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Is there a need to amend the Kansas Constitution?

Yes. As explained below the Kansas courts have “found” the right to an abortion in the Kansas Constitution. Kansans for Life favors a constitutional amendment to make it clear that the right to an abortion is not in the Kansas Constitution. The constitutional amendment we support will make it clear that the legislature can regulate abortions, including limiting late-term abortions, partial birth abortions, and ban the dismemberment abortion of a living unborn child. This amendment will not change the court rulings that are based on the U.S. Constitution.

Will this proposed amendment ban all abortions?

No. It will make it clear that the right to an abortion is not in the state constitution and the people through their elected representatives have the right to regulate abortion.

What difference does it make?

A constitutional amendment will save thousands of lives. Here is why.

 

The state legislatures have difficulty regulating abortion now because of a series of U.S. Supreme Court decisions limiting the state legislatures from passing laws regulating abortion. The U.S. Supreme Court decisions started with one called Roe v. Wade which ruled state regulation of abortion unconstitutional under the U.S. Constitution.

It is foreseeable the U.S. Supreme Court will reverse itself if our president appoints additional pro-life judges to the U.S. Supreme Court. If Roe v. Wade is reversed, state legislatures would be able to regulate abortion, but not in Kansas, if our Kansas courts “find” the right to abortion in our State Constitution.

This new constitutional right could potentially threaten all our pro-life laws on the books today. If we pass this state constitutional amendment, when Roe v. Wade is reversed the legislature can regulate abortion. So if we pass the amendment thousands of lives will be saved, if we do not thousands of lives will be lost.

 

Background:

Two abortionists sued in Shawnee County District Court challenging the constitutionality of the April 7, 2015, live dismemberment abortion ban claiming there is a right to an abortion in the Kansas State Constitution.  The caption is HODES & NAUSER, MDs, P.A. et al. vs. DEREK SCHMIDT, et.al. Case No. 2015CV490.

The District Court Decision:

The Shawnee County District Judge Hendricks ruled for the Plaintiffs reasoning that provisions of the state constitution have been interpreted to reflect the federal law. The ban in his opinion would violate the federal law, therefore it must also violate the state constitution. Shawnee County District Court Judge Hendricks ruled on a Motion for Preliminary Injunction for the plaintiffs in June of 2015.

Why  this case is unique:

The lawsuit is unique because it expressly made a claim ONLY under the Kansas State Constitution and specifically under Sections 1 and 2 of the Bill of Rights of the Kansas Constitution.

The most relevant part of the Kansas Constitution Bill of Rights states:

Section 1 provides: “All men are possessed of equal and inalienable natural rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

The Kansas Court of Appeals Decision:

The Kansas Court of Appeals in a 78 page, a 26,589-word opinion handed down on January 22, 2016, affirmed with seven Judges voting to affirm, and seven Judges voting to overturn the lower court. Judge LEBEN wrote the opinion joined by Judges PIERRON, MCANANY, BUSER, STANDRIDGE, and ARNOLD-BURGER, JJ.  ATCHESON writes a concurring opinion. Judge Leben concluded that Section One of the Kansas Constitution Bill of Rights effectively duplicates the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, so they apply federal law governing abortion as Kansas constitutional law. MALONE, C.J writes a dissenting opinion joined by Judges GREEN, HILL, BRUNS, POWELL, SCHROEDER, AND GARDNER. The dissenting opinion disagreed pointing out that “[T]he best and only safe rule for ascertaining the intention of the makers of any written law[] is to abide by the language they have used.” showing the Kansas Constitution is not similar to the 14th Amendment.

 The current status:

The case is pending before the Kansas Supreme Court. The case has been fully briefed, and the Court had a hearing in March of 2017.

 

 

 

 

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1,608 deaths and counting. 1,608 unborn Kansas children have died by live dismemberment abortion since a Kansas judge blocked enforcement of the Kansas live dismemberment abortion ban on June 30th, 2015. For 84 days in 2015, the state of Kansas led the nation by banning live dismemberment abortion, then a Judge found a new “right” in our Kansas Constitution and ordered that live dismemberment can continue. The case is now pending before the Kansas Supreme Court.

We led the nation, for 84 days. Now we count the dead.

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The courts have now blocked enforcement of the Kansas live dismemberment abortion ban. A lawsuit was filed challenging the ban on live dismemberment abortion with a claim that our state constitution contains a right to abortion. This court decision represents a radical change in our Kansas public policy.

In a Republic, laws and public policy should not be made by unelected Judges. The people should make laws and public policy through their elected representatives, not unelected, unaccountable Judges.

The Court has basically amended the constitution by interpretation. There is a procedure to amend the Kansas Constitution which the people have used often. If the Judges want to amend our constitution to include a state right to abortion, they may do so properly but not by judicial decree.

How ironic. Our Kansas law forbids live dismemberment of a cow, horse, calf, hog, mule, or sheep unless it is rendered incapable of feeling pain. However, since the court in Kansas “discovered” the right to an abortion in the Kansas constitution, the state legislature may not afford similar humane protection to unborn humans.

We have passed 29 pro-life laws making Kansas the most pro-life state in the union. This new interpretation of the Kansas constitution threatens these laws. We have passed a law that bans live dismemberment abortion, stopped taxpayer funding of abortion, banned partial birth abortion, banned late-term abortion, promoted informed consent, and regulations that would improve the health and safety standards of facilities performing any abortion. We will support a constitutional amendment clarifying that our constitution does not block this type legislation.

 

Footnote Supporting material:

The protection against cruelty also extends to animals. See Kan. Stat. Ann. 21-6412 (2017). Kansas law recognizes the legality of killing farm animals, but restricts such killings to those conducted in accord with “normal or accepted practices of animal husbandry.” Kan. Stat. Ann.  (2017). The practices of animal husbandry are subject to the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, 7 U.S.C 1901 et seq. (2012), which requires that livestock by “rendered insensible to pain by a single blow or gunshot or an electrical, chemical or other means that is rapid and effective, before being shackled, hoisted, thrown, cast, or cut.” Id. at 1902. Federal law forbids live dismemberment of a cow, horse, calf, hog, mule, or sheep unless it is rendered incapable of feeling pain.

 

 

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