The state of Kansas has always been in the forefront when it comes to trying to restrict a woman’s access to abortion. The homebase of Operation Rescue, a zealous, anti-choice group known for its harassment of women seeking abortions and the doctors who perform them, and the site of the murder of Dr. George Tiller, who was gunned down at his church after years of persecution by protesters, the state legislature and attorney general, and even previous assassination attempts, Kansas has earned its reputation as one of the most hostile states in the nation when it comes to reproductive rights.
Last year, the state passed a TRAP law that nearly managed to put every clinic that performs abortions out of service by requiring onerous and unnecessary regulations, from mandating the size of doorways to demanding child-sized blood pressure cuffs.
This year, they are going to cut straight to the chase and do a full out abortion ban via a “Personhood Amendment.”
“We’re at a point, 40 years into this, that there shouldn’t be any confusion about what’s in there, in the mother’s womb,” committee Chairman Bruce Garren told ABC News. “Maybe in 1973, we thought it was a blob of tissue.”
No state has ever successfully passed an amendment declaring a fertilized egg has the same rights as a person, but Kansas is doing one thing that no other proposal has tried. The amendment needs to be approved by a simple majority of voters in the state, but unlike Colorado and Mississippi, who both had their amendments voted down on election day, Kansas will have their vote on primary day, August 7th. Primaries, which are notorious for much lower turnout than general elections, will restrict the number of people who are likely to turn out to vote, which could provide the edge that anti-choice activists need.
The amendment could be introduced as early as next week.
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