WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Kansans will be the first to weigh in on abortion rights after the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade. All voters will have the “Value Them Both” question on their ballot.
In 2019, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled the state constitution secured women’s right to an abortion. The “Value Them Both” amendment, if passed, would change that.
Political analyst Jeff Jarman says some of the confusion surrounding the ballot comes from the rarity of voting to change the constitution.
“This is a process we’ve not seen before. It’s unusual. We don’t normally go to the polls to pass amendments to take away rights that were given by the Kansas Supreme Court in the constitution,” Jarman said.
Advance voting can begin Wednesday, July 13, but some have raised questions about what their yes or no vote means.
“A ‘yes’ vote really means that the constitution of the State of Kansas no longer provides protection for the right to abortion,” he explained.
A “yes” vote would also give state lawmakers the power to pass laws regarding abortion.
“The amendment itself doesn’t create a restriction one way or the other. It really facilitates and enables the legislature to create any regulation they want, not just those that people think might be reasonable or common sense, but including bans in every instance,” Jarman explained.
A vote “no” would leave the constitution as is.
“A ‘no’ vote really leaves the status quo in place, and it would allow some regulations because we have some in the state,” he said.
There are a number of laws already on the books in Kansas regulating abortion.
Our laws don’t allow state general funds to be used on abortions. They prohibit the procedure after 22 weeks gestation, except in the case of a medical emergency. As well as requires written consent for minors and documentation provided to the woman 24 hours before the procedure.
Current Kansas laws regarding abortion
KSN News contacted the Kansas Legislative Hotline at 800-432-3924. A representative told us there are a number of laws currently in force in Kansas related to abortion. They directed us to the Kansas Office of Revisor of Statutes, in particular, Article 67 on KSRevisor.org:
- Article 67.—ABORTION
- 65-6701 Definitions.
- 65-6702 Drugs or devices for birth control or fertilization lawful; political subdivisions prohibited from limiting abortion.
- 65-6703 Abortion when unborn child viable; restrictions and prohibitions; civil damages and criminal penalties for violations.
- 65-6704 Abortion upon minor; required information and counseling.
- 65-6705 Same; written consent of certain persons required before performance of abortion; waiver of requirement; court proceedings; penalties; judicial record and report; civil action.
- 65-6706 Repealed.
- 65-6707 Same; severability clause.
- 65-6708 Woman’s-right-to-know act; citation.
- 65-6709 Same; abortion, informed consent required; information required to be given to women, certification of receipt; offer to view ultrasound image and hear heartbeat, certification of offer; required signage.
- 65-6710 Same; materials to be published and distributed by the department of health and environment; materials to be available at no cost.
- 65-6711 Same; information where medical emergency compels performances of an abortion.
- 65-6712 Same; failure to provide informed consent and printed materials under act is unprofessional conduct.
- 65-6713 Repealed.
- 65-6714 Same; severability clause.
- 65-6715 Same; act does not create or recognize a right to abortion or make lawful an abortion that is currently unlawful.
- 65-6716 through 65-6720 Reserved.
- 65-6721 Partial birth abortion; restrictions and prohibitions; civil damages and criminal penalties for violations.
- 65-6722 Abortion of pain-capable unborn child; legislative findings.
- 65-6723 Same; definitions.
- 65-6724 Same; certain abortions prohibited, exceptions; determination of gestational age; civil action; criminal penalties.
- 65-6725 Same; construction of act.
- 65-6726 Abortion based on gender; prohibited.
- 65-6727 through 65-6730 Reserved.
- 65-6731 Prohibition on certain funding for abortions; definitions.
- 65-6732 Legislative declaration that life begins at fertilization.
- 65-6733 Prohibition on certain funding for abortion.
- 65-6734 Same; school districts.
- 65-6735 Same; construction of act.
- 65-6736 Same; no requirement to provide or right to an abortion.
- 65-6737 Same; discrimination prohibited.
- 65-6738 Same; applicability of act.
- 65-6739 Same; severability.
- 65-6740 Reserved.
- 65-6741 Kansas unborn child protection from dismemberment abortion act; citation of act.
- 65-6742 Definitions.
- 65-6743 Dismemberment abortion prohibited; exceptions.
- 65-6744 Cause of action for injunctive relief.
- 65-6745 Civil action for violation of act.
- 65-6746 Criminal penalties for violation of act.
- 65-6747 Legal proceedings; public disclosure of name of woman, orders against such disclosure.
- 65-6748 Construction of act.
- 65-6749 Severability.
- 65-6750 Effect of injunction or other judicial order on provisions of article 67.
- Article 67a.—FETAL ORGANS AND TISSUE
- 65-67a01 Fetal organs or tissue; definitions.
- 65-67a02 Same; construction of act.
- 65-67a03 Same; when act not applicable.
- 65-67a04 Same; prohibitions; penalty.
- 65-67a05 Same; transfers of tissue; reports.
- 65-67a06 Same; prohibitions; penalty.
- 65-67a07 Same; consent of donor.
- 65-67a08 Same; severability.
- 65-67a09 Child rape protection act; submission of fetal tissue from certain abortions; physicians’ duties; rules and regulations; noncompliance, penalties.
- 65-67a10 Disposition of fetal remains.