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.

For Life,

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!

On Friday, the Value Them Both amendment to the Kansas Constitution was temporarily scuttled, as four Republican representatives joined with all voting Democrats to kill the measure. The vote was 80-43 in favor, but a two-thirds majority (84 votes) was needed to put it on the ballot.

Even though 80 of 84 Republicans voted in favor, it was these four Republicans who got the attention, as their votes changed the outcome:

Rep. Don Hineman (NW Kansas) — (785) 296-7384
Rep. Jan Kessinger (Overland Park) — (785) 296-7436
Rep. Bill Pannbacker (NE Kansas) — (785) 296-7637
Tom Phillips (Riley County) — (785) 296-7402

Unless this vote is reversed, they have paved the way for unregulated clinics, taxpayer funding of abortion, abortion up to the moment of birth, sex-selective abortions, and more.

But this fight is not over!

At this critical point, we truly need all pro-life hands on deck. If you’ve already been engaged, thank you! Your voice IS being heard, and the capitol is abuzz with all of the pro-life calls and emails, so please keep it up, and – importantly – share with others.

If you haven’t yet been engaged, we need you. I invite you to join in this effort by speaking up to your legislators.

What You Can Do:

  1. Check to see how your legislator voted in the list below.
  2. Call or email them to voice your approval or disapproval for their vote. You can look up your state representative’s name and contact info by inputting your zip code here.
  3. Alert friends who live in the areas of the four Republicans listed above – or even call and leave a respectful message yourself.

The state Supreme Court has said that limitless abortion is the law of the land in our state. The only way to reverse that ruling is to let the people vote on the Value Them Both constitutional amendment. Thank you for helping to make that happen.

Because women and babies are too important,

Brittany Jones, Esq.
Director of Advocacy

 

Here’s the full list of legislators and how they voted:

Yea – (80):

Arnberger, Awerkamp, Baker, Barker, Bergquist, Blex, Burris, Capps, Carlson, B. Carpenter, W. Carpenter, Claeys, Clark, Collins, Concannon, Corbet, Cox, Croft, Delperdang, Dierks, Dietrich, Donohoe, Dove, Ellis, Eplee, Erickson, Esau, Finch, Francis, French, Garber, Hawkins, Helmer, Highland, Hoffman, Hoheisel, Houser, Howard, Huebert, Humphries, Jacobs, Jennings, Johnson, Karleskint, Kelly, Landwehr, Long, Lynn, Mason, Mastroni, Moore, Newland, Orr, Owens, Patton, Proehl, Rahjes, Ralph, Resman, Rhiley, Ryckman, Samsel, Schreiber, Seiwert, A. Smith, E. Smith, Straub, Sutton, Tarwater, Thimesch, Thomas, Thompson, Toplikar, Vickrey, Waggoner, Warren, Wasinger, Waymaster, Wheeler, Williams,

Nay – (43):

Amyx, Ballard, Benson, Bishop, Burroughs, Carlin, Carmichael, Clayton, Curtis, Finney, Frownfelter, Gartner, Helgerson, Henderson, Highberger, Hineman, Hodge, Holscher, Horn, Kessinger, Kuether, Lusk, Murnan, Neighbor, Ohaebosim, Ousley, Pannbacker, Parker, Phillips, Pittman, Probst, L. Ruiz, S. Ruiz, Sawyer, Stogsdill, Ward, Warfield, Weigel, Winn, Wolfe Moore, Woodard, Xu, Yeager,

Absent and Not Voting – (2):

Alcala, Victors,

The House will be debating the Value Them Both Amendment TOMORROW. We’ve been talking about this amendment since May, and our legislative efforts all come down to this week.

So what can you do to help us get the Amendment through the House?

  1. Reach out again (or for the first time) to your representative via our recently updated action alert! They need to hear from you in the final hours of this debate.
  2. Call and leave a message asking your representative to “Let the people vote on life in August.” Find your state representative’s name and phone number by entering your zip and then selecting the Kansas tab.
  3. Attend the House Session on Thursday. The House goes into session at 9 A.M.
  4. Pray for the legislators – regardless of party or position – and for passage of the Amendment.
  5. Share this information with your friends!

This Amendment is all about ensuring that we can protect both mothers and babies in our state. It has been inspiring over the last couple weeks to see so many working together to get this Amendment across the finish line. We have the momentum – and with your engagement and God’s help, we will win this!

For Life,

Brittany Jones, Esq.
Director of Advocacy

On Kansas Day of all days, your state senators voted to reaffirm that our state is truly a pro-life state by voting 28-12 to pass the Value Them Both Constitutional Amendment. The Senate debated the issue for over four hours on Wednesday afternoon and evening and finally passed the amendment about 8 p.m.

