The “Value Them Both” campaign is a lie.
No doubt you’ve seen the ads, the yard signs. You probably already know that the “Value Them Both” amendment, which the Kansas people will decide on August 2, removes abortion from the protection of the Kansas state constitution. It instead will give the Kansas state legislature total control over passing laws restricting – or outright banning – abortions. It is not about saving lives, and it’s certainly not about valuing either women or babies.
I know that anti-abortion activists will tell you that this amendment is about ‘saving lives.’ But what they won’t tell you is that Kansas already has fairly restrictive abortion laws on the books.
So what are the Kansas laws? Let’s take a look:
- Abortions after 22 weeks are banned. These are what are termed “late term” abortions. None have been performed in Kansas since 2019. So the ads claiming that Kansas is a “destination for late term abortions” is a lie, pure and simple. We are not.
- If a fetus is viable – meaning that it can survive outside the womb – it cannot be aborted UNLESS two physicians agree that the woman’s life is in danger, or the fetus has a life-threatening abnormality that is incompatible with life. Even then, the family may choose to continue the pregnancy. It is up to them, as it should be.
- Abortions pills via telemedicine are illegal.
- If a girl under 18 seeks an abortion, she must have parental consent.
- Women seeking an abortion must, under Kansas law, receive “mandatory, state-written materials” to “educate” them on this decision. After receiving this material, a woman still must wait 24 hours before the procedure can be performed.
- A woman must consent to an ultrasound before the abortion is performed.
- AND, there are insurance restrictions! In many cases, a woman must pay for the procedure herself.
Abortion is not easily accessible in Kansas. It is a medical necessity for many women. Currently, the Kansas Supreme Court has found that the Kansas state constitution provides “bodily autonomy” to all Kansas citizens. This is an important aspect of our Constitution, and one that deserves protection. But if Kansas votes to add this so-called “Value Them Both” amendment to our Constitution, that guarantee is gone. Bodily autonomy is no longer guaranteed to anyone. If a woman has no say over her own body, what does she have? Nothing.
There are many other reasons why this amendment is a horrendous breach of our rights: it’s discriminatory; it will affect women of color and women of low economic status unfairly; it is a threat to women’s rights and the rights of everyone in Kansas; and it will have an economic impact across the state. It is an erosion of a woman’s right to choose her life for herself, for a family to determine what is best for it.
But for now, make an informed choice. For yourself, for your sisters and daughters, for your friends and neighbors, for your body and your rights, register to vote before July 12 at your local county election office, or online at https://www.kdor.ks.gov/apps/voterreg/home/index (if you’re not already registered) and vote NO on August 2.