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PRO-LIFE BASICS: What is the tragedy that recently unfolded in Kansas?

By Judie Brown

This past August, news reports told us that the Kansas Value Them Both Amendment failed. In part, the proposal stated: “Because Kansans value both women and children, the constitution of the state of Kansas does not require government funding of abortion and does not create or secure a right to abortion. To the extent permitted by the constitution of the United States, the people, through their elected state representatives and state senators, may pass laws regarding abortion, including, but not limited to, laws that account for circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest, or circumstances of necessity to save the life of the mother.”

But what kind of a failure was this? For us, it was a teaching moment as we pointed out once again that some so-called pro-life measures are not pro-life.

The Value Them Both Amendment to the Kansas state constitution would have provided in state law the ability to regulate abortion, not end it and not recognize the preborn child as a person. What does this mean?

In essence, it means that because there is no right to abortion in the Kansas constitution the people could pass laws that curtail abortion in some cases. It was what we might call a Rube Goldberg approach, meaning a complicated, unprincipled way of doing something that might have simply been resolved by recognizing the preborn child as a person, thus ending all abortion in every circumstance once and for all.

But it seems that political strategies that might result in total victory are not something many pro-life strategists will fight for or even pretend to support. Rather than belabor this point, it is time to make a very basic statement about why we fight.

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