Testimony in Opposition to amending the KS Constitution to restrict reproductive rights

This is written testimony delivered to the Special Committee on Judiciary, in opposition to amending the Kansas Constitution to restrict reproductive rights.

Testimony to the Special Committee on Judiciary
Chair, Sen. Eric Rucker
Hearing: October 1-2, 2019

Position – OPPOSE A Constitutional Amendment in Response to Hodes

Chair Rucker, and Members of the Committee,

The MainStream Coalition opposes introduction of a constitutional amendment addressing abortion in response to the Kansas Supreme Court’s decision in Hodes & Nauser, MDs, P.A. v. Schmidt.

The MainStream Coalition was founded 26 years ago by a sitting Republican State Representative, a sitting Democratic State Representative, and two active members of the clergy, among others. Our Board and membership are bi-partisan, and our organization is non-partisan. Our membership is strongest in Northeast Kansas, but we have members across the state. The concerns we bring are shared by these Kansans, from a range of political identities.

Our organization was founded on the issue of the separation of church and state. In almost all cases, objections to abortion rights come from a place of faith. We applaud people of strong religious belief, religious leaders were among our own founders. But they, and we, do not believe that one person’s faith should be imposed on another person. That is the foundation of the separation of church and state, and religious freedom.

We believe women have a right to access healthcare without discrimination and have always supported a woman's right to make her own decisions about her reproductive health. We reject the divisive rhetoric of "pro-abortion" labels and support data-driven efforts to reduce abortion rates. The decisions between a woman and her doctor about her reproductive health should not be intruded upon by the state for moralistic reasons.

We urge legislators to reject this proposed response, and instead to support expanded access to health care, science-based health education, more funding for public schools, higher wages, family leave, and any number of other policies that have been proven to reduce the rate of unwanted pregnancies.

Thank you,

Brandi Fisher
Executive Director of the MainStream Coalition

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