The major part of legislative session wrapped up at 2:15 AM Saturday morning. Despite the best laid plans, legislative session is always a bit unpredictable. Given the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and a host of other complicating factors, this session redefined unpredictability.
But that is not to say unpredictability is always bad. This was arguably our most successful session to date despite the underlying chaos. When session started, we didn’t know how long we would be able to stay in session or how long it would take to get our premier legislation, Value Them Both, passed in both chambers. We tried to realistically set expectations while also aggressively fighting for families. Because of how quickly Value Them Both passed, we were able to affect policy on almost every one of our core topics.
VALUE THEM BOTH
With the help of 114 pro-life legislators (86 in the House and 28 in the Senate), we were able to pass Value Them Both in record time on January 28th. This huge accomplishment, first, required outstanding election results for pro-life candidates, and, secondly, leadership in the House and Senate who were committed to ensuring the amendment passed quickly. We once again thank Ty Masterson, Ron Ryckman, Rick Wilborn, Dan Hawkins, and Blaine Finch for their leadership on Value Them Both. And finally, we can never thank our brave advocates enough – Molly Baumgardner, Tory Arnberger, Renee Erickson, Susan Humphries, Kellie Warren, Barb Wasinger – as well as many others.
As we prepare for an election in August of 2022, we would love to speak at your church or your civic group about the impact of Value Them Both and how we protect our pro-life laws. Likewise, we would want to train you to speak about these issues in your area. Respond to this email and let us know you are interested in becoming an advocate for Value Them Both!
As soon as Value Them Both passed, we began to address the other seven objectives on our to-do list. And I am excited to report that we made major progress in every area we engaged!
Our second biggest objective was to protect women’s sports through the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act. Though we failed to override the Governor’s veto by one vote in the Senate, we made significant strides in highlighting the conversation in the legislature and beyond. Be on the lookout for ways you can engage in standing up for our girls on a local level as we mobilize a strategy to continue the conversation and continue to advocate for fairness.
FALLOUT FROM 2020
After 2020, election integrity and controlling the power of tyrannical governors became the topic of national conversation. And that same conversation was reflected in Kansas. Through two elections bills, we were able to close several loopholes that could have exposed our elections to misuse. These safeguards will be especially helpful as we prepare for Value Them Both to pass on a statewide ballot. We were also able to ensure that our God-given religious freedom will be protected when a state of emergency is declared.
STOP BILLS THAT PUT FAMILIES AT RISK
While the new version of the “medical” marijuana bill was a more conservative bill than the one previously discussed, the bill that was rammed through committee and debated on the House floor last week was anything but conservative or strictly medical. This discussion is always complicated, rife with legal concerns, and real human concerns about the effect on families and society. Thankfully, the bill that the House debated did not move in the Senate. Several conservative legislators pointed out the plethora of potential harms to pregnant women, children, and society in general that we have seen in other states with liberal marijuana policies.
Also, a bill that would have further opened the door for the gambling industry to prey on families was stopped earlier in session. We recognize that the conversations around these issues are complicated in our society and the lines are not firmly drawn with well-intentioned individuals on both sides, but we will continue to dialogue with legislators and encourage legislators to put the good of Kansas families over profit.
School choice is the reason I did not get more than a few hours of sleep any night last week. While we are disappointed that a bill that included Education Savings Accounts did not make it to the Governor’s desk, we are thankful that a debate on the topic happened in both chambers. It also has garnered significant public discussion. I talk to families all across the state who are trying to discern the best way to fulfill their responsibility to educate their children in a way that glorifies God. It is my goal to equip you with as many options as I can.
One huge school choice win is the expansion of the low-income tax credit. Passing an education budget with policy requirements was one of the final things the legislature did late Friday night. The key thing for school choice advocates was the removal of restrictions for kids who can receive a scholarship from scholarship granting organizations. The new program will accept kids from any school (previously it was just an arbitrary list of the lowest performing schools) and secondly extended opportunity to kids who are a part of the reduced lunch program whereas they previously had to be part of the free lunch program. It encourages Kansans to use their resources to benefit kids in our state who would not have had any school choice opportunities without this program. This program now truly reflects that kids deserve options and opportunities no matter where they live or how much their parents make.
It is my absolute honor to represent you and your family at the Capitol each day. My goal every morning is to first bring Christ glory and secondly to represent you well. While we will still return to the Capitol for the official last day of session, known as sine die, we are turning now towards influencing local policies, educating families on how they can be involved, and working with policy makers beyond session to advance the family and honor God!
