“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Senator Mary Pilcher-Cook (District 10) on the Senate floor quoting Martin Luther King, Jr.
The news across the country lately—and even in our own state Capitol—has shocked many. Ideas that have been and should be unthinkable, like infanticide, have been discussed as normal. Or in the words of one Kansas legislator, regarding the heinous New York abortion law, “appropriate.” In fact, the New York law has already allowed a murderer not to be charged with the death of a preborn child even though he murdered a pregnant woman.
During debate on a pro-life resolution on Wednesday in Topeka, one Senator claimed that we didn’t want the rest of our country to see Kansans as backward. If it’s “backward” to condemn infanticide, late-term abortion, or removing basic protections for women in abortion law, then we at Family Policy Alliance of Kansas are proud to be “backward.”
The good news is that today, the Kansas Senate became the first legislative body in the country to officially condemn New York’s outrageous abortion law. Kansas is a state that cherishes life, and we are appalled that any state in the United States would believe that New York’s law is acceptable – much less something to celebrate. This was a monumental day for the state of Kansas as we lead the discussion in the nation on the value of human life!
You can read our full press release on this resolution here. We are extremely grateful for the leadership of Senators Mary Pilcher-Cook, Susan Wagle, Ty Masterson, Caryn Tyson, and Julia Lynn in cherishing life. Now the resolution heads to the House of Representatives, where Statesmen Academy alum, Susan Humphries, will lead the discussion.
In other positive news from this week, another Statesmen Academy alum, Renee Erickson, introduced H.B. 2288 that will clarify and enshrine in law the religious speech protection for all students and educators. This bill protects students’ rights to voluntarily express their faith and to pray on school grounds. It further clarifies a grey area of the law regarding the protections that faculty and coaches have when it comes to their religious beliefs. This bill simply reinforces that schools cannot discriminate against a student or an educator for holding and living out their beliefs in a public school. If you would like to read our press release on this topic, you can do so here.
However, we are also fighting several pieces of legislation that are aimed at keeping people of faith from the public square. Last week, we let you know about a bill that would add sexual orientation and gender identity as special “protected classes” in the law. Many of you responded to our action alert asking legislators to not let this bill move forward in order to protect the right of everyone to live in accordance with their beliefs. Your voices are being heard, but lawmakers still need to hear from you on this issue! If you haven’t contacted the committees overseeing this bill, and would like to, you can access our action center here.
This week a new threat surfaced. A bill that would harm the right of counselors to help their patients—and prevent children from accessing basic talk therapy to help with unwanted same-sex attraction or gender identity struggles—has been brought forward. Banning this type of counseling censors the speech of licensed counselors by prohibiting them from offering acceptance, support and understanding of a patient’s own goals for change. This ban would not allow patients to deal with their struggles in the way they choose. Therapy ban bills permit the government to unconstitutionally impose their favored viewpoint on sex and sexuality on all healthcare professionals.
We are facing some serious battles not only across the country, but also in Kansas. New York and Virginia did not become a state where infanticide was possible overnight. Rather, little by little these ideas became normalized. When we have Senators in our own state saying that laws that allow infanticide are “appropriate” we must remain vigilant. This is not what we want for Kansas. We will continue to let you know how these things develop throughout the session. Be on the lookout for specific times that your voices are needed to contact your legislators.
Thank you for standing with us,
Director of Advocacy