Proposed Kansas Ballot Initiative Would Grant ‘Equal Protection’ for Babies Beginning at Moment of Fertilization

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TOPEKA, Kan. — With the backing of 20 state lawmakers, a Republican representative in Kansas has introduced a bill that, if approved, would place before voters a ballot initiative to amend the Kansas Constitution to specifically enshrine “inalienable rights, equal protection and due process of law [for] every human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being, including fertilization.”

“My purpose is to protect unborn babies and unborn children. I think they’re persons,” Rep. Randy Garber, R-Sabetha, told The Wichita Eagle. “I think life begins at conception and they should have equal protection under our Constitution.”

Gerber’s proposed constitutional amendment would, in effect, outlaw abortion in the state of Kansas. It would amend Section 1 of the  Kansas Bill of Rights, which pertains to the natural and equal rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” afforded to all men.

“Recognizing the authority of the state of Kansas to exercise its police power and its sovereign right to adopt individual liberties in the constitution of the state of Kansas more expansive than those conferred by the constitution of the United States, the state of Kansas shall hereby guarantee the inalienable rights, equal protection and due process of law of every human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being, including fertilization.”

Should the measure be approved to be placed on the ballot, it would advise voters that the amendment would “prohibit the state from discriminating against any class of human beings in the application, interpretation and enforcement of its law.”

It would also note that if voters do not pass the proposed constitutional amendment, babies in the state would remain in a class of human beings who are permitted under Supreme Court precedent to be murdered.

“A vote against this proposition would not amend the Constitution, in which case the current federally mandated legal status of preborn humans would remain that of a class of human beings that can intentionally be killed,” the ballot would read.

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The proposal must receive approval from two-thirds of both the House and Senate before it can proceed to the people for a vote. 20 other lawmakers are backing the bill, including Reps. Francis Awerkamp, R-St. Marys; Doug Blex, R-Independence, John Eplee, R-Atchison; Kyle Hoffman, R-Coldwater; and Bill Rhiley, R-Wellington.

Planned Parenthood has already expressed opposition to the effort, asserting bodily autonomy and characterizing abortion as a “medical” issue.

“Women don’t turn to politicians for medical advice, and yet extremist political ideology threatens to interfere with the fundamental right of Kansans to control our own bodies,” Rachel Sweet of Planned Parenthood Great Plains told The Wichita Eagle.

As previously reported, the Centers for Disease Control outlined in its latest annual report that the vast majority of women obtaining abortions are unmarried. 85.3% of abortive mothers in 2015, the most recent year on file, were women who became pregnant out of wedlock. 91.1% of the children killed were under 13 weeks gestation.

In speaking on the issue of abortion, the late author and speaker Francis Schaeffer once lamented that society no longer views its fellow man as being made in the image of God, and has consequently devalued both young and old, having no issue with ending life.

“The intrinsic value of the human life is founded upon the Judeo-Christian concept that man is unique because he is made in the image of God, and not because he is well, strong, a consumer, a sex object or any other thing,” he said. “[W]hatever compassion there has ever been, it is rooted in the fact that our culture knows that man is unique, [and] is made in the image of God. Take it away, and I just say gently, the stopper is out of the bathtub for all human life.”

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