Women's Rights at Risk

Last night, the Kansas State Senate voted 28-12 to amend the KS Constitution to remove from it the right of every Kansas woman to determine her own health care. The amendment would put that right in the hands of the legislators. Now, it goes to the Kansas House of Representatives for their deliberation and vote.

With the League of Women Voters of Johnson County, we are holding a forum on Saturday in Johnson County on the state of reproductive rights in Kansas. The panel includes Valerie French, MD, a family planning specialist in Kansas City, MO., Bob Eye, an environmental and civil rights attorney in Topeka, and Sofia Navarro, a women’s health nurse practitioner in Kansas City, KS. Come to listen, learn and find out what you can do.

Forum - The State of Reproductive Rights in Kansas

Saturday, February 1, 2020
9:00 - 11:00 am, 8:30 am coffee
Clubhouse, 9101 Nall Ave, Prairie Village, Kansas 66207
RSVP here

What happened last night

Debate began in the Kansas Senate yesterday afternoon, with Senate President Susan Wagle (*M:11%) bringing SCR 1613 bringing the resolution up for debate. It was met with attempted amendment after attempted amendment by Democrats and some Republicans, eight in all. Only one passed, by Sen. Pyle (*M:17%) to designate the August Primary Election as a "Special Election" to avoid running afoul of pesky legal requirements to putting the amendment on that ballot.

The other failed amendments included protecting women from legislated morality in the case of rape, incest, or if the mother's life is in danger. One, brought by Sen. Doll (*M:81%) would have moved the amendment to the November ballot, something the supporters of the amendment labelled a "poison pill" because of their fear the amendment would fail if more Kansans were to vote on the issue.

Read that again. They called a move to get it on a ballot in front of more Kansans a "poison pill." At Mainstream, we are always trying to get more Kansans engaged, more Kansans informed, and more Kansans voting. How can we trust that this amendment has the interests of every Kansan at heart, if they are trying to have the fewest Kansans vote on it?

Holding them accountable

Last week, before debate was held on SCR 1613 and HCR 5019, the Mainstream Coalition sent an email to all 165 Kansas State Legislators, letting them know we could not support anyone who supported these amendments, among other issues.

Twenty-eight Kansas Senators voted for this amendment last night, and as a result, we cannot support them. Among these was Sen. Doll, who we noted above had tried to amend the resolution to place it on the November ballot. He represents a conservative District in Southwest Kansas, including Garden City, and, as he noted last night, his record as a pro-life politician is strong. But he has a lifetime score on our Voting Scorecard of 81% in line with Mainstream issues. That's a great score, and Sen. Doll has often stood up to his party's leadership in order to represent his constituents well.

A vote for this amendment was a vote to remove a specific population of Kansans, 50% of them, in fact, from our state's Bill of Rights. Kansans were asked, several times last night, to "trust" legislators with the sweeping power they are requesting over the lives of all Kansas women. Trust that they won't ban abortions outright. Trust that they won't ban birth control.

We are, instead, inclined to trust women. We trust them to know what they, their families, and their own faiths ask of them. Legislators should trust them, too.

Do more than vote in 2020.

- Danny Novo
  Communications Director

Do you like this post?
Sign Up

if you are new to MainStream.

Sign In

if you're a Member or part of our network.