Kansas House set to introduce “personhood” amendment

Adding it to the ton of other states where the fertilized-egg-as-person a.k.a. “personhood” amendments are in the works, but this one could actually result in something. Via AP:

Twenty-five Kansas House members have agreed to sponsor a proposed “personhood” amendment to the state constitution to ban abortion and are close to introducing it, the leader of a group pursuing the measure said Friday.

[...] The proposal would amend the state constitution’s Bill of Rights, to declare that Kansas guarantees “the inalienable rights” of every person, starting with fertilization of the human egg. The Personhood Kansas Committee, the Wichita-area group advocating the measure, sees it as a potential challenge to Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court establishing a right to an abortion.

Robin Marty points out that the state of Kansas has historically been hostile towards reproductive justice which could not only serve as a comfy home for a “personhood” amendment, but Marty adds an important point about the dangerous difference of this amendment compared to the others:

Kansas is doing one thing that no other proposal has tried.  The amendment needs to be approved by a simple majority of voters in the state, but unlike Colorado and Mississippi, who both had their amendments voted down on election day, Kansas will have their vote on primary day, August 7th.  Primaries, which are notorious for much lower turnout than general elections, will restrict the number of people who are likely to turn out to vote, which could provide the edge that anti-choice activists need.

In short, if the bill is brought to a statewide vote, this thing could actually happen. We’ll be sure to keep you posted on its movement.

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One Comment

  1. Posted January 18, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    We are talking about the same state where one of the Representatives advised women to save money for their rape-related abortion expenses by likening the possibility of a rape pregnancy to getting a flat tire. This was after legislation that prevented private insurance from covering abortions, even in the case of rape or incest. There are only three operating clinics that provide abortions in the entire state, and they are all in one city, so accessibility has already been extremely compromised.
    Here’s a good response from the head of NOW Kansas:
    http://youtu.be/4HBzrL0I0gQ

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