Though the Joe Biden administration seems poised to roll back all the pro-life policies enacted by Donald Trump, states like Kansas are doing what they can to support life.
On January 28, the Kansas legislature, led by Republicans, put a pro-life measure on the 2022 ballot, known as Value Them Both, that would amend the state’s constitution to reflect that there is no right to an abortion and that the legislature can regulate abortion in a way that aligns with U.S. Supreme Court decisions.
For pro-life advocates, this is a win in a season of loss.
Brittany Jones, the director of advocacy for the Focus on the Family-affiliated Family Policy Alliance of Kansas, provided a statement via email to The Daily Citizen.
“With the passage of Value Them Both in the Kansas Senate, the people of Kansas now have the opportunity to have a say in ensuring that our live-saving laws are protected. We are thankful for the Senators, especially those who made large personal sacrifices, who ensured that this amendment got across the line. We are thankful for the opportunity that the people of Kansas have to stand up for mothers and babies. We look forward to a vigorous campaign.”
Kansas joins a number of other states that have adopted similar measures.
“Today is a monumental day for both women and the unborn in Kansas,” Senate President Ty Masterson said. “As a result of this historic action, the people of Kansas will now have the opportunity to right the wrongs of the Kansas Supreme Court ruling from May of 2019.”
The abortion industry in Kansas has historically been rather unique, as it was one of the few states where late-term abortions were completed. This mostly came to an end when George Tiller, the state’s leading abortionist, was murdered. (Due to the complex nature and high possibility of? for? failure, few abortionists attempt or train for a late-second and third-trimester abortion.)
If the people of Kansas vote and pass this ballot initiative, it would likely prevent these type of abortion procedures from ever happening in the future, saving babies in the process.
Senate Democrats voiced their displeasure over the decision.
“Senate President Masterson declared two weeks ago, in response to Governor Kelly’s State of the State, that he trusts Kansans to make their own healthcare choices,” Senate Democratic Leader Dinah Sykes said. “Today, he and Senate Republicans revealed that this trust only goes as far as their approved healthcare agenda. They want the power to control the healthcare and personal decisions of Kansans. Make no mistake: this amendment opens the door for the Legislature to ban abortion in cases of rape or incest. If approved by Kansas voters, the Legislature will have unchecked power to ban abortion including in cases where the life of the mother is at risk. And it paves the way for politicians in Topeka to ban abortion outright.”
The ballot initiative could potentially run into conflict with a ruling by the Kansas Supreme Court, which in 2019 determined that “personal autonomy,” including the right to an abortion, is a constitutional right.
Governor Laura Kelly, a Democrat, believes that the ballot initiative will damage the state’s reputation and its economy, using the entirely unrelated so-called bathroom bill in North Carolina as an example. It’s a nonsensical argument, as the only potential economic impact is that abortion seeking women in Missouri will no longer travel the short distance to Kansas to get the procedure.
This ballot initiative is encouraging and shows that despite who is leading the country, the pro-life fight at the state level is continuing and gaining momentum.
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