Brittany Jones, Esq.
Director of Advocacy
Yesterday, Value Them Both passed out of the Senate 28 to 11! This is a huge victory for every Kansan who believes that unlimited abortion is harmful for women, babies, and our state as a whole. Yesterday, 28 senators stood to protect the life-saving laws that place basic regulations on the abortion industry.
A special thanks to Sens. Molly Baumgardner, Kellie Warren, and Renee Erickson who carried the bulk of the bill on the floor. We are also thankful for the leadership of Senate President Ty Masterson, Majority Leader Gene Suellentrop, and Vice-President of the Senate Rick Wilborn.
Please take a moment to thank every Senator and House member who voted for this important amendment! It’s easy on our action center!
What happens next?
Now Value Them Both goes to your ballot. You will see this on your August 2022 ballot.
Getting Value Them Both across the line will take all of us working together. Here are some ways you can get involved:
- Register to vote
- Sign up to volunteer
- Ask us to speak at your church or at a civic group
Yesterday was a huge day for the dignity of every person in Kansas! We are so thankful for you partnering with us up to this point and we look forward to you partnering with you going forward so that every life is cherished.
Together we can value them both in Kansas,
Brittany Jones, Esq.
On this Monday after a Chiefs victory, I wanted to take a quick minute to update you on Value Them Both and to ask for your help.
On Friday, Value Them Both passed in the House. This is a huge victory! Last year we fell four votes shy in the House, but after the election, the House came back with an even stronger pro-life contingent. Two-thirds of the representatives stuck with us through several difficult proposed amendments.
In the end, 86 representatives voted FOR Value Them Both, two more than constitutionally required.
Special thanks to Reps. Tory Arnberger, Susan Humphries, Ron Ryckman, Dan Hawkins, and Blaine Finch who championed the bill and spent countless hours ensuring that the bill passed. We are so thankful for every representative who took a stand for mothers and babies.
Now we’re on to the Senate!
The Senate was scheduled to vote on this bill last week, but one senator, Senator Dennis Pyle, a consistent pro-lifer in the past, was absent from the building. Value Them Both will come to the floor again soon. Please remind the Senate that this is the most important pro-life bill of our generation. It’s easy on our action page. We need them to show up and vote!
Valuing Them Both,
Brittany Jones,, Esq.
Director of Advocacy
Despite everything going on across the nation, things are moving quickly in Topeka. The House voted Value Them Both out of committee this morning & is preparing to take it up TOMORROW!
It’s time to start contacting your representatives. They need to hear from you today!!!
It’s easy on our action center.
Many of these legislators came here because of Value Them Both. Help us get it over the final line in the legislature!
Brittany Jone, Esq.
Director of Advocacy
You sent your legislators to Topeka with a mandate to pass Value Them Both. They are listening!
The bill was introduced last Tuesday and the hearings in both the Senate and the House were held this past Friday. And today, the Senate Judiciary committee, chaired by Senator Kellie Warren, passed Value Them Both by a voice vote. It will likely be heard by the full Senate very soon.
Many legislators have told me how much they have been hearing from you! It is time to let the entire Senate know that you are counting on them to vote YES on Value Them Both. It’s easy on our action center.
It’s a simple vote. They simply need to give you the opportunity to vote on this vital amendment to stop unlimited abortion in Kansas.
Contact your Senator today! Your voice really does make a difference.
We will continue to keep you updated as things move forward, but we need your help to get us over the finish line!
So we can value them both,
Director of Advocacy
As Americans we love our freedom. Historically speaking, if you asked someone on the street what Americans value most, I’m sure you would hear some version of freedom, liberty or the ability to do as we please. Since our founding these freedoms have allowed unprecedented growth and achievements in this country that could not have been imagined by its founders.
But what happens when we have unrestrained, absolute freedom, when there are no constraints on what we want or when we want it? Lord of the Flies comes to my mind.
In the beginning God created the Garden of Eden, and in it he gave Adam and Eve everything they could want or need, a true paradise. Genesis 2:16 God said, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” We know the end of the story, Adam and Eve betrayed the freedom God gave them and introduced sin into the world.
God could have easily prevented Adam and Eve from getting close to the tree, but instead he allowed them to restrain themselves and they failed, disaster followed.
