In a “petty” political move, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly cut funding to a black Democrat lawmaker’s project marking a stop on the Underground Railroad in Kansas City after he voted to override her veto of two pro-life bills.

Kelly, a pro-abortion Democrat, vetoed several pro-life bills this spring, including one to protect newborns who survive abortions from infanticide and another to inform mothers about the life-saving abortion pill reversal procedure.

But the state legislature, which Republicans control, overrode both vetoes with bipartisan support. State Rep. Marvin Robinson, a Democrat from Kansas City, was among those who voted in favor of the life-affirming bills.

Now, it appears Kelly is punishing him. On Monday, she cut $250,000 in funding for a project Robinson has been working on since before he became a legislator: a national historic landmark recognizing a stop on the Underground Railroad at the Quindaro Ruins in Kansas City, the Associated Press reports.

Robinson is African American, and the site is located in his district. According to the AP, Quindaro was a small town along the Underground Railroad that helped American slaves escape to Canada; the town died and only ruins remain.

ACTION ALERT: To complain about her actions, Contact Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly.

The state budget included money for the historic landmark, but Kelly vetoed the funding this week, arguing that the project has not been thoroughly vetted, according to the report.

Republican state lawmakers believe Kelly just wants to punish Robinson for voting pro-life. Michael Austin, chair of the Kansas Black Republican Council, slammed the move as “callous” and Kelly’s excuses as “hollow rhetoric.” And state House Speaker Dan Hawkins, R-Wichita, said the governor’s pro-abortion fervor is getting in the way of supporting an uncontroversial project.

“It’s unfortunate the Kelly/Toland administration has put politics before protecting this historical site that’s so important to the African American community in Kansas City,” Hawkins said in a statement. “Preserving the archaeological integrity and educational importance of the Quindaro Ruins should be a bipartisan priority and excluded from the wrath of political punishments.”

At least one Democrat lawmaker also criticized Kelly’s veto as “petty” and “ill-advised,” saying she should restore the funding immediately, CJ Online reports.

“Whomever she is taking advice from on that, and you can quote me, probably has not read our history or the tea leaves of the area. That is unfortunate,” said state Sen. David Haley, D-Kansas City. “I would think she’s bigger than the politics of it.”

The Kansas Legislature passed several pro-life bills this spring to protect unborn babies and mothers from abortion.

Aborting unborn babies is still legal in Kansas due, in part, to a 2019 state Supreme Court ruling, which found a “fundamental right” to abortion in the Kansas Constitution. Additionally, a few weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court Dobbs v. Jackson decision, voters rejected a state constitutional amendment that would have overturned the ruling and allowed lawmakers to pass legal protections for babies before birth.

The future for unborn babies remains uncertain in Kansas. Although voters rejected the pro-life amendment last year, they also voted to elect a state attorney general and Republican super-majorities to the state House and Senate.

In January, newly-elected state Attorney General Kris Kobach made protecting unborn babies from abortion a priority when he asked the Kansas Supreme Court to overturn its 2019 ruling in light of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

ACTION ALERT: To complain about her actions, Contact Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly.

The post Kansas Gov. Vetoes Funding to Honor Underground Railroad Because Democrat Legislator Voted Pro-Life appeared first on

Leave a Reply