The new governor of Kansas said he plans to make protections for unborn babies a priority under his leadership.
A pro-life Republican, Gov. Jeff Colyer outlined his goals Wednesday during his first major policy speech. He replaces Sam Brownback, who recently resigned to become the U.S. ambassador at large for international religious freedom.
In a speech to a joint session of the Kansas House and Senate, Colyer described Kansas as a “a pro-life state,” according to the AP.
“Kansas was founded on the ideal that all people have value,” said Colyer, a surgeon by profession. “Everyone has a God-given right to life and liberty.”
He brought up a state law that prohibits brutal dismemberment abortions that tear unborn babies limb from limb while their hearts are beating. Abortion businesses in the state are challenging the law, but Colyer vowed to continue the fight.
“On the issue of life, the stakes are so high, the issue is so foundational, the people of Kansas must have the final say,” he continued, according to the Kansas City Star.
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His call for a state constitutional amendment on abortion is a response to another case before the Kansas Supreme Court. Two abortion providers are challenging a 2015 state law that enacted the nation’s first ban on a common second-trimester procedure that critics call “dismemberment abortion.” A trial court judge ruled that the state constitution protects abortion rights independently of the U.S. Constitution — creating the possibility that state courts could strike down restrictions that the federal courts permit.
“This is violence against basic facts,” Colyer said. “This cannot stand.”
In 2015, Kansas became the first state to pass an Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act. Ever since then, it has been fighting in court for the right to protect nearly fully formed unborn babies from brutal dismemberment abortion deaths.