Kansas Attorney General Tells State Supreme Court: There is No Right to Kill Babies in Abortions

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Mar 29, 2023   |   12:51PM   |   Topeka, Kansas

Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach’s Office asked the Kansas Supreme Court this week to reverse its ruling creating a “right” to abort unborn babies in the state constitution.

During a hearing Monday, state Solicitor General Anthony Powell said the justices’ 2019 abortion ruling was wrong and should be overturned, especially after the U.S. Supreme Court said there is no right to abortion in the U.S. Constitution last year, the Kansas Reflector reports.

“Here the court has taken the word ‘liberty’ and then you’ve expanded it into a very large subset called ‘personal autonomy,’” Powell said. “And then out of personal autonomy, you plucked abortion out of that. People who look at that … say this doesn’t strike me as interpreting the constitution. It looks like it’s the values of a majority of the justices of the court.”

The seven-member Kansas Supreme Court currently has a majority of pro-abortion Democrat-appointed judges, and pro-life advocates are concerned that they will uphold the 2019 ruling.

The case originated with a 2015 law that protects unborn babies from brutal dismemberment abortions, the Kansas Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act. The Hodes and Nauser Center for Women’s Health, an abortion facility in Overland Park, is challenging the law with the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Also Monday, the court heard a separate but related case by the same abortion facility that challenges safety regulations for abortion facilities, including mandatory inspections and a ban on mail-order/telemedicine abortion drugs.

“The profit-driven abortion industry and its coastal attorneys lack real compassion for the suffering of women and babies. At the very least, abortion clinics should be required to be licensed and have the highest safety standards for women and the cruel dismemberment of living preborn children should be prohibited,” said Danielle Underwood, director of communications for Kansans for Life.

Underwood urged the court to reject extreme pro-abortion cases and uphold the bipartisan laws that protect both mothers and unborn babies.

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At the hearing, Powell said Kansas should be allowed to protect unborn babies from being dismembered, “a particularly heinous procedure,” according to the Reflector.

“In evidence that was presented in testimony to the Legislature, it’s a particularly heinous procedure,” Powell said. “It involves the dismemberment of a live unborn child.”

He also urged the justices to consider the Supreme Court ruling Dobbs v. Jackson in June that overturned Roe.

“You can’t deny the impact of that decision,” Powell said. “It’s changed the landscape considerably.”

However, the justices questioned him repeatedly and seemed skeptical of his arguments, prompting many news outlets to predict that the court will agree that there is a right to abortion in the Kansas Constitution.

One justice even questioned the fact that dismemberment abortions are brutal, cruel procedures that destroy human lives.

Here’s more from the report:

Justice Melissa Taylor Standridge, appointed by Gov. Laura Kelly, said a red flag in this case was lack of evidence offered by the state in district court to support a contention this abortion procedure was heinous. Other justices made inquiries about Powell’s reference to information not in the trial record.

“I’d like to think we could agree that dismemberment of a live, unborn child is a particularly gruesome thing,” Powell said.

Rosen pointed Powell to evidence before the district court indicating a ban on that abortion method would force pregnant women to undergo procedures that could place them at “much greater health risk than the procedure you’re complaining about.”

Arguing for the abortion facility, lawyer Alice Wang with the Center for Reproductive Rights argued that dismemberment abortions are “the most common, safest procedure” in the second trimester and banning them would leave “only less common and less safe options violates the right to abortion.”

Wang told the court to reject the attorney general’s appeal.

Aborting unborn babies is still legal in Kansas due, in part, to the 2019 state Supreme Court ruling, which found a “fundamental right” to abortion in the Kansas Constitution. Additionally, a few weeks after the Dobbs v. Jackson decision in June, Kansas voters rejected a state constitutional amendment that would have overturned the ruling and allowed lawmakers to pass legal protections for babies before birth.

Pro-abortion dark money groups spent millions of dollars to convince voters to reject the amendment.