Kansas is in danger of becoming the “wild west” of the abortion industry.
A state constitutional amendment could help protect both mothers and unborn babies from abortion, but it is in jeopardy in the Kansas House. State pro-life advocates are urging Kansans to contact their state representatives and tell them “stop playing politics with the safety of women and their babies.”
The Value Them Both amendment would add language to the the Kansas Constitution stating that there is no right to abortion or taxpayer-funded abortions.
The measure is especially critical after the Kansas Supreme Court found a so-called “right to abortion” in their state constitution in 2019. The ruling jeopardizes Kansas abortion regulations that protect women and babies; a constitutional amendment would help ensure they remain in place.
The amendment passed the state Senate last week, but Kansans for Life leaders said the amendment is four votes short in the House. State constitutional amendments require a two-thirds majority to pass.
“To be clear, voting against this amendment is an endorsement of abortion up to the moment of birth in Kansas and an opposition to regulations like parental notification for minors seeking abortion,” the pro-life organization said in a statement. “Truly, voting against ‘Value Them Both’ is a vote for unlimited abortion.”
The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the amendment stalled in the House this week amid aggressive lobbying by pro-abortion politicians and abortion advocacy groups.
Here’s more from the report:
Despite pressure applied to about 10 Republicans and Democrats in the House, the GOP leadership convened without 84 votes necessary to achieve the two-thirds majority needed to adopt the constitutional amendment. A preliminary vote Thursday showed 80 votes for the amendment. [Pro-abortion] Gov. Laura Kelly, former [pro-abortion] Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and the four U.S. House members from Kansas have made personal appeals to potential swing votes.
The pro-life organization encouraged Kansans to contact the following lawmakers and urge them to vote “yes” on the amendment:
Don Hineman (R-Dighton) 785.296.7384
Tom Phillips (R-Manhattan) 785.290.7402
Bill Pannbacker (R-Washington) 785.296.7637 Bill.Pannbacker@house.ks.gov
Jan Kessinger (R-Overland Park) 785.296.7436 Jan.Kessinger@house.ks.gov
Jeff Pittman (D-Leavenworth) 785.296.7522
Tim Hodge (D-Newton) 785.296.2361
Kathy Wolfe Moore (D-Kansas City) 785.296.0424 email@example.com
If the amendment passes the House, lawmakers hope it will appear on the August ballot for voters’ approval.
Without the amendment, Kansas could become the “wild west of the abortion industry,” Brittany Jones of the Family Policy Alliance said in January. This could mean forcing taxpayers to fund elective abortions and allowing unrestricted abortions up to birth, as well as ending informed consent requirements and parental consent for minors.
The amendment is important because the abortion industry often turns to the courts to overturn pro-life laws. Some state courts have found a so-called “right to abortion” in their state constitutions, and their rulings have been used to force taxpayers to fund abortions and restrict the state legislature from passing even minor, common sense abortion restrictions.
In 2018, West Virginia voters passed a similar state constitutional amendment after decades of being forced by a court ruling to fund elective abortions with their tax dollars. The amendment will make it easier for state lawmakers to pass pro-life laws in the future.
Iowa and Kentucky also are considering pro-life amendments to their state constitutions this year. Louisiana voters will have a similar opportunity to add a pro-life amendment to their constitution in November.