Sen. Susan Wagle, the main sponsor of the bill, stood strongly to protect both women and babies on the floor, repeatedly stating that this amendment ensures that the most vulnerable in our society aren’t left to the predation of the abortion industry.

The opposition presented amendment after amendment, yet the pro-life senators stuck together and refused to allow the opposition to divide them.

Many senators did so much to make this happen, but there are several senators that deserve a special thanks for carrying the weight of the debate on the floor: Senators Wagle, Rucker, Tyson, Pyle and Baumgardner. If you live in one of their districts, please thank them – and any of the senators who voted for life.

We are thrilled by this victory. But there is no time for rest.

It now goes on to the House where it will be hotly debated. It is critical right now that you let your state representative know how important this is to you and to the future of Kansas. This is the biggest pro-life vote of our generation.

We have the momentum. With God’s blessing and your help, we’ll protect babies and moms all over our state.

For Kansas Values,

Brittany Jones, Esq.
Director of Advocacy

P.S. Be on the lookout for updates about the amendment on our Twitter and Facebook pages. And please reach out to your representative TODAY through our new, updated action alert!


And please – share this as widely as possible with other pro-life Kansans. Thank you!

 

Value Them Both is moving. In fact, we had an all-day joint hearing with the House and Senate Federal and State Affairs and Judiciary Committees on Tuesday. This was an opportunity for both sides to express their position on the amendment. And indeed, both sides did.

Our key message was that Value Them Both simply ensures that the people of Kansas can establish basic safeguards around the abortion industry for women and babies. The abortion industry wants to be able to operate outside the bounds of the law as they have shown time and time again. This amendment simply takes the understanding of the law back to where it was before April of 2019.

Here is a portion of my statement from yesterday:

“If we want to ensure that women are given the most basic information about their doctor, that minor children are not left to make important decisions on their own, that women can know that they will enter a clean, safe facility, and that Kansas will not be forced to pay for abortions, we must ensure that the people have the right to regulate the abortion industry through the legislature. That is why we need the Value Them Both Amendment. Six other states have already passed similar amendments, and multiple other states are considering them this session. Let’s be a leader in valuing both women and babies and let the people of Kansas vote.”

Like a broken record, our opponents falsely claimed that the Value Them Both Amendment is a ban and would make it impossible for them to practice “safe abortions”. When asked how they knew it was a ban, they refused to answer. Further, when asked if they supported basic medical regulations on the “medical” practice of abortion, they claimed that they did.

Wednesday morning both committees passed the amendment out of committee favorably. The legislators from the committees who voted in favor of passing the amendment are:

If you know any of these legislators, be sure to reach out to thank them for their vote! The amendment now goes to the floor of both chambers for consideration.

Thank you to so many of you who showed up yesterday to support Value Them Both and those of you who contacted your legislators. Keep it coming. They need to know you care!

Valuing Them Both,

Brittany Jones, Esq.
Director of Advocacy

P.S. If you haven’t contacted your legislator, you can still do so! Your legislators need to hear from YOU!

The 2020 Kansas Legislature convened this week and just this morning a group of pro-life legislators held a press conference to introduce the Value Them Both Amendment. This amendment will ensure that we maintain the right to place basic regulations around the abortion industry to safeguard women’s health.

This is a pinnacle moment for the 2020 legislative session and the story of Kansas.

This is the chance for our state to decide whether it will continue to support life or allow abortion activists to turn our state into a travel destination for late term abortion.  Value Them Both proponents are asking the legislature to allow all Kansans to vote on this simple amendment that will restore to the people the ability to regulate an industry that has repeatedly proven itself untrustworthy.

Here was my statement at the Press Conference,

“Today, we stand united in support of passing the Value Them Both Amendment. Value Them Both was crafted based on the five other states that have passed similar legislation and has been tailored specifically to Kansas. Because of the Hodes & Nauser ruling, Kansas became the Wild West of the abortion industry, where all pro-life laws that protect women and babies are under threat. The Value Them Both Amendment simply returns power to the people of Kansas to place basic regulations on the abortion industry. We call on all legislators in Kansas to pass this amendment to let the people vote.”

Things will move quickly now that the bill has been introduced. A joint House and Senate committee hearing is planned for next Tuesday, January 21st at 9:00 am in the Old Supreme Court Room on the 3rd floor of the Kansas State Capitol. If you can attend, please do so (plan to arrive by 8:30) and plan to show your support by wearing purple. If you would like to read the text of the bill, the full text can be found here.

