St. Louis, Mo., Jul 18, 2022 / 14:25 pm
Responding to claims that Kansas Catholics are seeking to impose their religion on their neighbors by voting to exclude a right to abortion from the state’s constitution, Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas says “reason alone is sufficient to know that it is wrong to destroy an innocent human life.”
Kansas is set to become the first state to place abortion policy on the ballot after the Supreme Court’s June 24 decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion nationwide in 1973. Currently, Kansas restricts abortion after 22 weeks, but Kansas state lawmakers are generally prohibited from passing any type of new abortion restriction because of a 2019 state Supreme Court ruling which found that the state’s constitution protects a woman’s “right” to abortion.
The “Value Them Both” amendment, if approved by voters on Aug. 2, would enable state lawmakers to pass legislation to regulate or restrict abortion. The amendment would not itself change the legality of abortion in the state, but would, among other things, ensure a ban on state taxpayer-funded abortion.
Writing in the Wichita Eagle July 8, Naumann responded to claims made in a recent op-ed by a Kansas rabbi, Mark Levin, who argued that the amendment amounted to an effort to enshrine Catholic doctrine into Kansas law. Levin wrote that Catholics encouraging their neighbors to vote for the amendment are seeking to “compel all Kansans to conform to their religious idea of the origin of individual lives [conception], and to enshrine that belief in law.”