Voters in Kansas are preparing to decide the fate of abortion in their state, with an August 2nd ballot proposal deciding whether abortion will still be included as a right in the state constitution. In response, Kansas City Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann spoke to EWTN’s Pro-Life Weekly about the “Value Them Both” amendment and urged Kansans to vote yes.
Bob Beatty, a political science professor at Washburn University in Topeka, told NBC News exactly what the amendment will do. “The amendment doesn’t ban abortion, but rather, allows the Legislature to ban abortion if it wanted to,” he explained; it will remove the right to abortion from the Kansas constitution and ask voters if they prefer legislators to choose the state’s laws regarding abortion.
Kansas is the first state to put the abortion issue to voters since Roe v. Wade fell, which Naumann said is a momentous event. “I think for many of us, it’s been like the Berlin Wall coming down,” he said. “But of course, there are others that have become convinced … that we can’t survive as a society without the ability to kill our own children.”
In the wake of the fall of Roe, there has been widespread violence towards the pro-life movement, which Naumann said they have seen in Kansas as well. “It’s really tragic to see the viciousness and, unfortunately, we’ve had at least one episode of vandalism at one of our churches here,” Naumann said. “A lot of other stealing of signs and defacing of our signs and kind of organized efforts and what I would call almost bullying by the opponents of the amendment here in Kansas.”
Naumann previously condemned these attacks as “un-American.”
Though those in the Catholic Church, like Naumann, are supposed to remain politically neutral, Naumann pointed out there is a difference between endorsing a specific politician and fighting for an issue, like ending abortion. “Since [the U.S. Church’s] very inception, Archbishop [John] Carroll thought it was not appropriate for us to endorse candidates, politicians, or parties,” he explained. “And so the Church has chosen never to do that. I think that was a wise decision, that we don’t want to stake the Church’s reputation to any particular politician or party. But it’s not a vote on a politician. It’s a vote on an issue.”
Furthermore, Naumann encouraged pro-life advocates to ignore the bullying and violence, and respond with love and compassion.
“I think we’ve got to reach minds and change hearts by [education]. Not the way that our opponents try to do things with violence and with bullying, but by simply presenting people with the truth,” he said. “And so I think we don’t have enemies. We just have pro-lifers who haven’t yet been converted. And I think we have to work on that.”
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