LETTER: Abortion record

Mary Wilkinson

To the editor:

The people of Leavenworth and Wyandotte counties deserve the utmost integrity from their elected officials. A recent letter from Rep. Jeff Pittman, Democratic candidate for Kansas Senate, was his latest attempt to muddy the water and create confusion regarding his voting record.

To set the record straight, Pittman voted to open the door to unlimited abortion in Kansas in 2020 and, in 2019, flip-flopped on another piece of pro-life legislation that would have provided information to women about pill abortions. Here are the details and please feel free to look up his record and the legislation referenced at www.kslegislature.org under the “Bills and Laws” tab.

Rep. Pittman voted against the Value Them Both Amendment in February 2020. Recent state court rulings have made it so that even the most basic regulations on the abortion industry are presumed to be unconstitutional. Thus, late-term and post-20-week abortions will likely be the reality in Kansas. Even parental notification requirements for minors seeking abortion could easily be struck down in court. The only way to keep this from happening is to pass the Value Them Both Amendment to the Kansas Constitution.

Pittman attempts to justify his vote by saying he wanted to see certain changes in the amendment. For example, he claims the amendment would leave sexual assault victims behind or not allow life of the mother exceptions. While he never sought to offer a single amendment during debate, it is worth noting that the amendment does not ban abortion in any case.

The clear description of the amendment states the amendment restores the people’s ability to regulate abortion through their elected officials. In short, it would allow the democratic process to work and allow for some regulations on abortion.

We know women who have been victims of violence. Isn’t it heartbreaking when politicians use these horrific experiences to justify their voting record? Shame on Jeff Pittman for his lack of compassion for women who are hurting.

While we could go point-by-point with the claims Pittman makes in his letter, one of the most glaring fallacies is when he said he never voted for taxpayer-funded abortions. Nine states with court rulings on abortion similar to ours now have state taxpayer funding of abortion. The Value Them Both Amendment remedies this by clarifying that “the constitution of the state of Kansas does not require government funding of abortion.”

Again, Pittman voted against it and is attempting to hide this fact from his constituents. When looking at the 2019 pro-life legislation that Pittman changed his position on, the timeline is pretty clear. He voted twice to give women information about the potential to reverse the effects of the abortion pill. The measure made it to the governor’s desk and she vetoed it. In the attempt to override the governor’s veto, Pittman sided with Democratic party bosses and the abortion industry and voted no.

While we cannot fully know why Jeff Pittman voted to open the door to unlimited abortion in Kansas and flip-flopped on another pro-life bill, the facts are the facts. We simply ask Jeff Pittman to own his record and stop misleading his constituents.

Mary Wilkinson is the president of Kansans for Life.