The state of Kansas has a history of passing pro-life legislation. But after the state Supreme Court issued a decision this past spring, that history may have come to an end.
The majority opinion in Hodes & Nauser, MDs v. Schmidt began by quoting the first section of Kansas’ Bill of Rights. It reads, “All men are possessed of equal and inalienable natural rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
“We are now asked: ‘Is this declaration of rights more than an idealized aspiration? And, if so, do the substantive rights include a woman’s right to make decisions about her body, including the decision whether to continue her pregnancy? We answer these questions, ‘Yes.'”
And while the Court moved to protect abortion, it made clear that efforts to protect life would be treated with skepticism.
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“The State may only infringe upon the right to decide whether to continue a pregnancy,” the ruling declared, “if the State has a compelling interest and has narrowly tailored its actions to that interest.”
The ruling’s immediate effect was to overturn Kansas’ Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, which banned an abortion technique called dilation & evacuation (D&E). It’s used in the second trimester and involves pulling a baby apart while she or he is still alive.
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Dr. Anthony Levatino has performed over twelve hundred abortions, and in the video below, he explains how a D&E is performed.
After the amniotic fluid is removed, the abortionist uses a sopher clamp — a grasping instrument with rows of sharp “teeth” — to grasp and pull the baby’s arms and legs, tearing the limbs from the child’s body. The abortionist continues to grasp intestines, spine, heart, lungs, and any other limbs or body parts. The most difficult part of the procedure is usually finding, grasping and crushing the baby’s head. After removing pieces of the child’s skull, the abortionist uses a curette to scrape the uterus and remove the placenta and any remaining parts of the baby.
Unfortunately, the consequences don’t stop there: with this new precedent, other pro-life initiatives are likely to be overturned as well. The only way to prevent that is by amending the state constitution, something that a number of pro-life groups are now pushing for.
Among them is the Kansas Catholic Conference. It's created a petition calling on legislators to pass a constitutional amendment that can then be brought before voters during the next general election. The organization also offers a fact sheet that pro-lifers can use to raise awareness.
A 2018 Fox News poll found that forty-six percent of Kansans think abortion should be illegal in all or most circumstances. Meanwhile. Meanwhile, a 2019 poll from Marist found that three quarters of Americans think abortion should be illegal after the third trimester.
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