Oct 2, 2019 / 15:06 pm
The Kansas legislature is attempting to force a statewide referendum on abortion after the state’s Supreme Court declared it a constitutional right, striking down pro-life legislation earlier this year.
In April, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that the state constiution included a fundamental right to have an abortion, and blocked a law that who have banned dilation and evacuation abortions. Dilation and evacuation is the most common procedure for second-trimester abortions.
In response to that decision, on Oct. 1, a legislative committee began two days of hearings to consider a state-wide referendum to amend the constitution, making it explicit that abortion is not a right and the court cannot interpret the constitution to say it is.
With both pro-life and pro-abortion advocates anticipating a possible change to the Supreme Court’s current settlement in Roe v Wade, focus has moved to the local level in preparation for a possible broadening of the scope for state action.
Alabama and West Virginia have already amended their constitutions with similar wording, to prevent state supreme courts interpreting them to find a right to abortion. Louisiana residents will vote in 2020 to amend their constitution.
A two-thirds majority in both of Kansas’ legislative chambers is needed in order to add a referendum to the ballot next year.
Earlier this year, the Kansas legislature passed a law making it madatory to inform women recieveing chemical abortions that the process could be halted by interrupting the two-dose chemcial abortion regimine.
A chemical abortion involves the ingestion of two drugs: mifepristone and misoprostol. The first drug effectively starves the unborn baby by blocking the effects of the progesterone hormone, inducing a miscarriage. The second drug is taken up to two days later and induces labor. Several pro-life clinics throughout the country provide abortion pill reversals, a protocol that involves giving pregnant women who regret their decision to take the first drug doses of progesterone to counteract the progesterone-blocking effects of the mifepristone.