Kansas Legislators set to take up
Pro-life Personhood Amendment
TOPEKA -- A state constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to life of every human being and ending the practice of abortion in Kansas has been pre-filed in the state legislature. Representative Randy Garber and 25 current co-sponsors will introduce the measure this session. If passed, Kansas citizens can vote the measure into law in the next general election.
Section 1 of the Kansas Bill of Rights recognizes that “All men are possessed of equal and inalienable natural rights” including “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” The amendment will ensure that—regardless of one’s age--these rights are not denied to any person.
“Kansas has grown weary of the abortion debate,” said Personhood Kansas Committee Chairperson Bruce Garren. “We come back, year after year, and fight about which children will enjoy the full protection of the law, and which will not, just so we can gear up every twelve months and do it all over again. The Kansas Personhood Amendment will put us all out of business.” The amendment could present a challenge to the Roe v. Wade decision issued by the Supreme Court in 1973. In the majority opinion, Justice Harry Blackmun wrote: “If this suggestion of personhood is established,” the case for abortion “collapses.” The Court has also asserted on numerous occasions that states possess the “sovereign right to adopt in [their] Constitution[s] individual liberties more expansive than those conferred by the Federal Constitution.” The amendment’s language takes note of the precedent.
Similar efforts are underway in states across the country. Citizen-led initiatives are active in California, Colorado, Montana, Nevada, Arkansas, Ohio, and Florida. Personhood legislation and amendments have also been introduced or passed by a legislative body in North Dakota, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Alabama, Georgia, and Virginia.
An amendment in Mississippi was defeated last November after the measure saw a 25 point drop in the days leading up to the vote. Planned Parenthood chapters from around the nation contributed and spent over a million dollars spreading misinformation through the opposition campaign. In their latest annual report, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America reported $487.4 million in federal tax funding.
“The Kansas Personhood Amendment is an opportunity to guarantee the basic human rights of every person, young or old, and end this battle, once and for all,” continued Garren. “We have been dealing with this issue for too many years. We’ve lost too many children. The people of Kansas deserve an opportunity to make our voices heard.”