Kansas House advances constitutional amendment to remove the right to abortion from the state constitution
For Immediate Release: Jan. 22, 2021
After passing in the Kansas House, the bill must be approved by the Kansas Senate before moving to a vote of the people in the August 2022 primary election
TOPEKA, Kan. — Today, on the 48th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, members of the Kansas House of Representatives voted to move HCR 5003 forward, a constitutional amendment that allows politicians to intervene in the personal medical decisions of Kansans seeking abortion care across the state, without exception.
A concurrent resolution in the Kansas Senate, SCR 1602, passed out of committee earlier in the week and is now awaiting a vote on the floor. HCR 5003 and SCR 1602 would allow a statewide vote in the August 2022 primary election to remove the right to abortion from the Kansas Constitution.
Statement from Rachel Sweet, Regional Director of Public Policy and Organizing for Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes:
“Kansans deserve the right to make our own personal, private medical decisions without government interference. The politicians and organizations behind this constitutional amendment have clearly said that they believe all abortions should be banned and illegal, no matter what, with no exceptions for a woman’s health or cases of rape or incest. Putting this amendment in front of voters in a low-turnout primary election gets them another step closer to that ultimate goal.
“Decisions about whether to end a pregnancy are deeply personal and should be left to a woman in consultation with her health care provider, her family, and her faith—not politicians in Topeka. We will make sure all Kansans are aware of the repercussions of this bill at the ballot box.”
Statement from Julie A. Burkhart, Founder and CEO of The Trust Women Foundation:
“Should this amendment pass in 2022, it will surely signal the end of reproductive freedom in Kansas. Amending the constitution is serious business. One thing is clear amongst Kansans; we do not want to get into the business of taking rights away from others – from our neighbors, our friends, our colleagues. This will do nothing but pit the state against women, and most importantly, pitting citizen against citizen. As an abortion provider in the state of Kansas, each day, we witness, from across the state, the need that women have for reproductive health care. We are here to continue to provide that high-quality care for our patients.
“We have seen what happens when access is denied in other states. I urge Kansas politicians to allow our medical professionals to provide health care access to their patients, leaving the role of doctor to those who are qualified. Politicians should not be in the business of playing doctor to Kansans. Rather than working to ban abortion, I urge the Legislature to come together to pass Medicaid expansion, broader contraceptive availability and to provide greater support and access to all pregnant women and their babies.”
Statement from Nadine Johnson, Executive Director, ACLU of Kansas:
“Fundamental constitutional rights should never be on the ballot, yet members of the legislature seek to alter the core principles of individual freedoms enshrined in our state’s constitution by placing them up for a vote. The foundation of our form of government is the adherence to the rights, liberty, and equality of all persons under the law. Passing this amendment is an affront to the values reflected in our state’s founding and a direct attempt to discriminate against and undermine the equality of the women of Kansas—and it puts their health and safety in jeopardy.”
Statement from Kimberly Inez McGuire, Executive Director of URGE:
“This amendment is a cruel attempt to hijack the Kansas state constitution to deny rights to half of Kansans. Make no mistake: those pushing this amendment want to ban abortion entirely. Their extreme agenda would only take needed reproductive health care from young people, women of color, and Kansans struggling to make ends meet. We won’t let that happen.”
A bipartisan, statewide coalition of legislators and organizations, including the ACLU of Kansas, Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes, Trust Women, and URGE: Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity defeated nearly identical resolutions in the 2020 legislative session. This coalition is devoted to ensuring access to reproductive health, rights and justice in the state.
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Mandy Culbertson, PPGPV, [email protected], 913.709.9515
Zack Gingrich-Gaylord, Trust Women, [email protected], 316.425.3215
Mark McCormick, ACLU of Kansas, [email protected]
Rachel Waters, URGE, [email protected], 706.831.1667