Kansas House passes Value Them Both amendment

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Published: Jan. 22, 2021 at 6:59 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Kansas House of Representatives has passed the Value Them Both amendment to limit access to abortion.

The Kansas House of Representatives passed the Value Them Both amendment 86-38 on Friday, Jan. 22. Value Them Both is a constitutional amendment to protect safeguards on the abortion industry for women and babies.

Minority Leader Tom Sawyer said Value Them Both is an extreme constitutional amendment that creates a path toward a complete and total abortion ban in Kansas. He said this includes cases of rape, incest or when the life of the mother is in danger.

House Democrats offered four amendments to Value Them Both, all of which were denied. Sawyer said the proposed amendments included the following:

  • Placing HCR 5003 on the November General Election of 2022 where there is historically a higher turnout of voters.
  • Abolishing the Death Penalty because “life before conception and the life of the living are potentially conflicting issues.”
  • Protecting women in cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is in danger.
  • Placing HCR 5003 on August primary in 2021 rather than 2022.

“This bill is too extreme for Kansas”, said Minority Leader Tom Sawyer. “Stripping the rights of bodily autonomy is an all-out attack on women with no exceptions for the horrors of rape, incest, or saving the life of the mother. Furthermore, putting this constitutional amendment on the August ballot will absolutely deny the rights of ALL Kansans to voice their opinion. This is purely a political maneuver by Republicans to refuse women their rights to make their own decisions. These very personal and private decisions ought to be between a woman, her doctor, and God.”

The Kansas Supreme Court decided that women have the right to bodily autonomy and to make their own decisions regarding health. Sawyer said abortion is a decision that is deeply personal and should not be regulated without checks and balances by legislatures.

“I’ve always believed that every woman’s reproductive decisions should be left to her, her family, and her physician. While I know others do not share my belief, I don’t think those supporting this amendment are aware of the consequences it will have for the state of Kansas and our reputation,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “We already know how this ends – North Carolina’s notorious bathroom bill cost that state nearly $4 billion in economic development – and this amendment has the same potential to do irreparable damage to our COVID-19 economic recovery efforts and our long-term prospects to recruit businesses and workforce talent.”

The Family Policy Alliance of Kansas said, however, that Value Them Both is a constitutional amendment to protect safeguards on the abortion industry for women and babies. It said after the 2020 election, the House became more pro-life and supportive of what it calls a “lifesaving” amendment.

“Value Them Both is vital to ensure that we can continue to provide life-saving safeguards to women,” said Director of Advocacy at Family Policy Alliance of Kansas, Brittany Jones, Esq. “We are so thankful for all eighty-six (86) members of the House who voted to protect our life-saving laws in Kansas. We are confident that the Senate will soon pass Value Them Both and then it will be up to the people of Kansas.”

To pass the Senate, the amendment needs a two-thirds majority vote on the Senate floor and if passed will head to a vote in August of 2022.

To read the full amendment, click here.

For more information regarding Value Them Both, click here.

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