The Douglas County Democratic Party is holding an event this weekend to help inform the public about how to protect the right to an abortion in Kansas.
“Too Extreme for Kansas? How You Can Fight the Anti-Abortion Amendment on the August Election Ballot” will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 19, at the Lawrence Arts Center. The event will also be livestreamed at this link.
The Kansas Supreme Court decided three years ago that access to abortion is a fundamental right in the state constitution. The decision affirmed a Court of Appeals opinion in which Judge Steve Leben wrote that “The rights of Kansas women (today) are not limited to those specifically intended by the men who drafted our state’s constitution in 1859.”
But a measure on the Aug. 2 primary election ballot would amend the Kansas Constitution to state that nothing in the constitution creates a right to abortion or requires government funding for abortion, and that the state Legislature has the authority to pass laws regarding abortion. Abortion rights advocates say the amendment paves the way for a total abortion ban in Kansas.
Gov. Laura Kelly, congresswoman Sharice Davids, Rep. Christina Haswood and many women’s health organizations are among those who oppose the measure; Kansas Sens. Molly Baumgardner and Ty Masterson, and former Gov. Jeff Colyer are among those in support.
The event, which is the local Democratic Party’s monthly Saturday Seminar, will be moderated by Amii Castle, a University of Kansas business law professor who is also with the ACLU and Douglas County Democrats. Panelists include Rachel Sweet, of Kansans for Constitutional Freedom, Melinda Lavon of Vote No Kansas, and Bruce Roberts of the Douglas County Democrats.
The event is free and open to the public. Proof of vaccination will be required for those who attend in person.