Kansas Supreme Court Ruling Discovers a Right to Abortion in the Kansas Constitution

Editor’s note. Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of the archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas issued the following statement in response to the 6-1 decision rendered by the Kansas Supreme Court on Friday. Archbishop Naumann is also chairman of the Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities.

Archbishop Joseph Naumann leads the Rosary in front of Planned Parenthood in Overland Park, Kansas, praying along with archdiocesan pro-life coordinator Allison Donohue (in patterned navy dress) and others. (Joe McSorley/The Leaven)

Today’s decision is just the most recent example of an effort to change the very nature of our government. Similar to the United States Supreme Court Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions in 1973, the Hodes & Nauser v. Schmidt decision is an example of imperial courts usurping the role of duly elected representatives to decide public policy on key social issues.

The Court’s claim of a right to abortion lying hidden in the Kansas Constitution for more than 150 years is absurd. The Court’s ruling is more an exercise in creative writing than a serious effort to examine the constitutionality of a statute restricting dismemberment abortions.

Ironically, the Court cites the section of the Kansas Constitution that affirms clearly a right to life, not a right to destroy human life. With the advancements of embryology and ultra-sound technology providing a window into the womb, the scientific evidence affirming the humanity of the unborn child is even stronger than in 1973. The Court’s decision has no basis in law or science.

As the movie “UnPlanned” — which depicts the true story of Abby Johnson’s conversion from a former Planned Parenthood clinic director to pro-life advocate — makes clear, abortion is no friend to women. Abortion providers prey on women at a time of great vulnerability to make a choice that not only kills their child but inflicts deep scars on the hearts of mothers. For women and men who have participated in the abortion of a child, I encourage you to contact the Project Rachel Ministry at 913-621-2199 or projectrachelkc@archkck.org to assist you in finding healing and peace.

The immediate priority for all Kansans concerned with protecting the lives of unborn children, as well as pregnant women, from an unscrupulous abortion industry is to pass a State Constitutional Amendment aimed at making it impossible for future Courts to contort the Kansas Constitution in an effort to claim it contains a right to abortion. I urge Catholics to join with thousands of other concerned Kansans to work for the passage of a Constitutional Amendment to correct the grave error of the Kansas Supreme Court’s ruling.

Eventually, Kansans who do not wish to be ruled by a judicial oligarchy must also reform the selection process for judges that masquerades as non-partisan, while producing judicial candidates who appear intent on imposing an ideology that was not in the minds of those who wrote the Kansas Constitution, nor is consistent today with the values of most Kansans.