Kansas Pro-Life Amendment Dies
Kansas Pro-Life Amendment Dies
Election observers nationwide were watching Kansas yesterday as the state voted on the future of abortion. Unfortunately, the “Value Them Both” amendment died last night, with a vote margin of 59-41. National media expressed shock that such a red state would reject any law that would enact abortion restrictions.
“Value Them Both” did not call for a ban on abortions; instead it sought to override a 2019 KS Supreme Court decision which found an unlimited right to abortion in the state constitution. What made this decision especially egregious is that the KS Supreme Court consists of judges whom the governor selects from a list of names given him or her by a group of attorneys. There is no “advise or consent” of the Senate, as with federal Supreme Court Justices. While each KS justice serves six years, and can be recalled after the first year, that of course never happens. Who pays attention to judges on a ballot, especially in off-year elections?
The KS Supreme Court in 2019 consisted of several activist judges appointed mostly by Democrat governors — including Kathleen Sibelius. She later served in the Obama administration as Secretary of Health and Human Services. Plus, while governor of Kansas, Sibelius was a BFF of the notorious late-term abortionist, George Tiller of Wichita.
So pro-life activists established the “Value Them Both” amendment, which passed the KS legislature in 2021. Part of the explanation at the ballot box read:
“A vote for the Value Them Both Amendment would reserve to the people of Kansas, through their elected legislators, the right to pass laws to regulate abortion because there is no Kansas constitution right to abortion or to require the government funding of abortion.”
There was nothing in the wording that would’ve banned abortion outright. Yet to hear the opposition campaign, that’s just what the amendment would’ve done. The state legislature would ban all abortions — even for rape or incest! Women will die from ectopic pregnancies since they won’t be able to get abortions!
And the deception worked.
The Value Them Both war chest amounted to $5.4 dollars, with about two-thirds of that coming from Kansas Catholic churches, conferences, and other organizations. Other moneys came from Kansans for Life and smaller individual donors; less than 1% came from out-of-state donors.
However, that wasn’t the story for the opposition, aka “Kansans for Constitutional Freedom.” They raised $6.4 million, with 40% coming from such groups as — you guessed it — Planned Parenthood, as well as the “Sixteen Thirty Fund,” a dark money group that funnels donations to Democrats and leftist causes. Other groups flooding pro-abortion coffers included the American Civil Liberties Union, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and The North Fund, a political action fund that supports progressive causes.
So where I live, in Johnson County in the Kansas City metro, signs opposing VTB bloomed everywhere. A young pro-life supporter with whom I had coffee on election day told me she saw a wide variation of signs promoting a “no” vote. Well, of course. With all that money to burn, they could design and published a variety of images.
Signs supportive of Value Them Both throughout Kansas were stolen — including ours. Our church had multiple large signs taken. One clever man, who lost eight signs from his yard, affixed rat trap glue and Apple AirTags to track his nemesis.
Well, last night, signs 7 & 8 were stolen but with Apple AirTags they were tracked and recovered. Again I chose not to press charges but opted instead for a simple face to face conversation & apology. BTW, I had smeared them with rat trap glue. He said it was highly effective. 😆 pic.twitter.com/EKpRrfi8rA
— Joel Richardson (@Joel7Richardson) July 20, 2022
But things also got even uglier. Churches were vandalized, and even a teenager canvassing for Value Them Both was attacked on Tuesday.
Grace Hartsock. Screenshot; Students for Life of America Facebook.
Grace Hartsock, of Students for Life, was knocking doors in Leawood, a Kansas City suburb. When a woman answered the door, and politely told the girl she wasn’t interested, Grace turned to leave. However, the woman’s daughter yelled from inside the house, “Don’t apologize to her, mom!” She then followed Grace down the stairs, yelling at her, pushing her, and beating her face with closed fists.
Grace Harsock’s mother had accompanied her, and ordered the assailant to stop, whereupon the women told the girl, “I hoped you get raped,” “I hope you get run over by a car,” and “Get the f— out of here!”
Someone caught the end of the nasty encounter on video:
Notice the homes in the background. Leawood, KS, is an upper income suburb. I guess money doesn’t equate to class, does it?
While national media may scratch their heads over how a red state like Kansas could reject a pro-life bill, I’m not really that surprised. If you know the state’s history, you’ll understand.
To be upfront here, I’m not a native Kansan, although it’s been my home for most of my life. I was born and raised in Lake County, Indiana, which lies to the southeast of Chicago. Connected directly to Chicago, the northern part of the county on Lake Michigan is an urban area of steel mills and refineries, grime and crime.
So when I came to Kansas to attend graduate school — and later married a boy from Wichita — I saw the state as clean, decent, and well … nice. But I later learned that when it came to abortion, the state had a dark underbelly.
Kansas was a stronghold for abortion activism as far back as the 1960’s, and in 1969 it became one of fourteen states to permit the procedure on a limited basis. By 1972 legal access to elective abortions increased, making it a Midwestern haven for out-of-state abortion seekers.
And then there was the late Dr. George Tiller.
Tiller ran the Women’s Health Care Services in Wichita, and was also an abortion activist. By 1983 he became one of only three physicians in the US who terminated third-trimester babies. Tiller even went so far as to negotiate hotel rates for women who came from out-of-state to take advantage of his medical “services.”
And now, with the defeat of Value Them Both, Kansas is bracing to become a destination state for abortion. It has come to this.
As a local pro-life Kansan posted at his Facebook page on Wednesday morning: “Kansans had their moment last night to stand before Pilate, and they screamed, “Give us Barrabas!”
Featured image: Screenshot/cropped/Facebook.