Analysis

Pro-abortion deception in Kansas likely to happen in other states

Earlier this month, Kansas voters rejected an amendment to the state constitution which would have removed abortion as a right and allowing legislators to decide the state’s laws on abortion. Much of the reason for the amendment’s failure was due to how its opponents presented the debate — and the abortion industry appears to have taken notice.

Despite the celebration from pro-abortion politicians and advocates, the failure of the Value Them Both amendment was not a sign that Americans are rejecting pro-life laws; instead, it showed that in this instance, the abortion industry had superior messaging. Rather than being truthful about the amendment and what it would do (claiming it was a “ban” on abortion when it was nothing of the sort), organizations like Planned Parenthood framed it as a matter of personal and constitutional freedom.

Jeri Swinton wears a mask reading “Forever the Free State” as she talks to friends during the pro-choice Kansas for Constitutional Freedom primary election watch party in Overland Park, Kansas August 2, 2022. – Voters headed to the polls in the Midwestern US state of Kansas Tuesday to weigh in on the first major ballot on abortion since the Supreme Court ended the national right to the procedure in June. (Photo by DAVE KAUP / AFP) (Photo by DAVE KAUP/AFP via Getty Images)

“For instance, a coalition led by Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and others in opposition to the amendment branded itself ‘Kansans for Constitutional Freedom,’” Alexandra DeSanctis explained in National Review, adding, “In other words, supporters of abortion effectively won the messaging battle. While many Kansans likely opposed the state supreme court ruling finding a right to abortion in the constitution and would prefer more pro-life laws than are currently permitted, they also didn’t like the idea of a total abortion ban, which is how the other side managed to cast the amendment.”

Pro-abortion legislators evidently paid very close attention — and are looking to follow that model in Missouri, where abortion is banned except if needed to medical emergencies (though abortion is never medically necessary). The deadline already passed to get a measure on the ballot for November, but these legislators are hoping to take action next year.

“I hope that there are people building a coalition and working on that now,” State Sen. Lauren Arthur, a Kansas City Democrat, told the Kansas City Star. “That was one of my first thoughts, let’s put it on the ballot. I know that our current law is unpopular. I know that a majority of Missourians support some access to abortion rights.”

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Mallory Schwarz, executive director of Pro-Choice Missouri, also said the results from Kansas have encouraged them to push for a vote on a constitutional right to abortion, saying, “We are so excited to see the response from Missouri and to see the chatter on social media.”

In the past several years, the abortion lobby has openly campaigned on extreme laws — like the failed Women’s Health Protection Act — and argued that abortion should be taxpayer-funded, and easily available for any reason, at any point in pregnancy. This is not a popular view with the majority of Americans, so it isn’t difficult to believe that the abortion industry could embrace the deception used in Kansas, making the abortion issue one of “freedom” rather than of every human being’s inherent right to life — to not be unjustly killed.

The pro-life movement needs to be aware of this potential messaging change, and be ready to confront these lies with the truth about what abortion really is: the killing of an innocent and defenseless human being.

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