Kansas Supreme Court Lifts Ban on Dismemberment Abortions; Deems Abortion a Constitutionally Protected Right | American Center for Law and Justice
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Kansas Lifts Ban on Dismemberment Abortions

By Olivia Summers1556893721034

While we’ve been fighting to keep more states from passing barbaric abortion laws like the one recently passed in New York, the Kansas Supreme Court just ruled that abortion – even dismemberment abortion – is a protected right under the state constitution and lifted a ban on one of the most gruesome abortion practices in existence.

The decision came after pro-abortionists challenged a 2015 Kansas state law that banned the horrific practice of dismemberment abortions.

In their 200 page ruling, the majority justices who voted in favor of removing the ban cited the “right of personal autonomy” in their state’s constitution.

Included in that limited category is the right of personal autonomy, which includes the ability to control one's own body, to assert bodily integrity, and to exercise self-determination.

This right allows a woman to make her own decisions regarding her body, health, family formation, and family life—decisions that can include whether to continue a pregnancy.

Although not absolute, this right is fundamental. Accordingly, the State is prohibited from restricting this right unless it is doing so to further a compelling government interest and in a way that is narrowly tailored to that interest. And we thus join many other states' supreme courts that recognize a similar right under their particular constitutions.

The court ruling indicates the justices voting to lift the ban believed they were acting in the best interest of the rights of every Kansan. Unfortunately, their opinion conveniently forgets or ignores the fact that in every abortion committed in the state of Kansas, one Kansan’s right to personal autonomy is completely disregarded, resulting in his or her death. And in the case of dismemberment abortions, horribly, painfully so.

In defense of the ruling, the Kansas justices stated:

“Denying a pregnant woman the ability to determine whether to continue a pregnancy would severely limit her personal autonomy. And abortion laws do not merely restrict a particular action; they can impose an obligation on an unwilling woman to carry out a long-term course of conduct that will impact her health and alter her life.”

It appears in Kansas personal autonomy also overrules personal responsibility. If one carries this reasoning to its logical conclusion, then any parent should have the absolute right to “personal autonomy” which means that they have no obligation to their born children – children who through their dependent nature demand the time, attention, and care of their parents. These born children “impose an obligation on [sometimes] unwilling [parents] to carry out a long-term course of conduct that will impact [their] health and alter [their lives].” Ask any parent and they will tell you that having kids is hard and demanding work; it’s a life-time commitment – or at least an 18-year one – that deprives parents of sleep, free time, and impacts every aspect of their lives. But if Kansas truly believes in personal autonomy, then parents should be allowed to choose a course of action at any time that frees them of their personal responsibility to their children, right? Why is killing a child at two-months or two-years any different than at two-weeks’ gestation?

In fact, a 2013 article published in the Journal of Medical Ethics argues that “‘after-birth abortion’ should be permissible in all cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled,” because “[t]he moral status of an infant is equivalent to that of a fetus in the sense that both lack those properties that justify the attribution of a right to life to an individual,” those properties being the capability “of attributing to her own existence some basic value such that being deprived of this existence represents a loss to her.”

It’s simply unimaginable that anyone could rationalize abortion – particularly in this manner – as a constitutionally protected right. Abortion is a horrific practice that causes excruciating pain which these defenseless, innocent babies do feel. But the reasoning used in the Kansas court decision which strips unborn children of any personhood – any moral value – is similar to the reasoning in the journal article in that it also dehumanizes unborn babies in order to justify their slaughter.

This is why we are fighting so relentlessly to stop these new extreme abortion laws before they are passed. We’ve got to save these precious babies from this unthinkable fate.

And we’re seeing results. New Mexico was considering a bill proposed by pro-abortion lawmakers to allow late-term abortion and infanticide. The bill also would have repealed New Mexico’s only statutory provision protecting doctors that refused to perform or participate in abortions due to conscientious or moral objections.

As we reported, it looked like the abortion lobby would win this one, but in a surprise turn, it was roundly defeated in a bipartisan vote against the bill – mainly because people like you spoke out:

The extreme abortion bill passed New Mexico’s House last month by 40 – 29. Not surprisingly, New Mexico’s pro-abortion governor seemed confident the bill would also pass through the Senate without a hitch, especially with her party in the majority.

But in a stunning turn-of-events, eight New Mexico Senate Democrats crossed the aisle to stand with Republicans and voted 24-18 against killing innocent babies up to the moment of birth.

And in Maryland, ACLJ attorneys recently appeared before state legislators in support of two critical pro-life bills, one requiring meaningful informed consent for women considering abortion, and the other restricting abortions after the child is 20 weeks old in the womb – when we know they’re fully capable of suffering pain.

These extreme abortion laws are the desperate last gasps of a struggling abortion industry, led by Planned Parenthood. It is on the verge of losing millions in taxpayer-provided, without which it could be devastated.

As we’ve previously reported:

“the ‘Protect Life’ regulations prohibit the use of Title X money ‘to perform, promote, refer for, or support abortion as a method of family planning.’  Title X is a federal program dedicated to providing preconception family planning services to the nation’s neediest citizens.  When Title X was passed in 1970, Congress required that no Title X funds be used to promote abortion.  But that is not how the program has been run.”

The Department of Health and Human Services recently finalized a rule to strip Planned Parenthood of any Title X taxpayer funding – ruling the ACLJ publicly supported.

But now Planned Parenthood and more than 20 states have filed multiple lawsuits trying to block this new rule and safeguard Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer funds. Our legal team filed critical amicus briefs to defund Planned Parenthood of millions of tax dollars. Now three federal judges have issued injunctions blocking this rule. As these cases inevitably proceed on appeal, we’ll be there to file new briefs.

We have a moral obligation to defend these defenseless babies, and we will not stop fighting these horrendous abortion laws.

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