“Value Them Both” is a lie.
This amendment would give total control over abortion laws to the Kansas state legislature. It is not about saving lives, and it’s certainly not about valuing either women or babies. It does not value the lives of either the women who will be at the center of this debate, or the children who will result from it.
It’s clear that the driving force behind this amendment is the religious right. I see signs in church yards. I see signs in the yards of people I know are active in their churches. This is part of the First Amendment – the right to free speech.
The First Amendment also guarantees us freedom of religion. But freedom of religion also means freedom from religion. The Founding Fathers were clear: they did not want religion to be part of government. If they had, they would have established a state church. But they didn’t. And they made freedom of – and from – religion part of the First Amendment for a reason: to them, the freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to peaceably assemble, and the freedom to choose and practice a religion were the most important rights that Americans could grant themselves.
The Amendments were submitted by the states, before the Constitution could be ratified. Every single state submitted something that echoed the First Amendment. No one wanted government to corrupt faith – or vice versa.
Yet here we are, 225 years later, and we have a religious minority that wants to dictate to the rest of us how we should act, feel, and behave. What women can and cannot do with their own bodies. This is the very reason why the First Amendment exists – to protect us from religion. Anyone is free to believe as they want. You can believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster. But you can’t force anyone else to believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster. You can’t force anyone to worship and believe as you do.
But the religious right is trying to do exactly that – force their beliefs upon everyone in the state.
These people will tell you they are trying to “save the unborn” – conveniently forgetting that abortion bans condemn women. Condemn women who medically need an abortion, but may not be able to get one due to all the red tape and double-speak they must jump through to get one. Abortion bans condemn women to live with abusers, to live in poverty, to forego education. To have children they don’t want, or cannot afford.
To quote Benjamin Franklin: “We must all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.” It is time for all of us who value the lives of women to stand up – no matter our religion, our political views, our race or ethnicity. If we want to remain in a free and democratic nation, this is where we make our first stand – by Voting No on this “Value Them Both” amendment.