Planned Parenthood Considers Lawsuit to Overturn Kansas Ban on Dismemberment Abortions

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 28, 2015   |   11:38AM   |   Washington, DC

The Planned Parenthood abortion business in Kansas is considering filing a lawsuit seeking to overturn the new law pro-life Governor Sam Brownback signed that bans dismemberment abortions that tear babies limb from limb.

The state Attorney General is putting together a legal defense fund to protect the new pro-life law but no taxpayer dollars would have to be used to defend it if Planned Parenthood and other Kansas abortion clinics would stop killing babies in gruesome abortions and follow the law.

Here’s more:

Kansas’ attorney general is telling legislators that defending a first-of-its-kind anti-abortion law in court could cost the state up to $450,000, as Republican Gov. Sam Brownback commemorates the measure with events across the state.

Abortion providers in Kansas say they’re considering lawsuits. Attorney General Derek Schmidt told legislators last week that his office could need up to $50,000 by the end of June, another $100,000 to $200,000 during the fiscal year beginning July 1 and up to $200,000 more for the following fiscal year.

His office already has paid outside attorneys $1.2 million to defend other anti-abortion laws enacted since Brownback took office in January 2011. The state hasn’t lost a lawsuit, and Kansans for Life, the most influential anti-abortion group at the Statehouse, is confident the new law would survive a challenge.

“We wouldn’t have to pay a penny if nobody sued,” said Mary Kay Culp, the group’s executive director. “Let the people of Kansas speak and leave it alone.”

Both Planned Parenthood, which performs abortions in Overland Park, and Trust Women, which operates a Wichita clinic, are considering legal challenges.

The latest abortion figures in Kansas showed abortions going down but the number of dismemberment abortions, or D&E abortions, rising from 584 in 2013  to 637 in 2014. They constituted 8.8% of the total 7,263 Kansas abortions reported.

Gov. Brownback commented, “This is a horrific procedure and we are pleased to ban it in Kansas and we hope it will be banned nationally.”

To commemorate this ground-breaking and first-in-the-nation measure, Gov. Brownback will travel across Kansas for ceremonial signings of the bill today.

“Dismemberment abortion kills a baby by tearing her apart limb from limb,” said National Right to Life Director of State Legislation Mary Spaulding Balch, J.D. “Before the first trimester ends, the unborn child has a beating heart, brain waves, and every organ system in place. Dismemberment abortions occur after the baby has reached these milestones.”


Kansans for Life Executive Director, Mary Kay Culp, explained that SB 95 bans a particularly gruesome abortion method in which a living unborn child in her mother’s womb is ripped apart by an abortionist using sharp metal tools. In the words of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, the unborn child, “dies just as a human adult or child would: It bleeds to death as it is torn limb from limb.”[Stenberg v. Carhart, 530 U.S. 914, 958-959].

“SB 95 bans a particularly gruesome abortion method in which a living unborn child in her mother’s womb is ripped apart into pieces by an abortionist using sharp metal tools,” she said. “Abortionist LeRoy Carhart testified under oath that the unborn child is alive because he is watching him/her on ultrasound during the procedure. In the words of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, the unborn child in a D&E/ Dismemberment abortion, “dies just as a human adult or child would: It bleeds to death as it is torn limb from limb.’”

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D&E dismemberment abortions are as brutal as the partial-birth abortion method, which is now illegal in the United States and which was upheld in the Supreme Court. But would such an abortion ban be constitutional given the Roe v. Wade decision? National Right to Life points to the high court’s ruling in the partial-birth abortion case as grounds for banning dismemberment abortions too.

In his dissent to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2000 Stenberg v. Carhart decision, Justice Kennedy observed that in D&E dismemberment abortions, “The fetus, in many cases, dies just as a human adult or child would: It bleeds to death as it is torn limb from limb. The fetus can be alive at the beginning of the dismemberment process and can survive for a time while its limbs are being torn off.” Justice Kennedy added in the Court’s 2007 opinion, Gonzales v. Carhart, which upheld the ban on partial-birth abortion, that D&E abortions are “laden with the power to devalue human life…”

Testimony provided by Kansans for Life emphasized that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a ban on the partial-birth method of abortion in 2007 after two cases, Stenberg v Carhart and Gonzales v Carhart. In both cases, the Court closely examined both the partial-birth and D&E/ Dismemberment abortion methods and found them to be “brutal.”

“When abortion textbooks describe in cold, explicit detail exactly how to kill a human being by ripping off arms and legs piece by piece, civilized members of society have no choice but to stand up and demand a change,” added Spaulding Balch. “When you think it can’t be uglier, the abortion industry continues to shock with violent methods of abortion.”

ACTION: Thank Governor Sam Brownback by going here.