Every day, I am fielding phone calls and emails from citizens all over the Sunflower State expressing dismay at the level of misinformation swirling around the Value Them Both Amendment. I also hear the frustrations of those working so hard to get the truth out, feeling isolated, understaffed, and overwhelmed in their efforts.
I have had concerned citizens requesting an in-depth legal analysis of the amendment to try to counter the misinformation. I am not a lawyer and do not pretend to be – and am honest about that. But I can use analytical skills and common sense to help break down the amendment to the best of my abilities, and try to put some of these frequently expressed concerns to rest. Namely, the fear that this amendment will automatically make all abortions illegal.
“Because Kansans value both women and children:” I would sure think that Kansans from all walks of life can agree that we value our women and children – and our men and our families as well.
“…the constitution of the state of Kansas does not require government funding of abortion and does not create or secure a right to abortion:” Nothing in my analysis of the Kansas State Constitution written in 1859 makes mention to abortion, but I stand to be corrected if someone would please send me a relevant passage stating otherwise. Natural and fundamental rights, last I checked, do not include free rein to kill my children to get ahead in life or because of my own convenience.
“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:” Nothing about this says that abortion will be illegal if this amendment were to be added to the Kansas Constitution.
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If passed, the elected Kansas State Legislature and governor would have the opportunity to pass or sign laws supporting abortion, criminalizing abortion, or defining whatever restrictions on abortion reflect the current will of the people.
And if that will of the people changes, or there are updates in science, medicine, embryology, ultrasound, or psychology as it relates to post-abortive trauma and healing, we the people have the power to elect a new state legislature in the next election that has the power to propose and vote on new updated laws based on the latest civil discourse. Versus having that ability for lively debate usurped from we the people by a court that no one elected. Overturning Roe gave power to the people to decide such matters, not the lower courts to silence the will of the people.
This country is not a democracy, but a republic, a representative democracy. But for the sake of argument, if this is “democracy” as many seem to think, isn’t this the very essence of democracy? Letting the people work it out through discourse, testimonies, and the legislative process, not an un-elected court? If people truly want abortion as much as some proponents advertise, won’t these sentiments be reflected in the types of candidates who are elected to office and the policies that are voted into law?
I am no lawyer. But my Midwestern education, non-elite and sometimes deemed inferior by East Coast standards, often put down by people who were “educated” at some “elite” school but who seriously cannot even find Kansas on a map, has taught me how to read and critically think. And in reading that amendment, nothing makes abortion automatically illegal. I would have to twist my mind into a pretzel to try to derive any other conclusion.
LifeNews Note: Erin Parfet is the Political Outreach Associate at Priests for Life. Her family moved to Johnson County and she graduated from Kansas State University with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry. After graduation, she worked in the flour mills of western Kansas for nearly two years before launching her political career.
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