Since 1920, the ACLU has recognized that reproductive freedom is one of our most essential constitutional liberties. We have been at the forefront of the fight to defend reproductive rights since 1973, when the U.S. Supreme Court recognized the right to choose in Roe v. Wade -- and then overturned that right in Dobbs in 2022. However, in the August 2022 primary election, Kansas voters resoundingly rejected a constitutional amendment that would have led to a total ban on abortion, indicating a less extreme position on the issue than that of many Kansas lawmakers.
Whether or not to have a child is an extremely personal health care decision, which should be left up to a pregnant person and their family or whoe they choose to consult. But in recent years, more and more extremist politicians have taken it upon themselves to make decisions for Kansans they’ve never met. More laws restricting abortion have been passed just since 2011, than were passed in the entire 10 years before that, and we cannot allow the trend to continue. Kansas has more laws restricting our right to make decisions about our own reproductive health care than any other state.
What are we doing about it?
Opponents of reproductive freedom have been working methodically at the state level to limit access to abortion, and Kansas has been one of the key states targeted by this strategy. The ACLU has worked alongside local coalitions to defend reproductive rights through legislative lobbying, legal challenges, and public education events. We actively oppose bills that limit abortion access or that harass and intimidate doctors, and challenge discriminatory policies that affect our rights to make choices about reproductive options, and we support efforts to organize communities to defend these rights.
We also advocate for factual, scientific sex education in Kansas schools, and work to stop bills that would threaten the ability of educators to teach students about the importance of sexual health and STD and pregnancy prevention.