LAWRENCE — Whereas Kansas inches towards a 2022 vote that might reel again abortion rights, U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids desires to enshrine access to the procedure in federal legislation in order that states like her personal can’t ban it.
Her backing of the invoice — together with nearly all of Democrats within the U.S. Home — comes on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court docket declining to dam a Texas legislation banning abortions after six weeks right into a being pregnant, earlier than most girls know they’re pregnant. The vote will come days after the Supreme Court docket introduced it can hear a direct problem in December to the landmark Roe v. Wade case that gave People abortion rights.
“Having the legislative safeguard to guard entry to the total vary of well being care,” Davids mentioned. “It’s essential … it doesn’t matter what state you reside in, that features Kansas.”
The lone Democrat representing Kansas in Congress is amongst greater than 200 Democrats co-sponsoring the Girls’s Well being Safety Act. The invoice, which the U.S. Home is ready to vote on this week, would enshrine abortion protections on the federal degree and overturn lots of the stringent restrictions that states have already handed. That may probably embody some legal guidelines in Kansas like state-required counseling earlier than a process and a ban on telemedicine abortions.
Girls’s Well being Safety Act unlikely to move U.S. Senate
With 212 co-sponsors, the invoice would solely want six extra backers to move the U.S. Home. Senate passage appears far much less probably.
Whereas the push for federal abortion rights laws is perennial on Capitol Hill, the stakes run greater in anticipation that the more and more conservative excessive courtroom might overturn Roe v. Wade. That may open the way in which for particular person states to successfully shut down abortions — notably if the justices grant states the ability to limit abortions even when the fetus is unable to stay outdoors the womb.
Extra anti-abortion laws has been handed by state legislatures in 2021 than in every other 12 months.
“It’s not, ‘Oh, this might occur or, we’re telling these actually excessive tales so that individuals will rally round abortion, proper?’” mentioned Alesha Doan a professor of girls, gender and sexuality research and public affairs on the College of Kansas.
“It’s, ‘Properly, that is what is going on in Texas,’” she mentioned, “It’s very straightforward to see it taking place in states which can be already extraordinarily hostile to reproductive rights, and Kansas ranks up there on the prime.”
Not one of the three Republicans representing Kansas within the U.S. Home are listed as co-sponsors. U.S. Reps. Jake LaTurner, Ron Estes and Tracey Mann all marketing campaign as staunchly anti-abortion and are more likely to vote towards the invoice.
Danielle Underwood, a spokesperson for Kansans for Life, mentioned the state shouldn’t be disadvantaged of regulating abortion clinics.
“We expect that simply as eating places have rules on them, as gyms have rules and medical outpatient amenities have rules on them… that is no completely different,” she mentioned.
“This isn’t an trade,” Underwood mentioned, “that ought to simply be limitless in its operations and in its enterprise practices.”
Kansas voters may have a say in August 2022
In Kansas, extra of the eye is being directed to the Legislature and an modification that might change the state structure to say there’s no proper to an abortion. It’s slated for the August 2022 major.
Republicans within the Legislature might additional limit abortion entry in Kansas if the modification is handed. However within the wake of the six-week ban in Texas, main anti-abortion voices, together with Republican leaders within the Legislature and the highly effective anti-abortion rights group Kansans for Life, have mentioned all their power is concentrated on the constitutional modification to guard abortion restrictions already in Kansas legislation.
“Each common sense coverage — together with the flexibility to control the cleanliness and security of clinics — is in danger” if the modification fails, mentioned Home Speaker Ron Ryckman.
Michelle Schroeder, chief of coverage and communications for state Senate President Ty Masterson, accused abortion rights advocates of constructing Kansas a “vacationer attraction” for abortion and promoting to girls from Texas, who presently face the tightest abortion restrictions within the nation.
The message from Kansas abortion advocates to girls in Texas, “clearly demonstrates the necessity for common sense rules,” Schroeder mentioned. However, passing the constitutional modification, she mentioned, “That’s our precedence.”
Doan mentioned there’s a purpose to aim a ban later, opposite to what lawmakers in states like Missouri have carried out.
“A six-week abortion ban erases a number of that agenda,” Doan mentioned. “As a result of that makes it moot if that ban is in place.”
4 states have rewritten their state constitutions
4 different states — Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee and West Virginia — have rewritten their state constitutions to specify there’s no proper to an abortion. Tennessee and Louisiana have since handed six-week abortion bans and Alabama handed a near-total abortion ban. However all of these state actions have been blocked by the courts.
Kansas lawmakers launched a invoice that might ban abortions at six weeks in 2013, however the invoice died in a Home committee.
Abigail Censky is the political reporter for the Kansas Information Service.