This piece ran in the Newton Kansan.
Kansas politicians who crafted House Concurrent Resolution 5109 want to substitute their will for a woman’s right to decide, in consultation with her family, her faith and her doctor, whether she has an abortion or not. They want to put Kansas women’s rights and health up for a vote of the people.
Kansas politicians are trying to take away women’s rights in the state constitution by passing a flawed and dangerous constitutional amendment that would end the right to safe, legal abortion. This proposal represents a severe departure from not only the status quo in our state but also a departure from what Kansans want.
Make no mistake: HCR 5019 is intended to end the right to abortion in Kansas. Anti-abortion politicians say this isn’t about banning abortion in Kansas, but let’s be clear — this amendment is the first step to doing just that. It’s part of the calculated attempt to take away rights from women and ban abortion outright.
Changing the constitution to remove the right to abortion is not in the best interest of Kansas women. When a woman needs to end a pregnancy, it is important to have access to safe medical care, not restrictions and barriers that make access harder.
The majority of Kansans want the current status quo that we now have regarding abortion access: for it to be safe, legal and available. In a November 2018 poll from the AP and Fox News, 54% of Kansans said that abortion should be legal in all or most cases.
We urge you to join us by calling your legislators and speaking out against HCR 5109. You may find your elected officials’ information at http://www.kslegislature.org/li/. Please let your voice be heard — we must advocate for women of this great state, so that we can all enjoy safe and legal health care.
— Julie A. Burkhart, founder and CEO of Trust Women; Nadine Johnson, executive director of ACLU of Kansas; and Kimberly Inez McGuire, executive director of URGE.