Testimony Opposing Abortion Amendment, HCR 5019/SCR 1613

This is testimony to be delivered on Tuesday, January 21, 2020, before a joint meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Federal and State Affairs Committee, opposing passage of HCR 5019 and SCR 1613, proposed amendments to the Kansas Constitution that would remove the right of Kansas women to private, safe, personal choices in their reproductive health care.

Senate Judiciary Committee & House Federal and State Affairs Committee
Chairs, Sen. Rick Wilborn, Rep. John Barker
Hearing: January 21, 2020, 9 am, 346-S 

Position – OPPOSE HCR 5019/SCR 1613

Chairs Wilborn and Barker, and Members of the Committees, 

The MainStream Coalition opposes HCR 5019/SCR 1613.

The MainStream Coalition was founded 27 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 bipartisan, and our organization is nonpartisan. 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 of religious freedom.

We affirm that 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. This amendment would take that right away from every Kansas woman, and put the decision in the hands of legislators. These intensely personal decisions are made by women in consultation with their faith, family and physician, not by legislators far removed from the circumstances.

We support data-driven efforts to reduce abortion rates, and ask legislators to instead 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 unplanned pregnancies. We can protect both women and children in this way, together.

In a state that values freedom of religion so strongly, the decisions between a woman and her loved ones about her reproductive health should not be intruded upon by the state for religiously-based reasons.

We urge legislators to reject HCR 5019, and SCR 1613. 

Thank you, 

Scribbled name

Michael Poppa
Executive Director, MainStream Coalition

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