by Joe Bollig
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Kansas needs to reclaim its ability to regulate the abortion industry and protect the lives of women and babies by voting “yes” for the “Value Them Both” amendment on Aug. 2, said a coalition of Kansas health professionals.
On June 10, representatives of “Kansas Medical and Mental Health Professionals for ‘Value Them Both’” held a press conference at the Sedgwick County Historic Courthouse in Wichita. They urged voters to take the only path available to voters away from Kansas being an extreme abortion state with few limitations or regulations — even as Roe is overturned.
Already, they said, Kansas has become an abortion destination state, where late-term and live dismemberment abortions are on the rise, and the door is open to taxpayer-funded abortions.
“We are here to represent more than 200 medical and mental health professionals in support of the ‘Value Them Both’ amendment,” said Dr. Kelly Byrd, a board-certified general pediatrician in the Kansas City area.
“We came together through colleague-to-colleague outreach,” she said, “because all of us share a dedication for caring for the physical health and emotional well-being of our patients.”
“The ‘Value Them Both’ amendment is vital,” she continued, “to returning our state to a place where the abortion industry is not left unlimited or unregulated and should not be allowed to police itself.”
Kansans have proven, through their elected representatives, that they want reasonable regulation of the abortion industry, she said.
The coalition’s medical professionals include OB/GYNs and family medicine physicians, as well as those in the fields of neurosurgery, cardiology, anesthesia, surgery, pediatrics, internal medicine, pathology, emergency medicine, pharmacists, nurses, psychotherapists and counselors.
Kansas became one of the most abortion permissive states in the nation on April 26, 2019, when the Kansas Supreme Court handed down its decision in the case of Hodes & Nauser v. Schmidt. In that decision, the court claimed to discover a nearly unlimited right to abortion in the 1859 state constitution.
Soon, lawsuits were filed to remove more than 20 years of pro-life laws regarding informed consent; clinic health and safety standards; inspection and sanitation; parental notification regarding abortions for teenage girls; and other laws impacting patient safety.
“An unprecedented Kansas Supreme Court decision . . . removed the legal foundation for decades of bipartisan-passed, common-sense laws regulating abortion practices,” said Dr. Lisa Gilbert, a family physician practicing in Wichita.
“In doing so, the court decreed that virtually any limitations or regulation on abortion would soon be struck down. Overnight, Kansas had become one of the most extreme states in the country [regarding] abortion.”
The medical professionals coalition also presented an open letter explaining to Kansas voters why passing the “Value Them Both” amendment is vital to the state.
The “Kansas Medical and Mental Health Professionals for ‘Value Them Both’” coalition was assisted by the “Value Them Both” Coalition, comprised of Kansas citizens and groups against unlimited and unregulated abortion in Kansas.
“We know that highly educated medical and mental health professionals are the most valued and respected voices when it comes to the health and well-being of women and children,” said Mackenzie Haddix, “Value Them Both” spokesperson.
“We’re grateful for their support in solidarity with the ‘Value Them Both’ Coalition and hundreds of thousands of Kansans who share the belief that women deserve better than to be left vulnerable to an unregulated abortion industry,” she added.
To read the letter in its entirety, click here.