By Robyn Johnson, Kansans for Life Legislative Director
On Wednesday, January 29th, after five hours of intense debate, the Kansas Senate passed the “Value Them Both” Constitutional Amendment by a vote of 28-12. The overwhelming vote surpassed the 2/3 majority needed to pass the Senate and be sent to the Kansas House of Representatives for deliberation. The Kansas House will take action on the “Value Them Both” Amendment within the next few weeks.
The amendment must pass the Kansas House of Representatives by a 2/3 majority as well. After passing both chambers of the legislature, the “Value Them Both” Constitutional Amendment will be placed on the ballot of the August Primary Election where it must pass by a simple majority of Kansas voters.
Kansans For Life would like to thank President of the Kansas Senate, Susan Wagle (R-Wichita), for her leadership in spearheading the debate in support of the “Value Them Both” Constitutional Amendment. Also, much thanks to Senator Eric Rucker (R-Topeka) for his leadership and for contributing legal expertise to the deliberations. During the long hours of debate, many pro-life state senators stood their ground in defense of women and unborn children, defeating seven different amendments designed to weaken or kill the “Value Them Both” Constitutional Amendment.
Thanks to long-time prolife Sen. Dennis Pyle (R-Hiawatha) for brilliantly offering a friendly amendment to SCR 1613, which shut down the pro-abortion side’s contention that the primary would not be a valid time to have a constitutional amendment on the ballot as it is “not an election.” Also thanks to Sen. Caryn Tyson (R-Parker), Sen. Molly Baumgardner (R-Louisburg), Sen. Richard Hilderbrand (R-Galena), and Sen. Kevin Braun (R-Kansas City) for speaking in support of the VTB Amendment on the floor. Many thanks to all pro-life Senators of the Kansas Senate!
In April of 2019, the Kansas Supreme Court issued a ruling placing all Kansas laws which regulate abortion, in danger of being nullified by future lawsuits. In the decision Hodes & Nauser v Schmidt, the Kansas Supreme Court found a so-called “right to abortion” in the Kansas Constitution. This newly discovered “right to abortion” has raised the standard of judicial review for abortion law in Kansas to a higher standard than our current federal standard under Roe v. Wade. An amendment to the Kansas Constitution is needed to protect current Kansas abortion regulations such as parental consent, informed consent, the late-term abortion ban, and clinic regulations.
The “Value Them Both” Constitutional Amendment will protect current Kansas abortion laws which protect women and unborn children from an unregulated abortion industry. Thank you to all who have contacted their State Senators and Representatives in support of “Value Them Both.” The bill is now in the Kansas House of Representatives awaiting deliberation and a vote. Please continue to stay informed regarding the progress of the amendment, and please continue to stay in touch with your State Representative, asking him or her to “Value Them Both”!