involved in it. In other words, they plan to challenge whether the state had the authority to pass a law that provided abortion clinic oversight and regulation.

McAllister told the court that the abortionists’ requests for questioning of the Governor, Attorney General, and even the Secretary of State was overbroad and that it was wrong to allow an open door to “fishing around and questioning legislative validity.”

The case is expected to eventually be appealed to the Kansas Supreme Court, which is stacked with radical abortion supporters appointed by former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius. Both parties estimate that the case could take four years or more to litigate.

“While this case drags on in court, at least two abortion clinics in Kansas that have never been inspected continue to endanger the health and safety of women,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue and Pro-Life Nation.

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“Meanwhile abortion extremists conduct a witch hunt amongst state officers looking for their next whipping boy. It is women who are subjected to substandard, back-alley-style abortions under horrific conditions that will suffer while the abortion radicals deny women even the most rudimentary safety net. This illustrates the stark reality that abortionists care about abortion remaining unregulated more than they care about women. These people are literally fighting to keep abortion dangerous.”

LifeNews.com Note: Cheryl Sullenger is a leader of Operation Rescue, a Kansas-based pro-life that monitors abortion practitioners and exposes their illegal and unethical practices. The group is known for serving as a watchdog of Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses.