Commentary: Roe v. Wade strikedown awakens pro-choice Kansans, threatens Value Them Both amendment

Dion Lefler, The Wichita Eagle on

Published in Political News

And Wichita physician Dr. Alan Fearey, who appears in pro-choice ads blanketing local TV, is an overnight celebrity and probably by now better known than his wife, Sharon, who served eight years on the Wichita City Council.

Possibly the biggest surprise of this entire campaign is watching the pro-life organizations that back the amendment trying to furiously backpedal from decades of “abortion is murder” rhetoric and insisting that all they want now is “reasonable regulation” of the procedure.

No one believes them. You don’t spend 30 years campaigning to ban something and then back off to “reasonable regulation” at the threshold of victory.

If the amendment passes and the Kansas Legislature gets the chance, it will ban abortions. Missouri already has.

Both the Kansas House and Senate have veto-proof Republican majorities and pro-choice Republicans have long since been purged from any Statehouse influence.

In fact, if not for the courts, Kansas would already have an abortion ban.


In 2011, under the guise of patient safety, the Legislature passed a TRAP law, which is short for “targeted regulations for abortion providers.” The idea was to shut down abortions by making reasonable-sounding regulations that are in reality impossible to comply with.

The courts saw through that and struck down the most onerous provisions of the TRAP law. The Value Them Both amendment would negate such court review and leave decisions on abortions entirely in the hands of the Legislature.

When the Republicans who dominate the Legislature put the Value Them Both amendment on the ballot, they put their thumb on the scale.

They deliberately placed it in the Aug. 2 primary instead of the November general election, because Republicans usually heavily outnumber Democrats in primary voting.


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