by Steven Ertelt
April 26, 2007
Topeka, KS (LifeNews.com) — A pro-life group in Kansas says state officials need to step up enforcement of a late-term abortion ban there in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling last week upholding the federal partial-birth abortion ban. The group points out that the federal ruling overturned a previous decision saying such a ban needed a health exception.
Kansas law prohibits abortions after the point of viability but has been interpreted to include a "mental health" exception since 2000. That’s when former Attorney General Carla Stovall issued a non-binding opinion claiming the law was unconstitutional without the exception.
"The Stovall opinion interjected a mental health exception into a law that contained no such language. Her excuse for doing so was that restrictions on abortions had to contain a mental health exception in order to be considered constitutional," Operation Rescue president Troy Newman explained.
"However, in light of last week’s Supreme Court decision, that interpretation is now without basis in current law," he told LifeNews.com on Thursday.
As a result, the pro-life group has made a formal written request to Attorney General Paul Morrison to enforce the Kansas ban on post viability abortion in compliance with last week’s U.S. Supreme Court decision.
Newman’s organization also sent a similar request to District Attorney Nola Foulston.
The request does not focus on the partial-birth abortion procedure but on the precedent-setting ruling from the High Court, which stated that a lack of health exceptions in laws regulating abortions does not create an "undue burden" on women seeking abortions.
Newman’s letter to Morrison also asked for new investigations of late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller, based in Wichita, and his employee, Omaha-based late-term abortion practitioner LeRoy Carhart.
Tiller does post-viability abortions for mental health reasons and he was charged with doing illegal abortions by former Attorney General Phill Kline, but those charges were dismissed on jurisdictional grounds.