This session in our Kansas Legislature we will be addressing the Value Them Both Amendment. This Amendment is in response to the Kansas Supreme Court’s unprecedented ruling which somehow found unrestricted abortions up until the moment of birth in our Kansas Constitution. In 2017 even with safeguards in place to restrict abortions, Kansans aborted 6,830 babies. If this is self-restraint, I would hate to see the results of absolute freedom to abort a child at whatever developmental stage one wants.
Our American founders understood that self-restraint (morality) was needed in order for our Republic to survive. John Adams said, “It is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand.” In other words, if you remove God from the equation, we will need laws to protect ourselves from ourselves.
As our culture continues to drift, we must safeguard existing laws that help women and babies, absolute freedom in this case would be disastrous.
This Value them Both Amendment will have its first hearing in the House & Senate on Friday morning. Please click here contact the members of the committee who will be hearing the bill and ask them to support its passage.
As we mourn the loss of life & the breach of the rule of law in Washington, DC earlier this week, we continue to pray for our nation, our law enforcement, and our elected officials who are continuing to do the people’s business. Every life is valuable and should be protected. We pray for the Holy Spirit to touch lives across our nation and that we each will seek the Lord.
As we continue to work to protect life in Kansas, it’s a new year. And that means a new legislative season for Kansas. It’s like the first day of school for me. Lots of excitement about getting back to it, but also a lot of late nights and long hours making sure our agenda and strategy for the year are ready to go.
With the great victories from this past election in Kansas, we have a mandate from the people to get Value Them Both passed. This is our number one priority this session. The Kansas Supreme Court is trying to force unlimited abortion on Kansas, but mothers, babies, and the people of Kansas are depending on us to pass this important amendment for life. We sent a strong signal to legislators – Kansans will not tolerate legislators who put personal political gain above life.
But we need your help. Even if you contacted your legislators last year, we need you to do it again. This is a new legislature with many new faces. They need to be reminded that this matters to you!
This amendment does several important things:
- Ensures that mothers aren’t left in the dark about their options and the risk associated with an abortion.
- Ensures young girls aren’t left alone to be pressured by the abortion industry.
- Protects your Kansas tax dollars from being exploited by the abortion industry.
- Ensures that we can’t be required to allow abortion up to the moment of birth.
- Protects dozens of pro-life laws that are already on the books!
These are all basic protections that mothers and babies deserve. Stand with us in 2021 to #ValueThemBoth!
Standing for life in 2021,
Director of Advocacy
P.S. As we mourn the loss of life & the breach of the rule of law in our nation’s capitol yesterday, we continue to pray for our nation, our law enforcement, and our elected officials who are continuing to do the people’s business. Every life is valuable and should be protected. We pray for the Holy Spirit to touch lives across our nation and that we each will seek the Lord.
P.P.S. Thank you to each one of you that financially supported us this year! Your support allowed us to do so many phenomenal things in 2020. We look forward to partnering with you in 2021. If you would like to start out your year with a gift to our efforts, it’s as easy as a click here!
“…you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling
cloths and lying in a manger.” – Luke 2:12
I can safely say 2020 didn’t look like any of us planned. Yet we saw God show up in so many unexpected ways. No matter what the year has brought, we still have a reason to adore Christ – nothing will ever change that!
Despite COVID, we saw the growth of some churches through their live streams and neighbors everywhere connected for the very first time because we were all stuck at home.
We excitedly watched as the Kansas Pastor Network grew, courts stood up for the religious freedom of citizens in Kansas and across the country, and the Supreme Court became much more conservative.
Plus, the elections delivered the most conservative Kansas legislature ever, and we have a strong conservative congressional delegation from Kansas serving in Washington D.C.
Though the Presidential election does not look anything like what we prayed and fought for, we will keep fighting alongside our brothers and sisters in Georgia as they decide the balance of power in the Senate. Here in Kansas, we will keep fighting executive overreach from the Kansas Governor’s office and other administrative agencies as we seek public policy to protect life, families and religious freedom.
Because of some of these things (and despite others) our team is looking forward with hope this Christmastime. We look forward to the passage of Value Them Both in the legislature. We look forward to helping parents find better educational solutions for their kids. We look forward to standing up for religious freedom.
We are thankful for your prayers, financial support, and engagement with our ministry. We pray that each of you is surrounded by those you love and who remind you of the gift that Christ gave to humanity at Christmas. May we each share this gift with those around us!
The prayer from our entire team is that this week you will see the goodness and faithfulness of God and be drawn to worship Him.
