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Know the facts before you vote
Public Forum.jpg

To the editor:

On Aug. 2, 2022, Kansas will be the first state in the nation to vote on the issue of abortion since the Supreme Court of the United States overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24. Kansans will do so via a proposed amendment to our state constitution, also known as the “Value Them Both” amendment. 

A “no” vote would keep the Kansas Bill of Rights as is, affirming the constitutional right to abortion. A “yes” vote would amend the Kansas Constitution to state that there is no constitutional right to abortion. The state legislature would have sole authority to pass any laws about abortion. This amendment would pave the way to a total abortion ban in Kansas, potentially with no exceptions for rape, incest, or to protect the life of the mother. 

The League of Women Voters of Kansas (LWVK) strongly opposes this amendment based on our 1983 position on reproductive rights: “The League of Women Voters of the United States believes that public policy in a pluralistic society must affirm the constitutional right of privacy of the individual to make reproductive choices.”

By placing it on the ballot in the normally closed partisan primary election, causes us to wonder if legislators picked this date because fewer people (especially those in the minority party) are expected to vote. 

This amendment is wordy and confusing with a misleading name. The explanation on the ballot itself does not accurately describe what is at stake. Some of the misinformation includes claims that the two purposes of the proposed amendment are: 

1. To prohibit late-term abortions; and

2. To prohibit government funding of abortion care. 

Yet “late-term” abortions (after 22 weeks of pregnancy) are already banned except in cases of probable death or injury to the people giving birth. According to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, there has only been a single late-term abortion performed in Kansas since 2015.

Likewise, Kansas state law prohibits state or municipal funding for abortions except when it is deemed necessary to save the life of the pregnant person. Government funding of abortions is already illegal, so why do the proponents keep telling the public this amendment is necessary to prevent it?

In response, nine local Kansas Leagues have been sharing factual information about the amendment at various community gatherings. Our members are answering questions about the amendment, passing out flyers, and helping folks understand the heart of the issue. 

LWVK is one of the members of the steering committee of the nonpartisan Kansans for Constitutional Freedom (KCF). KCF has provided partner groups with talking points, stickers, yard signs, and bumper stickers to encourage a unified voice among all “Vote No” advocates. 

While pro-life groups from inside and outside the state, as well as several archdioceses of the Catholic Church, have spent heavily in Kansas to get their “Vote Yes” message out, we have been amazed by the support we’ve seen in our communities. People from all sides of the political spectrum believe in a person’s right to make their own decisions without government interference. We’ve seen firsthand the truth of a 2021 Kansas Speaks survey, which found that just over 60% of Kansans don’t want to see abortion made completely illegal.

Please vote NO on or before August 2. Find all the voting information you need at You may also we join one of our local Leagues, LWV-Barton County, 620-617-4568. There are also organizations in every community working to ensure reproductive health for all. We heartily recommend donating to these causes.

Jacqueline Lightcap - Topeka

Martha Pint - Wichita 

Co-presidents of the League of Women Voters of Kansas