Meet the high school students going door-to-door in defense of life

Value Them Both Kansas high school students Hannah Joerger (left) and Mara Loughman have been knocking on doors and encouraging voters to say yes to the Value Them Both amendment initiative Aug. 2, 2022. | EWTN News InDepth

Recent high school graduates Hannah Joerger and Mara Loughman are Kansas residents taking the upcoming primary election seriously. Both are set to attend Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., in the fall, but before heading off to college, they are doing their part to educate Kansas voters on the Value Them Both amendment.

“I’ve been pro-life my entire life,” Joerger said in an interview with EWTN News InDepth on July 15. “And it’s really important to me to not only be pro-life but to do something about it.”

Highlighting the importance of getting involved, Loughman added, “I think it’s really important for our generation who’s able to, to get out and door knock for the older generation who can’t quite do it. They always thank us for the work that we do.”

Both have faced challenges while door knocking, such as being yelled at and ignored by others, but they both agree the positive encounters and impact being made makes up for the tough times.

Joerger shared an experience in which she explained the amendment to a woman who had already decided she would be voting no. After some time, her mind changed. She said the woman agreed with limitations and “so she decided to vote yes. Whereas, before I was talking to her, she was already set on voting no. So it was really cool kind of seeing a change in her to be voting yes for this amendment.”

Discussing her experience, Loughman said, “I think God put me on this path and took different opportunities out of my way so that this was the line that I was on to really get my voice out there for those who don't quite have the opportunity to be as outspoken as we are.”

The Value Them Both amendment is the first ballot initiative voters are facing since the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. 

The amendment would reverse the Kansas Supreme Court’s 2019 ruling that stated the state’s constitution protects a woman’s “right” to abortion. Currently, state lawmakers are generally prohibited from passing any type of abortion restriction. The amendment, if approved by voters, would enable state lawmakers to pass legislation to regulate or restrict abortion.

Kansas voters can either say “yes” or “no” to the amendment during the primary election on Aug. 2. Early voting began July 13.

The young students explained the pressure state residents felt as the rest of the country waits and watches to see what Kansas will do and encouraged voters to get out to the polls. 

First-time voter Loughman said, “I think it's really important for the young generation to take advantage of the right that we have to vote and to have a voice in our country.”

So, do these young students think the numbers are on their side?

“Yes, I do,” Joerger said confidently. “We've been working really hard for this. There's been a lot of support and prayers coming in, and I'm really confident that this amendment will pass.”

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