On Aug. 2, 2022, Kansans will be the first American citizens since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade to have an opportunity to speak on abortion when they vote on a proposed ballot initiative to amend the state constitution.
The “Value Them Both” amendment, if approved by a majority of voters, would declare there is no inherent right to an abortion in the state’s constitution. It reads:
“Regulation of abortion. Because Kansans value both women and children, the constitution of the state of Kansas does not require government funding of abortion and does not create or secure a right to abortion. To the extent permitted by the constitution of the United States, the people, through their elected state representatives and state senators, may pass laws regarding abortion, including, but not limited to, laws that account for circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest, or circumstances of necessity to save the life of the mother.”
Voting “yes” is a vote to adopt the amendment, while a “no” vote would reject the amendment.
There is no stated right to an abortion in the Kansas Constitution, as there is in some states that have written and adopted amendments that explicitly affirm the right to an abortion; rather a 2019 Kansas Supreme Court ruling “found” the right to an abortion in the state constitution. In other words, the right was deduced or created, much like what happened with Roe v. Wade.
In so doing, the court ruled in a lawsuit to block the state’s ban on dilation and evacuation, or what are also known as dismemberment abortions. The ruling has since been used to block the state’s law establishing licensure and safety requirements for abortion clinics.
As a result, between 2019 and 2021, Kansas saw a 13 percent increase in the number of abortions, a 17 percent increase in dismemberment abortions, and a 16 percent increase in abortions performed on out-of-state residents, according to a report by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
The proposed amendment, a response to the court’s ruling, was put on the ballot before Roe was overturned.
Pro-amendment groups have stated that the amendment wouldn’t automatically ban abortion, only allow voters, through their elected representatives, to pass restrictions on abortion, such as the two laws blocked by the court.
Danielle Underwood, director of communications for Kansans for Life, said, “The Value Them Both Amendment is the one remedy for Kansans to avoid becoming a permanent destination state for painful, late-term abortions, paid for with our state tax dollars.”
Pro-abortion advocates are fighting fiercely to keep the court’s ruling in place. In discussing the ballot initiative, Kansas University law professor Stephen McAllister retorted, “Their big lie is that they simply want to clear the decks so we can have reasonable debate on what regulations might be appropriate, and that is not it at all. The goal is to clear the decks so they can ban abortion next session. That’s what this is about.”
Brittany Jones, spokeswoman for Value Them Both, a coalition of pro-life groups, disputed McAllister’s claims.
Some lawmakers do want to ban abortion at conception, including Republican state Sen. Mark Steffen, a physician. However, State Rep. Susan Humphries, R, said that if the amendment passes, the top agenda item will be ensuring that the two laws previously ruled against are implemented.
A 2020 poll conducted by the Associated Press’ VoteCast poll found that 54 percent of Kansas voters think abortion should be illegal in most or all cases.
The amendment is being voted on during a primary election, and all registered voters are allowed to vote.
“The stakes could not be higher,” Jones said.
There’s a lot of wailing from abortion supporters regarding this amendment, both the substance of the amendment itself and the timing. But this is just a microcosm of the larger Roe struggle: A court unilaterally decided that the right to an abortion was somehow part of the state constitution, and pro-abortionists are scared that if voters are allowed to decide, they will remove that contrived right. But this is pure democracy in action: “We the people” get to decide, not judges.
In the Bible, Job noted that God made him, as well as his slaves, and they all had God-given rights. He asks in Job 31:13-15, “’If I have despised the claim of my male or female slaves when they filed a complaint against me, what then could I do when God arises? And when He calls me to account, what will I answer Him? Did not He who made me in the womb make him, and the same one fashion us in the womb?’”
To the person who is for abortion, remember that you too were created in the womb by God and given life. What gives you or anyone else the right to deny that to others that He fashions? Why is a mother more valuable than her child?
No person has the right to take life from a child. God is the giver of life. It is His to bestow, and it is not our right to take it.