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OPINION

RICH KIPER: ‘Value Them Both’ amendment

Rich Kiper
Rich Kiper

Last Friday the Kansas House of Representatives passed the “Value Them Both” amendment to the state constitution. It is expected to be voted on by the Senate this week. 

If this seems familiar, it is because the Legislature previously considered the amendment in 2020, but failed to pass it by four votes. 

The amendment results from the Kansas Supreme Court decision of April 2019 that the 1859 state Constitution contained a “right to abortion.” For 150 years there was no mention of abortion in the Constitution, but suddenly five Democrat justices found such a right. 

What is meant by “Value Them Both” is that both the mother and the unborn baby should be protected from what could become an unregulated abortion industry.

Not surprising is that Democrats painted the amendment as declaring an end to abortion. That was not true then and it is not true now, but it makes for an inflammatory cry.

Even if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned in the U.S. Supreme Court, abortion laws would be determined by state legislatures.

The proposal states: “The Amendment would affirm there is no Kansas constitutional right to abortion or to require government funding of abortion and would reserve to the people of Kansas, through their elected state legislators, the right to pass laws to regulate abortion.”

To be clear, the amendment does not prohibit abortion in Kansas, nor does it overturn federal law on abortion. It simply requires that the legislators for whom we vote make the laws, not five unelected Kansas Supreme Court justices.

Justices alone can determine whether an underage child can have an abortion without consent of a parent or guardian. They can decree that a baby who survives an abortion does not have a right to live. They can declare that the “right to abortion” is for any reason. No reason is too trivial to take the life of an unborn child. 

The Democrats’ 2020 platform gave unequivocal support to “reproductive health care services, including safe and legal abortion.” President Biden’s current position is that he will “codify” Roe v. Wade. By “codify” Biden means that federal legislation of abortion would prevent states from enacting any laws that restrict abortion for any reason.

When his press secretary was asked at a briefing about his view on abortion, she would say only that he is “a devout Catholic and … attends church regularly.” That hardly answers the question. It is instructive that the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion.” How can Biden be “a devout Catholic” and take a position in opposition to the Catechism?

The Republican platform declared that Republicans are “Proud to be the party that protects human life.” Republicans, generally, believe that the killing of 62,502,904 unborn babies (as of 2019) is immoral. Unlike Biden, when President Trump was asked his view, he responded “Whether born or unborn, young or old, healthy or sick, every person is made in the holy image of God.” He added: we should “renew our resolve to build a culture of life.” 

There should be no surprise that Republicans would renew the effort to overturn the Kansas Supreme Court ruling. Neither is it a surprise that Democrats would vote to renew the killing.

Democrats sugarcoat the reality of abortion by claiming to be pro-choice, not pro-abortion. Anyone who claims to be pro-choice believes that allowing unborn babies to live is as moral as killing unborn babies. They simply condone either “choice.” 

“Choice” empowers a woman to abort an unborn child. Does she have a right to choose suicide? How often do we read stories and laud someone for restraining someone who is choosing to end their life? Such action might get you a medal. Attempting to dissuade someone from having an abortion can get you arrested.

Dr. Martin Luther King wrote: “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it.”

In 2019 (latest numbers) 6,916 babies were aborted in Kansas. Black women account for 23.6% of abortions but are, roughly, only 6.1% of the population.  

Republican pro-lifers grieve over those statistics. Democrats perpetuate the evil.   

Rich Kiper is a Leavenworth Times columnist.