Brittany Jones, Esq.
Director of Advocacy
This week is the first week of the Advent season. Quite honestly, anticipating anything in a year like 2020 feels a little cruel. So many plans have been rearranged or outright cancelled. Just like many of you, I’ve felt this personally and professionally this year.
But the Advent season is all about hope and anticipation, even when it doesn’t make sense.
From a big picture perspective, it’s a reflection of the Israelites long wait for the Messiah. The Israelites had been waiting for thousands of years for the Messiah. The prophets constantly reminded them that He was coming, but then God appeared to go silent. Silence for 400 years. That would make anyone a little cynical.
In the Christmas story, we see individuals facing disappointed hopes as well – particularly reflected in the stories of Elizabeth, Zechariah, and Anna. Elizabeth & Zechariah who waited for a child year after year. Anna who waited alone in the Temple for the Messiah for decades.
And after all this waiting, they each got to be a part of preparing our world for the Lord to walk among us.
The promise the angel gave to Zechariah about their long-awaited child in Luke 1:16-17 has beautiful meaning to me this year:
“He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous-to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
In their waiting, in their disappointment the Lord was working. He was preparing them for their Messiah – the Redeemer of the World.
For our organization, we dealt with a big disappointment when COVID-19 ended both the legislative session and any hope of getting the last four hold-out legislators to vote for the pro-life Value Them Both Amendment. It didn’t make a ton of sense why God would let four individuals block a bill that is needed to protect moms and babies. But after the primary and general elections, I can see that He was preparing us to be in an even better position for the 2021 legislative session. And that is just a small piece of what He is doing.
My prayer as we begin this Advent season is that we will continue to anticipate God’s coming goodness even when it doesn’t feel like it will ever happen. And that as a result we will see His goodness all around us. It has been a year unlike any other and our hearts are weary. May we hang on to the hand that is holding us and press into what the Lord has for us in the coming days.
May your heart be filled with expectation for our coming King,
Director of Advocacy
One of the most exciting days of my life was the day I finally got to vote. One-hundred years before, I could have been jailed for the simple act of casting my ballot. This week we celebrate the official ratification of the 19th Amendment – the Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that protects the right to vote for both men and women. The ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920 was a huge step forward in our nation in creating a more perfect union.
While the political Left has tried to hijack women for their cause – saying they have to think a certain way or support certain candidates – the 19th Amendment is not about identity politics. The 19th Amendment is about recognizing the dignity and worth of women to our society. Just like the 15th Amendment further worked out the philosophy of the Founders to include all races, the 19th Amendment was a further unveiling of the original ideas of the Founders.
Women have pushed back against the Left’s attempt to hijack us for their cause. Women like Phyllis Schlafly,who stood up against the push to pass the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) that would have eradicated our ability to regulate the abortion industry and erased hard won victories for women. She paved the way for so many women to advocate for their conservative belief systems. While not perfect, God used her to help wake up the church and women all across the nation from their apathy about politics.
But the Left is at it again trying to erase women from the story. Maleness and femaleness are gifts from God and therefore defined by Him. But the Left wants to buck God’s design and re-write truth. They are pushing not only the ERA on a national level but are also working to reverse or stop all state initiatives to protect life and girls’ places in our society. In fact, a major goal of the of the Biden-Harris ticket for 2020 is to stop state laws that protect life.
This is exactly what our state Supreme Court tried to do through its radical abortion ruling in 2019 that took away our ability to regulate the abortion industry for the safety of women and girls in Kansas. While pro-life advocates worked to give Kansans a say in the process, Governor Kelly and the Democrats tried to silence the voices of women and men across our state by blocking Value Them Both – a constitutional amendment to correct what the Court declared.
The wonderful thing is that we have strong female legislators in Kansas that fight for babies in the womb, who advocate for the safety of all women, that will stand up for fairness in sports, and who do not cower when the Left tries to mandate who they have to be, what they have to believe, and what they have to say to be deemed a woman. It is an honor to stand alongside these women to fight for life, religious freedom, and families every day. Together we are a force to be reckoned with as we continue to work to pass Value Them Both this next legislative session.
I am thankful for the opportunities that I have and do not take them for granted. I can only pray, that like Phyllis Schlafly and our female legislators in Kansas, that the work I do leaves a legacy for each woman in Kansas to be free to become who God intended for her to be. May we never take for granted the gift of womanhood or the ability to vote in our country.
For the women of Kansas,
Director of Advocacy