In January, Sen. Molly Baumgardner, R-Louisburg, and Rep. Susan Humphries, R-Wichita, made the case for passage of an amendment to the Kansas Constitution declaring no fundamental right to abortion existed in the state. The Kansas Supreme Court issued a decision in 2019 declaring otherwise. (Noah Taborda/Kansas Reflector)
The Kansas Reflector welcomes opinion pieces from writers who share our goal of widening the conversation about how public policies affect the day-to-day lives of people throughout our state. Aarushi Pore is is a junior at Olathe North High School.
In the land that promises liberty and justice for all, the constitutional rights of many are being revoked. Texas has banned abortions after six weeks of pregnancy — before most people know they are pregnant — with no exceptions for rape or incest.
The law also places a bounty, quite literally, on individuals seeking abortions and allows private citizens to track them. This infringes upon the basic human right of access to health care and creates a dangerous environment. Those in need could put their lives at risk simply to receive basic health care.
Kansans should be concerned that their state Legislature is about to do the same. Anti-choice and anti-Constitution politicians in Topeka have made it extremely clear that laws like these are what they want to pass here in Kansas.
Thankfully, the U.S. Supreme Court won’t determine Kansans’ access to reproductive health care as it did in Texas. In our state, voters will decide whether such egregious laws are enacted. The Kansas No Right to Abortion in Constitution Amendment, which would give officials the right to ban abortion, will appear on our August 2022 ballots.
Showing up and voting in opposition of the amendment would allow for people’s health care rights in Kansas to be protected — because medical decisions should be between a patient and their doctor, not politicians in Topeka. If we truly want to provide liberty and justice for all, we must unequivocally protect the rights of everyone, not violate them.
The Kansas No Right to Abortion in Constitution Amendment, which would give officials the right to ban abortion, will appear on our August 2022 ballots.
– Aarushi Pore
The supposed motivation behind barbaric, outdated laws like the Texas six-week abortion ban and the Kansas No Right to Abortion in Constitution Amendment is decreasing the number of abortions in the state. Studies show this is a blatantly oblivious assumption.
As stated by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, on average, women are still unaware of their pregnancies until between five and six weeks gestation and the percentage of women who reported timing of pregnancy awareness at six weeks or less ranged from 23% to 28%. In Texas, this would leave nearly all pregnant individuals with no option to terminate their pregnancy. With limited opportunity, there’s decreased access to health care.
Along with that, according to The Guardian, anti-abortion laws such as the one in Texas would force people in need of an abortion to travel to a different state to terminate their pregnancy, costing the individual and the state a surplus of time and money. For those who do not have adequate transportation and the funds necessary to travel out of the state, they will resort to extremely unsafe options of getting an abortion, whether that be through an uncertified clinic or performing the procedure themselves, which opens the door for numerous health risks.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine states that about half of abortion procedures are conducted in an unsafe manner, and the World Health Organization states that the yearly cost of treating major complications caused by unsafe abortions is about $553 million. If our already weakened health care infrastructure is causing such a large effect on those seeking abortions, imagine what would happen when we get rid of the standing infrastructure all together.
Both of these pieces of information demonstrate how an increased number of unsafe abortions only risks the lives of many individuals and costs an extreme amount of money to treat patients after risky procedures. This, coupled with the states being liable for “abortion bounties,” means that taxpayers will absorb a much larger cost than many anticipate.
To ensure that our independence and freedom are not infringed upon by those who want to dismantle our bodily autonomy, it is crucial for every Kansan to unify with one another and use their voice to call on members of the state Legislature.
Through its opinion section, the Kansas Reflector works to amplify the voices of people who are affected by public policies or excluded from public debate. Find information, including how to submit your own commentary, here.
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