If you haven’t contacted your legislator yet, the time is now! You can easily contact them in our action center to urge them to support Value Them Both.

We are so thankful for our coalition partners throughout the state who have helped make this possible.

Kansas, let’s value them both!

Standing for them both,

Brittany Jones, Esq
Director of Advocacy

Friends,

Last year, the Kansas Supreme Court dropped a bomb on decades of pro-life gains in Kansas when they somehow “discovered” a limitless right to abortion in the Kansas Constitution.

That ruling threatens every single pro-life law now on the books in our state – or that might be passed in the future. Even if Roe v. Wade is overturned, the Kansas Supreme Court ruling would likely prevent a single abortion from being stopped or even regulated in Kansas.

That’s why the constitutional amendment that is about to be introduced represents the biggest pro-life battle in the history of our state.

This amendment will simply let the people vote on whether abortion is protected in the state constitution. It won’t establish any new policies on abortion, but it will give the people the chance to uphold existing pro-life laws that protect both babies and their mothers – and keep open the door to more pro-life advances in the future.

But passing this amendment will take concerted effort from all of us. It requires that a super-majority of both the House and the Senate approve it, and then it will require the approval of the majority of voters in Kansas.

That’s why we need you. At this stage, we need you to let your legislators know how important this amendment is to you.

You can send them a message here by signing our online petition. It will go directly to their office. If you’ve never responded to a call to action – this is the ONE you should.

Even if you have already signed another petition, I encourage you to sign this one as well since it will go directly to their office. We would love for every legislator to be flooded with messages encouraging them to value the lives of women and babies.

This new year is full of opportunity. And I’m excited for the chance to watch and help the people of God be the hands and feet of Jesus through the political sphere. I look forward to working with you. As always, if you know of an opportunity where I or another team member of Family Policy Alliance of Kansas® can speak, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

Praying for a Kansas that values both mothers and babies,

Brittany Jones, Esq.
Director of Advocacy

 

P.S. Please sign the petition to your legislators. But just as important, please use the buttons below to share with every pro-life Kansan you know. The pro-life battle of our lifetime has begun – please spread the word!

This week I had the honor of testifying before the Interim Judiciary Committee which was tasked with examining the Kansas Supreme Court and the selection process for justices on that court. I testified along with our state allies, Kansans for Life and the Kansas Catholic Conference. Each of us addressed the gross violation of law and the sanctity of life in the recent the recent Supreme Court decision in Hodes & Nauser v. Schmidt.

Hodes & Nauser v. Schmidt is the April 2019 decision in which the Kansas Supreme Court created a fundamental right to abortion in our 1859 Constitution. This newfound right to abortion is protected by an even higher standard than the federal right created in Roe v. Wade and reinforced by Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

The first morning of the hearing focused primarily on the abortion ruling and the potential effects on the law in Kansas. In our testimony, we focused primarily on the legal and philosophical flaws of the opinion that were clearly designed to keep the legislature and the people of Kansas off balance.

Some of the most egregious concerns with how the decision was made (aside from the horrific nature of the final decision to create a fundamental right to abortion) include the way the court violates the rule of law in our state. They did this by ignoring the original meaning and understanding of the very rights they use to create the new right to abortion. They interpreted a right intended to protect citizens from being physically harmed (and was always thought to apply to babies in the womb) to mean that an abortionist has the right to abort a baby in the womb.

In the opinion, the Court attempted to unshackle itself from history that did not meet their particular narrative. They even went so far as to undermine every legislative body that they disagreed with simply because of who made up the legislative body. They essentially ignored all history that banned abortion in the common law.

Fundamentally, the court ignored the voices of countless women in Kansas who have fought for babies in the womb over the years. Conservatives are constantly accused of being anti-woman – yet a panel made up of mostly men made the decision to severely limit the ability of pro-life women in Kansas to fight for life in the womb. But that doesn’t mean we stop fighting. For a fuller reading about what the Court decided, you can read my commentary on the decision here.

What was clear – a Constitutional Amendment is needed to reverse this ruling. All the government representatives at the hearing, whether from the Legislative Revisors Office (the attorneys for the legislature) or from the Attorney General’s Office, agreed that the only way to fix the problem, created by the Court, is to pass a Constitutional Amendment. In the end, the commission voted that you should be given the opportunity to vote on a Constitutional Amendment.

Even now we are working with our coalition of allies to prepare for the upcoming legislative session. Would you consider partnering with us to defend children in the womb in Kansas?

Standing for life,

Brittany Jones, Esq.
Director of Advocacy

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,

Brittany Jones
Director of Advocacy