Column: What’s the matter with Kansas?

by Michael Schuttloffel

Some Americans of the coastal variety are wont to regard the portion of the country stretching from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains as nothing more than “fly-over country,” a vast expanse of undifferentiated prairiedom.

Appearances of sameness, however, can be deceiving. Just ask LeRoy Carhart, the notorious Nebraska abortionist who is currently contemplating a move to Kansas. He understands, all too well, that while states such as Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma may look alike from 30,000 feet, they are very different places indeed.

On April 14, Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman signed the nation’s strongest abortion law, banning abortions past 20 weeks. The very next day, Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson vetoed legislation strengthening reporting requirements — yes, reporting requirements — for abortions performed past 22 weeks. Whereas the Kansas Senate was unable to attain the 2/3 vote necessary for a veto override, Nebraska’s Legislature passed its far stricter legislation with an overwhelming majority of 44-5.

Legislators in Nebraska were motivated by a desire to avoid becoming what Kansas has long been: the late-term abortion capital of the country. This should be a cause for embarrassment for our state’s political leadership. Instead, the governor’s veto, and the Senate’s failure to override that veto, has sent the message to the LeRoy Carharts of the world that Kansas remains open for business — their business. Is a relocation package next in the offing?

Meanwhile, Oklahoma has passed a rigorous new ultrasound law aimed at ensuring that women are fully informed before deciding to have an abortion. By requiring an abortionist to describe to the mother the physical details of what it is that the abortion will be destroying, Oklahoma is essentially ensuring that standard practice for every other medical procedure is now applied to abortion. Organizations that claim to support women’s rights are, predictably, incensed that women will be provided with complete information about a medical procedure they are about to undergo. What an outrage!

But between Oklahoma and Nebraska lies Kansas, where pro-life legislation usually cannot even obtain a Senate hearing. In Kansas, Planned Parenthood continues to receive taxpayer funding, compliments of the governor’s veto of a pro-life legislator’s budget amendment last spring, while the state’s crisis pregnancy program, largely administered through Catholic Charities, has been completely defunded (by the governor).

The question has been asked before: What’s the matter with Kansas? The answer, according to the most extreme elements of the abortion industry, is a resounding “nothing.” Come November, however, the voters will have the opportunity to rescind once and for all Kansas’ standing invitation to abortionists that have been made to feel unwanted elsewhere. Kansas’ days as an island for misfit toys of the very lowest order are numbered.

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