Since pro-life Republicans reclaimed the Governor’s mansion and strengthened majorities at the State House, Kansas has passed an impressive list of pro-life laws aimed at protecting women, reducing abortion, and eliminating funding to abortion businesses.
But the road to enactment has not always been a smooth one.
Many of these laws have become entangled in long legal challenges mounted by a little known father and daughter team of abortionists from a small abortion business in the north-east Kansas community of Overland Park.
On Monday, the pair teamed with their long-time attorneys at the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights to file yet another suit against Kansas’ newest pro-life law that bans dismemberment abortions.
The Center also represents these abortionists in their ongoing suit against a 2011 clinic licensing law that would shut down all but one abortion facility in Kansas once it is finally allowed to take effect.
Herbert Hodes, 72, and his daughter, Traci Lynn Nauser, 45, operate the Center for Women’s Health, located in a non-descript red brick office building where first and second trimester abortions have been quietly taking place over the past 30 years.
Hodes and Nauser are not just abortionists. They are radical, even belligerent, abortion activists who are no strangers to litigation.
“Kiss and Tell”
In 2005, they were involved in a federal suit that the media dubbed the “Kiss and Tell” case, which attempted to challenge the designation of abortionists as mandatory reporters of suspected child sex abuse.
Hodes testified in favor of not reporting. During his testimony, Hodes asked the defense attorney to define “protect,” when asked if he believed the state had an interest in protecting children.
His testimony ended when questioning about Hodes’ willingness to follow Kansas law was stopped by his attorney, who ordered him not to respond on the grounds that it might incriminate him.
“Hodes is a crusty old abortionist who isn’t afraid to do as he pleases, even if it violates the law. He has made it abundantly clear that he believes he is above it. This makes him particularly dangerous,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue, which is headquartered in Kansas…
… the Attorney General’s office [has been urged] to stop delaying and defend the law that could close 2 out of 3 remaining abortion sites in Kansas.
Finally, in January, the political pressure bore fruit and the Attorney General’s office began to act.
In an effort to dislodge at least some provisions of the licensing law, the Attorney General’s office filed a motion for summary judgement earlier this year, then worked through the legislature to slightly amend a provision of the law that bans the remote distribution of abortion drugs through the use of a webcam system for the sake of clarification.
The amendment, which easily passed both legislative houses, now moves to the desk of Gov. Sam Brownback for his sure signature.
Oral arguments on the State’s motion for summary judgment are set for next month…
… Meanwhile, Operation Rescue has obtained Nauser’s Declaration and other documents recently submitted to the court detailing her objections to the 2011 clinic licensing law.
Her declaration shines light on her and her father’s abortion business and the thinking behind their obsessive desire to keep it completely unaccountable to state laws.
Nauser indicated that she has been providing first and second trimester abortions up to 22 weeks with her father for 16 years in the same office where Herbert Hodes has conducted an abortion business for over 30 years.
Nauser bemoans aspects of the law she challenges, stating that she believes abortion businesses should be held to no higher standard than a doctor’s office. Anything more than that is “irrational,” she says.
Nauser believes that her shop’s membership with the National Abortion Federation provides sufficient standards and oversight.
Operation Rescue has found that the NAF member locations are among the worst abortion facilities in the country.
“Approval by the NAF does nothing to assure us that an abortion facility meets any kind of standards. In fact, the NAF stamp of approval is a red flag of warning, considering the horrific conditions and practices we have documented at NAF facilities over the years,” said Newman.
For example, when Operation Rescue bought and closed the NAF-certified Central Women’s Services abortion shop in Wichita, Kansas in 2006, appallingly filthy and dangerous conditions were discovered.
That deteriorating facility had never been inspected by state authorities in 23 years of operation.
Nauser described their abortion practice as one where both surgical and medication abortions are regularly done “through the first trimester but prior to 22 weeks LMP.”
The abortions typically take 5 to 15 minutes to complete, according to Nauser.
While attempting to downplay late-term abortions, Nauser’s declaration appeared to focus on them almost entirely, including procedures used in very late abortions.
She indicated that she and her father conduct “labor induction” abortions at an unnamed Kansas hospital where the pair currently holds privileges.
Induction abortions are done almost exclusively on later-term babies. The process was developed by the late Wichita abortionist George Tiller.
The babies are injected through the woman’s abdomen with a drug that stops their hearts then the mother is prepared for labor and eventual delivery of the dead baby, which usually takes place one to three days later.
Babies aborted in this way are usually birthed intact.
Interestingly, Nauser classified the induction abortions as “medication” procedures, even though they have traditionally been considered surgical procedures since surgical implements are used to either dismember the remains or ensure the uterus has been completely evacuated.
“We have noted a national trend for abortion businesses to shy away from the term ‘surgical’ when describing abortion procedures.
“This is an attempt to redefine surgical abortions in order to mitigate the impact of laws regulating ambulatory surgical centers across America,” said Newman.
“Changing something’s name doesn’t change its nature. This is a smoke-and-mirrors tactic meant to deceive the American people and keep abortion clinics [sic] unaccountable.”
Nauser describes doing a “significant number” of abortions on women having undefined medical “conditions” that “complicate the pregnancy and/or the abortion procedure.”
She laments that if her office was unable to provide those abortions, “some of them would be unable to obtain those services in the region at all.”
However, according to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s abortion statistics, there has never been any abortions done to save the life of a woman in the history of Kansas abortion reporting, leaving us to wonder just how serious these “conditions” really are…
[Ed. Besides, if a woman’s life is truly in danger, taking 2-3 days to dilate the cervix for the abortion suggests that this really is NOT an emergency situation…]
For remainder of article, see link below.
[June 3, 2015, http://www.operationrescue.org/archives/who-are-the-kansas-abortionists-suing-to-block-abortion-laws/ ]