You may have heard recently of an increased discussion about the connection between taxpayer-funded abortions and Medicaid Expansion. While some around the state Capitol in Topeka have claimed there isn’t a connection, there absolutely is. It’s something I’ve been talking about for months. Because of recent court rulings, passing the Value Them Both Amendment is absolutely necessary before any movement on Medicaid expansion can even be considered.
How could this happen? Aren’t there federal and state laws that prevent our tax dollars from funding abortion?
While it is true that the Hyde Amendment, a line that has been in every federal budget since 1976, does not allow federal Medicaid dollars to be used for abortions except in the case of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother, it does nothing to protect state dollars from being used to fund abortion. Fortunately, Kansas also passed a law that applies similar restrictions to safeguard all our state dollars from funding abortion.
This law is however under grave threat from our Supreme Court. In last year’s Hodes & Nauser decision, the Court indicated by the nature of its ruling that this is the very type of law that would be struck down under the Court’s newly created constitutional right to abortion. We could lose this most basic safeguard that protects the conscience rights of every Kansan.
Even recent attempts by lawmakers to again codify the ban on taxpayer-funded abortion in Medicaid expansion are ultimately meaningless without Value Them Both given the Court’s reckless decree that abortion is a Constitutional right in Kansas.
There are already eight other states whose courts have required that they pay for abortions through Medicaid. In the two years after Alaska expanded Medicaid, the number of abortions paid for by Alaska taxpayers through state Medicaid services shot up 18%
The Value Them Both Constitutional amendment is vital to preserving the ability of the state to prevent Medicaid (and other taxpayer dollars) from funding abortion. The problem of taxpayer-funded abortion is only compounded by adding thousands to the rolls through Medicaid expansion. Bottom line – without passage of the Constitutional amendment, Kansans are one lawsuit away from taxpayer-funded abortion.
When you offer taxpayer-funded (free) abortions to more of the population – it makes sense that demand will go up.
This problem can still be solved with the simple passage of the Value Them Both Amendment so Kansas voters can decide for themselves.
We call on all members in the House and the Senate to pass the Value Them Both Amendment in order to protect all Kansans from being coerced to pay for abortions.
Brittany Jones, Esq.
Director of Advocacy
P.S. If you would like me or another member of our team to speak on this topic in your church or civic group, send me an email!
As I talk to people about abortion related laws, most people are shocked that they still have to pay for abortions through their taxes under federal and state law. Many people are confused about how abortion providers still receive tax dollars especially in a state like Kansas where our legislature has repeatedly passed laws stating that state revenue should not go to fund abortions.
It happens in a couple different ways. First, it happens because federal dollars can still go to abortion providers through Title X Family Planning Services. The Hyde Amendment, which has been attached to every budget since 1976, is meant to ensure that federal funds don’t directly fund abortions. However, Title X funding has been used as a slush fund for abortion providers. Essentially, the government subsidizes certain work of these businesses – family planning services – so the businesses can then use other funds to provide abortion services.
This year the Trump Administration issued the Protect Life Rule which would prohibit Title X funds from going to abortion providers or those that refer for abortions. Even though the Supreme Court has repeatedly said that the right to abortion that the Court established in the Roe decision did not provide for government funding for abortion, courts on the West Coast have enjoined this rule meaning that for now, Title X funds can still go to abortion providers. The appeals are still in process but it could be years before this issue is resolved*.
As far as Kansas-specific laws go, in 2015 our legislature passed a law that would have kept state Medicaid funds from going to pay for abortion. Unfortunately, once again a federal court struck down this law. The Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal of this case, allowing the injunction to stay in place.
So we haven’t been able to completely block funding abortion through the federal government and blocking state funding has also hit some difficulties. These complications became even more apparent in May when the Kansas Supreme Court issued its opinion in Hodes and Nauser creating a fundamental right to abortion in the Kansas Constitution.
Not only did the Court go even further in protecting abortion than the U.S. Supreme Court did in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, but it also implied that even under the state law we would have to provide funding for abortion.
The Court relied on three court opinions from other states that required those states fund abortions and one even required a private hospital to provide abortion if the hospital took government money. This doesn’t definitively say that Kansans would have to pay for abortions, but it is a very strong indicator that state-funded abortions are what the Kansas Court had in mind when it created a right to abortion in our Constitution.
