By Robyn Johnson, KFL Legislative Director
The top legislative priority for Kansans For Life during the 2020 Legislative session is to pass the VALUE THEM BOTH Constitutional Amendment to the Kansas constitution. In April 2019, the Kansas Supreme Court issued a decision finding a so-called “right to abortion” in the Kansas Constitution. This decision puts all existing Kansas laws which help protect women and their unborn children, and regulate abortion, in danger of being struck down by lawsuits. This would leave women and unborn children at the mercy of an unregulated abortion industry. In order to protect current pro-life laws on the books, Kansans for Life has joined with a coalition of other pro-life organizations to pass the VALUE THEM BOTH Constitutional Amendment.
In order to amend the Kansas Constitution, the amendment legislation must pass both chambers of the Kansas Legislature by a two-thirds majority. After passing the Kansas Legislature, the amendment would be placed on the August 2020 primary ballot, to be voted on by Kansas voters. The amendment must pass by a simple majority vote of the people.
The VALUE THEM BOTH Constitutional Amendment began its legislative journey on Tuesday, January 21st, with a joint legislative committee hearing at the Capitol in Topeka, before the House Federal and State Affairs Committee, and the Senate Judiciary Committee. Legislators heard testimony from numerous conferees, in support and opposition to the amendment. The next day, on the 47th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Wednesday, January 22nd, the Kansas House Federal and State Affairs Committee voted overwhelmingly to pass the VALUE THEM BOTH Constitutional Amendment. Later that afternoon, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed unanimously, the VALUE THEM BOTH Constitutional Amendment.
Kansans For Life is very thankful for the successful passage of the amendment through the legislative committee process! Many thanks to our KFL members who contacted their legislators and/or came to Topeka for the hearings and the annual “Rally For Life”! Special thanks goes to pro-life Chairman of the House Federal and State Affairs Committee Rep. John Barker (Abilene), and Reps. Susan Humphries, and Renee Erickson (both from Wichita), for their leadership during the House hearings. KFL would also like to thank Senate Judiciary Chairman, Senator Rick Wilborn (McPherson), Senators Caryn Tyson (Parker) and Julia Lynn (Olathe) for their leadership during the Senate Committee hearings. The Amendment has cleared the first hurdle of the legislative process, and now moves onto deliberation by the full Kansas House and Senate.
Concerned Kansans should continue to communicate with their legislators and urge them to support the VALUE THEM BOTH amendment which helps protect women and unborn children from an unregulated abortion industry. Legislators’ contact information is posted at kslegislature.org, constituents may call the Kansas Legislative Hotline at 800.432.3924 and have a message delivered to elected officials or a pre-written message to support the amendment can be sent directly to legislators from our website.