Kansas GOP lawmakers pledge to introduce additional anti-abortion measures at annual rally

Kansas Senate President Ty Masterson and House Speaker Dan Hawkins took the stage at the annual anti-abortion rally held on January 24, 2024.

During a Wednesday morning anti-abortion mass at the Topeka Performing Arts Center, Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas emphasized the opportunity for state legislatures to bring about significant change now that federal abortion protections have been overturned.

Naumann encouraged the young audience members to actively participate in the democratic process by voting and engaging in conversations about the issue of abortion with their peers. He also expressed his disagreement with President Joe Biden’s stance on abortion, despite the fact that Biden identifies as a practicing Catholic.

According to Naumann, President Biden’s stance on abortion is contradictory and morally inconsistent. Despite claiming to believe that human life begins at conception and personally opposing abortion, he actively promotes and institutionalizes it both domestically and internationally.

After attending mass, Catholic Kansans joined forces with other anti-abortion organizations and proceeded to the Statehouse, proudly displaying signs as they participated in the annual Kansas March and Rally for Life.

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Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, made an appearance at the Kansas March & Rally for Life on Wednesday.

Multiple Republican state legislators, standing at the steps of the Statehouse, echoed Naumann’s call for state-level change. They made a firm commitment to pass additional anti-abortion bills during this legislative session.

House Speaker Dan Hawkins, a Republican from Wichita, expressed his determination for the upcoming year, stating, “This year, you will witness a greater level of action from us. We will not hesitate to override decisions if necessary.”

Jeanne Gawdun, a spokesperson for Kansans for Life, expressed her gratitude for the abundance of anti-abortion lawmakers in the state during the rally. She emphasized that Kansas was truly blessed to have such a strong presence of individuals who support the pro-life cause.

“We are facing a crucial election,” Gawdun emphasized. “At present, we are fortunate to have a significant number of legislators who support the pro-life movement in both chambers. Given that Gov. Kelly has proven to be the most pro-abortion governor in the history of our state, their presence is crucial. We anticipate more vetoes on our proposed legislation. Therefore, as we approach the upcoming fall, it is imperative that everyone actively participates in the campaigns for these pro-life legislators. By doing so, we can ensure they are reelected and have the opportunity to continue their vital work in protecting the lives of women and babies.”

In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Kansas stands out as one of the few states in the region that continues to safeguard abortion rights. Under state law, abortions are permitted up to 22 weeks after gestation and are also allowed in cases where the mother’s life is at risk. Kansas remains committed to upholding women’s reproductive freedom, ensuring access to safe and legal abortions when needed.

In 2019, the Kansas Supreme Court recognized that the state constitution guarantees the right to bodily autonomy, which includes the right to make decisions regarding the termination of a pregnancy.

In August 2022, the proposed constitutional amendment to grant lawmakers the authority to ban abortion without any exceptions was decisively rejected by voters.

Anti-abortion advocates in Kansas express their views through signs during the annual March for Life on January 24, 2024.

Republican lawmakers in the state have been persistent in their efforts to introduce anti-abortion legislation, despite the consistent statewide support for abortion rights. In the 2023 legislative session, the Republican supermajority successfully overrode Kelly’s veto and passed two controversial bills into law. One of these was the “Born-Alive” bill, while the other was an “abortion reversal” bill.

The Kansas judge has blocked several abortion restrictions, including the “reversal” law. This law mandates that abortion providers inform patients about the possibility of reversing a medication abortion, even though this concept is based on unreliable scientific evidence and has been associated with cases of hemorrhaging.

The “Born Alive” law prohibits doctors from euthanizing infants who survive abortions, despite the fact that there is no evidence to support such occurrences. Medical professionals have described this legislation as a fear-mongering tactic aimed at discouraging abortions.

The Born Alive Infants Protection Act was implemented in Kansas on July 1 after the Legislature successfully overrode Governor Kelly’s veto with a two-thirds majority.

Hawkins expressed his delight at the successful veto override, describing it as a glorious moment.

Senate President Ty Masterson, a Republican from Andover, expressed his disappointment with the Kansas Supreme Court’s decision, which he described as a “tragedy.” He emphasized that this ruling has resulted in heightened legal examination of abortion-related measures. Masterson further conveyed his surprise at Governor Kelly’s veto override of the legislation, particularly her labeling of the bill as both “misleading and unnecessary.”

They announced that they were ready to override Kelly’s vetoes during this legislative session.

At the Kansas GOP lawmakers’ annual rally, a strong commitment was made to introduce additional anti-abortion measures. This pledge was stated by the lawmakers themselves, as reported by Kansas Reflector.

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