Kansas has come a long way in its fight to build a culture of life. Remember the days when people used to fly from around the world to Wichita to get an eighth or ninth-month abortion? In fact, according to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, our state’s abortion rate was at a devastating 34 a day in 1999.
Today, thanks to pro-life laws and our pro-life pregnancy resource centers, our state has reduced its abortion rate and is saving 15 lives a day. While every life lost to the abortion industry is a tragedy, we are making strides toward protecting both mothers and babies. Much of this is due to the 20+ laws passed in Kansas during the past twenty years that restrict the abortion industry. Some examples include bans on late-term and taxpayer-funded abortions, parental notification requirements for teens seeking an abortion, and the requirement that clinics provide women with information about the procedure, including health risks, fetal development, and the option of seeing a sonogram.
While all these laws appear common sense—and they are— the recent state court ruling set up almost all these laws to be struck down and rendered unenforceable. They did this by interpreting from the whole cloth the “right” to nearly unlimited abortion into the 1859 Kansas Constitution. Under their twisted legal logic, all Kansas pro-life laws are now presumed to be unconstitutional. The only remedy to continue to save the previously mentioned 15 lives a day, and more in the future is to pass the Value Them Both Amendment to the Kansas Constitution.
The Value Them Both Amendment would restore to the people, through their elected officials, the ability to place limits on the abortion industry. Overall, it will protect our current pro-life laws, future laws, and keep Kansas from returning to the late-term abortion destination it once was.
To go into effect, the amendment must first be passed in both the state House and Senate by a 2/3 majority and then passed by the Kansas public by a simple majority. While an attempt in the legislature came up short in 2020, the recent election resulted in an increase in pro-life legislators for the next two years. The hope is for the legislature to approve the amendment in 2021 and be passed on the public ballot in 2022.
While this is a major undertaking, the pro-life movement can be successful in this fight with your help. We must protect those 15 lives a day and their mothers in Kansas by educating legislators and the public about the dangers of unlimited abortion, and the need for the Value Them Both Amendment.
Your partnership and gift today will help ensure that we prevail. Please consider making a generous end-of-year donation online through Kansans for Life’s website at KFL.org/Donate, or by mail to 3301 W. 13th St., Wichita, KS 67203 or PO Box 4448, Overland Park, KS 66204.
–Peter Northcott is Director of Operations and Outreach for Kansans for Life