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Kansas Democrats, Republicans speak for, against Value Them Both amendment in state constitution

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Posted at 6:41 PM, Jun 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-26 22:49:28-04

OVERLAND PARK, Kan.  — The Johnson County Democratic Party and Kansas Democrats met in Overland Park Sunday morning to protest the reversal of Roe v. Wade.

“This is it, it’s over. We gotta fight it, we’ve gotta get it back,” said Cassie Woolworth, president of Johnson County Democratic Women South. “You’ve made me a second-class citizen by taking my decision-making power out of my hands and giving it to somebody else. Nowhere else is it taken away after 50 years.”

Woolworth says while she understands many people are passionate about their thoughts on the matter, anti-abortion advocates do not have complete insight into the lives of other people.

“When the decision came, it was a kick in the gut, and I know it was for thousands of women, for a lot of men,” Woolworth said. “Now you gotta get out, now you gotta get active, now you gotta canvass, you gotta write, you gotta protest, you gotta rally, you gotta show up for your neighbors.”

She encourages like-minded Kansans to vote against the Value Them Both amendment on Aug. 2. It is an amendment that could lead to limitations or a ban on abortions in Kansas.

Additionally, Woolworth wants supporters to donate to Kansans for Constitutional Freedom and to call local legislators to have their voices heard.

“It so easy, especially right now, to feel defeated. This feels so final and like there’s nothing that you can do. So you really have to grab the bull by the horns and do everything in your power, and that’s share your voice, share your message, protest, vote,” said Allison Tucker, a Johnson County Democrat.

Al Frisby, a male abortion rights activist who helped fund a back-alley abortion in 1966, says he has seen first-hand what unsafe abortion can do to women. The woman he helped was raped during a graduation party among dental students at the University of Missouri–Kansas City.

“Who would not give exceptions for rape, life of the woman or incest? Who would not do that as a politician? I just don’t understand it,” Frisby said.

Chairman of the Kansas Republican Party Michael Kuckelman says the statement that the Value Them Both amendment would ban all abortions in Kansas is simply not true.

To vote “yes” would mean Kansans can come together to discuss and put into law the agreed-upon limitations on the procedure.

“Trust in your fellow Kansans, use your voice, persuade people to your way of thinking," Kuckelman said. "But let’s not ask the government to decide everything for us, because we’re afraid if we let ourselves decide, we’ll get it wrong."

As an anti-abortion advocate, he believes regulations like parental notification, sanitation of abortion clinics and restrictions on second and third-trimester abortions are vital.

But he is open to public discussions and encourages his opponents with concerns to speak up.

“Aren’t those the concerns they should bring to their legislators? To ask them when you craft the legislation, regulation, make exceptions in these cases?” Kuckelman said. “You’d have to pass laws, and, as you know, there is public hearings for every law that is passed in the state of Kansas.”

Missouri enacted its trigger law mere moments after the Supreme Court issued its ruling Friday, becoming the first in the country to ban most abortions.

Nola Wood, vice chairman of the Jackson County Republican Committee, says the Declaration of Independence stands for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — fighting for the unborn is a fight for life.

“So if we don’t have life, then what do we have?” Wood said.

KSHB 41 asked Wood what her response would be to those who are afraid of no exceptions in cases of abuse or health complications.

“The irony for me that there are many untold stories of wonderful people who were born out of very tragic and unfortunate circumstances, and we want to protect and honor each human life,” Wood said.

Wood believes making abortion illegal would deter perpetrators from exploiting or abusing young women.