Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer is backing a new effort to ensure that the state constitution does not recognize the so-called “right” to abort an unborn baby.
On Saturday, he joined Kansans for Life, pro-lifers from across the state and other state and federal lawmakers to kick off the effort, according to The Garden City Telegram.
“There’s a Kansas court that has argued that the framers, framers of our Constitution, imagined abortion as a separate constitutional right,” Colyer said. “This is just violence against the most basic facts.”
They plan to promote a ballot measure to amend the Kansas Constitution to make it clear that the state does not recognize a “right” to abortion, according to the report.
The ballot initiative is pro-life advocates’ response to a recent court ruling that “radically changed” Kansas public policy, according to the pro-life group. The judge struck down a state law prohibiting brutal dismemberment abortions that tear unborn babies limb from limb while their hearts are beating. Kansas passed the first dismemberment abortion ban in the United States in 2015.
“For 84 days in 2015, the state of Kansas led the nation by banning live dismemberment abortion, then a Judge found a new ‘right’ in our Kansas Constitution and ordered that live dismemberment can continue,” Kansans for Life wrote on its blog. “The case is now pending before the Kansas Supreme Court.”
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The group said the constitutional amendment will clarify that the Kansas Constitution does not block abortion restrictions such as the dismemberment abortion ban. It noted that Kansas law forbids the dismemberment of a cow, horse, calf, hog, mule or sheep unless it is rendered incapable of feeling pain.
“However, since the court in Kansas ‘discovered’ the right to an abortion in the Kansas constitution, the state legislature may not afford similar humane protection to unborn humans,” the pro-life group said.
These constitutional provisions also can be important in the event that Roe v. Wade is overturned and the power to legislate abortion is returned to the states.