Plan to remove the right to abortion from the state constitution advances to the August 2022 primary election
TOPEKA, Kan. — Today, the Kansas state legislature passed HCR 5003, a constitutional amendment that allows politicians to intervene in the personal medical decisions of Kansans seeking abortion care across the state, without exception.
Statement from Rachel Sweet, Regional Director of Public Policy and Organizing for Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes:
“We are deeply disappointed that this flawed and dangerous constitutional amendment, which will seize the right to abortion from Kansans and make it subject to the legislature’s whims, passed the Senate today. Decisions about whether to end a pregnancy are deeply personal and should be between a woman, her family, and her health care provider, not politicians in Topeka.
“The politicians and organizations behind this constitutional amendment have clearly said that they believe all abortions should be banned and illegal, no matter what. Permanently changing our constitution to remove the right to abortion — with no exceptions for a women’s health or for cases of rape or incest — is the first step to banning abortion in Kansas. We will fight this all the way to the ballot box.”
Statement from Julie A. Burkhart, Founder and CEO of The Trust Women Foundation:
“This amendment is a flagrant attack on the decision by the Kansas Supreme Court in Hodes v Schmidt, which established the right of citizens of Kansas to personal bodily autonomy, including the right to abortion care.
“By removing the constitutional right to abortion, the amendment allows lawmakers to create regulations that are not medically relevant and may inflict undue emotional or physical harm to people seeking abortion care. The end result will be worse health outcomes for Kansans, and the eventual criminalization of Kansas women.
“It has been clear from the beginning of this process that the backers of this amendment do not have the best interest of women and families in mind. Abortion care is health care, and access to both is critical for everyone.”
Statement from Nadine Johnson, Executive Director, ACLU of Kansas:
“Fundamental rights have absolutely no place on the ballot. Those rights were bestowed on us. They belong to us. We don’t put them up for a public vote.
“This amendment singles out a group to which we could now deny full, bodily autonomy. It writes discrimination into our state’s most cherished document and it means that one segment of the population risks being expressly deprived of their fundamental rights under the Kansas Constitution. We cannot and will not let this stand.”
Statement from Kimberly Inez McGuire, Executive Director of URGE:
“Abortion is an essential health service that continues to be out of reach for many people, especially Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color, LGBTQ people, and young people in Kansas. Decisions about whether to end or continue a pregnancy are deeply personal and should rest solely with the pregnant person, not left to the whims of anti-abortion politicians.
“Make no mistake: We will not stop until abortion is accessible to everyone -- and we will continue this fight at the ballot box."
A bipartisan, statewide coalition of legislators and organizations including Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes, URGE: Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity, Trust Women and the ACLU of Kansas defeated a nearly identical anti-abortion constitutional amendment 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