Now this may seem very complex and an impossible web to untangle. But it isn’t.
In Kansas we can take a first step to right our own court’s bad opinion. We need to pass a constitutional amendment that says that there is not a right to abortion in our constitution and that our government is not required to pay for it.
These are not simple problems, but if we are willing to consistently work on these issues and ask the Lord for guidance, we may indeed see a day where not only is paying for abortion unthinkable but so is abortion.
Praying alongside you,
Director of Advocacy
- – [NOTE: Since the writing of this article the Ninth Circuit Court of appeals has reversed the lower court and allowed the Protect Life Rule to go into effect.]
The legislature is wrapping up the 2019 session. Both chambers adjourned early Sunday morning though they will come back for the official close of their session in a few weeks. This session has had it shares of disappointments and victories.
As you may know already, the House narrowly failed to override the Governor’s veto of Abortion Pill Reversal on Thursday. The Senate passed the override first thing Wednesday morning, but the House failed to finish the job. Each time the bill was voted on previously, it had passed with a veto-proof majority. But six representatives who had previously voted for the bill flipped their votes.
While this is a huge disappointment for us, we will not stop fighting for laws that protect women and their babies. We are already preparing for other opportunities to protect life in Kansas. We urge you to thank the legislators who consistently stood for life this session. You can see how your representative voted here. (While this link for SB 67 states that the bill deals with insurance, it did become the abortion pill reversal bill in the final days of the session.)
We may not have won this particular battle, but we are working to ensure that we win the war. Our culture as a whole is more pro-life than it has been in decades. States all around the country are passing good pro-life laws that fight for mothers and their children. It is even more vital now that we pass a constitutional amendment to protect life.
Another promising sign in the arena of life is that we were able to stop Medicaid Expansion. What many people don’t know is that the new Kansas Supreme Court ruling opened the door for your tax dollars to be used to fund abortions through Medicaid. We have to ensure that does not happen.
Further, as the last discussion early Sunday morning in response to the Supreme Court’s decision on life, Senator Ty Masterson made a motion to bring a resolution to the Senate floor that will change the way our Supreme Court justices are chosen. Changing our judicial selection process will help rein in our activist Supreme Court over time. The vote on this motion will be held when the legislature comes back in a couple of weeks.
Overall, I am not discouraged. I see many signs of hope. We have to continue to stay engaged on these important issues. In due time, I pray, we will reap the rewards.
Standing for life,
Brittany Jones, Esq.
Director of Advocacy
Did you know that every single pro-life law in Kansas is at risk of being thrown out by the state Supreme Court?
Abortion by dismemberment is a common abortion procedure performed on unborn babies in the second trimester. Beyond 12 weeks gestation a baby is too large to be removed in one piece, so abortionists use forceps to tear off a baby’s limbs and crush their head. In 2015, Governor Brownback signed the Kansas Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, making Kansas the first state to ban the barbaric procedure.
Two Overland Park abortionists sued and the case worked its way to the state Supreme Court, which heard arguments on March 16. The attorney for the abortionists argued, “The right of Kansas women to terminate a pregnancy should be recognized and protected as a fundamental right.” The Justices’ questions suggest they agree.
Does the Kansas Constitution mention the word “abortion?” Of course not. In a tragic irony, abortion advocates contend that the so-called fundamental right to tear apart an unborn child is found in the section of the Bill of Rights which states, “All men are possessed of equal and inalienable natural rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools (Romans 1:21-22).
Friends, we are living in a Romans 1 world. Each day brings evidence of the foolishness of our culture, which can’t recognize the life of the unborn, the devastation wrought by the breakdown of the family, or even the difference between male and female.
We, too, were once entrapped and blinded by sin. If not for Jesus, we would still be lost. Now, since we have been saved, we have the privilege of sharing the truth with others and working to ensure our laws are consistent with God’s created order. Thank you for coming alongside the Family Policy Alliance to make Kansas a place where God is honored.
Save the date! In May, the Benham Brothers are coming to Wichita and Overland Park. Learn more about the events and RSVP today. (This event co-sponsored by Family Policy Foundation of Kansas)