Kansans head to the polls Tuesday to vote on the proposed “Value Them Both” constitutional amendment that seeks to overturn the Kansas Supreme Court’s decision in Hodes & Nauser v. Schmidt that declared that the state constitution guarantees a “fundamental right to abortion.” Many Kansans may not realize, however, that the votes they cast on Tuesday may have been heavily influenced by out-of-state abortion apologists who contributed a whopping 71 percent of the $6.54 million spent by the lead group campaigning against the amendment.
The proposed Value Them Both amendment passed the Kansas House and Senate in January 2021 by the two-thirds threshold required under the state constitution to place the proposal on the ballot for the citizens of Kansas to decide. The amendment would overturn Hodes’ holding that a state constitutional right to abortion exists by adding to the Kansas Bill of Rights a section defining the propriety of abortion regulation, stating:
“Because Kansans value both women and children, the constitution of the state of Kansas does not require government funding of abortion and does not create or secure a right to abortion. To the extent permitted by the constitution of the United States, the people, through their elected state representatives and state senators, may pass laws regarding abortion, including, but not limited to, laws that account for circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest, or circumstances of necessity to save the life of the mother.”
At the time of the Hodes decision, Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey remained the law of the land under the federal Constitution. Pro-life Kansans nonetheless responded to the opinion by pushing for the Value Them Both amendment for two reasons.
First, the Kansas Supreme Court’s Hodes opinion created a so-called right to abortion even broader than the then-controlling right established in Roe and tweaked in Casey — a state constitutional right so expansive it would guarantee a right to taxpayer-funded abortions. (Read more from “Out-Of-State Democrats Pay Millions to Influence Kansas Election Because Abortion Is on the Ballot” HERE)
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