Letter to the Times: Kansas will ban abortion if amendment passes on Aug. 2

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Note: The Lawrence Times runs opinion columns and letters to the Times written by community members with varying perspectives on local issues. These pieces do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Times staff.

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As of Friday, women who get pregnant have no federal constitutional right to access abortion care. That means states can now decide to ban abortions, in all cases. 

And some state — states like Kansas — will do just that if the upcoming proposed constitutional amendment passes.

On August 2, you’ll be voting whether to amend our Kansas state constitution to take away the right to access abortion, in all cases. If the amendment passes, Kansas lawmakers can — and they will — enact laws banning abortions. And we know they will because they’ve already tried. 

Are you ready to vote?

The next election is Tuesday, Aug. 2. You must be registered to vote by Tuesday, July 12.
You can quickly make sure you’re registered and/or request a mail ballot at KSVotes.org.
* We are not election workers *

Take House Bill 2746, a law introduced this year by a Republican legislator. HB 2746 (which died in committee) prohibited abortions in Kansas from the moment of fertilization and made the performance of an abortion a felony. 

The only three exceptions included 1) to save the life or preserve the health of the unborn child; 2) remove a dead, unborn child whose death was caused by spontaneous miscarriage or still birth; or 3) to terminate an ectopic pregnancy that seriously threatens the life of the mother. 

No exception for rape. No exception for incest. And only one exception to save the mother’s life — an ectopic pregnancy. So, under HB 2746, if a pregnant woman in Kansas risks death should the pregnancy continue, and if her life is threatened by a health condition other than an ectopic pregnancy, she can’t choose to have an abortion. She can’t choose her own life over the life of an unborn fetus.

HB 2746 was an actual bill proposed by Republicans in the House with the hopes of banning abortions in Kansas. And there will be more if the proposed constitutional amendment is not defeated.

Everyone who is eligible to vote in Kansas should vote on August 2. If you’re unaffiliated, you can still vote on this amendment. But you do need to register to vote by July 12. A “yes” vote passes the amendment, and a “no” vote defeats the amendment. 

— Amii N. Castle (she/her), Lawrence

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