Kansas lawmakers are trying to change the state constitution to ban abortion

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Abortion is one of the most controversial topics facing lawmakers. Now a group of men in the Kansas House of Representatives is trying to restrict them all together.

21 lawmakers introduced an amendment that would effectively ban abortion in Kansas. That amendment would redefine ‘personhood’ giving a fetus legal rights and protections from the moment it’s fertilized.

Pro choice supporters are speaking out against the amendment, arguing it would negatively impact the health of Kansas women. Rachel Sweet works with Planned Parenthood. 

“This is really about 21 men in the Kansas legislature trying to make personal private medical decisions for all women in the state without their consent,” Sweet said, “I think this is an example of a way we’re trying to politicize healthcare and at planned parenthood we believe that decisions about when to become a parent and when to carry on or end a pregnancy should belong to a woman and her doctor, not the legislature.”

KSNT News political analyst Bob Beatty said while this is a state amendment, the real motivation could be bigger. With a conservative majority on the US Supreme court, lawmakers could be trying to overturn Roe vs. Wade.

“Possibly get a case that goes up to the Supreme Court to test the constitutional right to an abortion,” Beatty said.

Or they could just want to have a legal framework in place for if the Supreme Court does restrict abortion rights.

“If the supreme court did decide abortion was illegal as a federal law and then it was left to the states, a state could have it immediately in place to ban abortion,” Beatty said. 

Pro choice activists say that’s something they’re worried about too.

“We are concerned that if Roe were ever to fall that this amendment would ban abortion in all instances including in cases of rape and incest and when the life of a mother is in danger,” Sweet said. 

This amendment is working its way through the house, so we probably won’t see a decision made any time soon. It would need two thirds votes from both the House and the Senate to pass. If that happened it would have to go on the ballot for Kansas voters to decide.

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