Church and state Contributors

Elections and the value of justice in public policy

Chuck Weber is the executive director of the Kansas Catholic Conference.

by Chuck Weber

The Catholic bishops of Kansas — indeed the Catholic bishops of the United States — have declared protection of the unborn as the “preeminent issue” facing Catholics this election.

According to the Oxford dictionary, preeminent means “surpassing all others; very distinguished in some way.”

The preeminent issue of abortion takes on a special meaning in Kansas at this time in wake of a horrific abortion case ruling handed down by the state Supreme Court that discovered and created a right to abortion in the Kansas constitution.

Incredibly, the legal path is now open for taxpayer-funded/ Medicaid-funded abortion in Kansas.

A 14-year-old girl (or any minor) has the “right” to abortion without the knowledge or consent of her parents. Live dismemberment abortions at a rate of about nine each week continue without mercy. 

In fact, virtually every pro-life Kansas law on the books is now, according to the court, “presumed unconstitutional,” including bans on horrific late-term birth abortions, mandatory informed consent and even basic clinic sanitation standards. The Kansas abortion industry is unregulated. Abortion “rights” in Kansas are practically unlimited.  

Overnight, “pro-life” Kansas changed into one of the most radical pro-abortion rights states in the country. In fact, Kansas abortion law is now even more extreme than states like New York.

What can Kansas Catholics do to change this grave injustice?

“Value Them Both” is the proposed amendment to the Kansas Constitution that will safeguard both women and babies from an unregulated abortion industry.

“Value Them Both” places the power to regulate the abortion industry back where it belongs: in the hands of the people and their elected officials.

 Passing “Value Them Both” is a two-step process.

First, a “super majority” of the Kansas Senate and House must vote to approve placement of the amendment on a statewide ballot. Once that happens, then second, citizens vote yes or no. The amendment becomes part of the Kansas Constitution if it receives a simple majority of votes.

Passage of “Value Them Both” does not outlaw abortion, but it will again make our abortion laws enforceable and constitutional once again.

This past legislative session, “Value Them Both” passed the Senate, but came four agonizing votes short in the House. Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry cheered. 

No one is more vulnerable than the      preborn child. No one is more at risk in Kansas. The protection of the unborn is the preeminent issue of our day. Pope Francis reiterated this truth during Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann’s in-person “ad limina visit to the Vatican last January.

Before casting a vote this election, it is incumbent that you bring a properly formed conscience to your decision-making.

Know where the candidates stand on all the issues, beginning with “Value Them Both.” Ask questions. Seek the common good. The candidates want to hear from you. Pray.

Then exercise your responsibility of faithful citizenship and vote.

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Chuck Weber

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