As representatives of the Peggy Bowman Second-Chance Fund, we are often asked the tough questions. While we once thought the abortion issue was settled by the Supreme Court, we continue to see erosion of women’s rights. Now seems like a good time to review with you, our supporters, what has occurred and what we may face in the future. Here is the latest information to keep you updated:

Does a woman in Kansas have the fundamental right under the State Constitution to have an abortion? Does the Kansas Bill of Rights in the Kansas Constitution protect this right as it does in the U.S. Constitution?

One would assume that women have that right because of Roe; however, early this spring, the Kansas Supreme Court heard arguments centered on whether a right to abortion exists within the state constitution. The decision of the Kansas Supreme Court will be handed down any day. If the decision rules in favor of prochoice proponents, there may indeed be a backlash by opponents of access to safe, legal abortion. The most dramatic—and harmful—step that they could take would be to initiate the process for a state constitutional amendment, one which would take some explicit step towards banning abortion in Kansas. If two-thirds of the members of both chambers of the Kansas Legislature consent, the amendment is put before the voters. A very simple majority vote results in the amendment’s adoption.

These are drastic times. We must boldly stand together and speak out against those who seek to take away our reproductive rights. The cost is too great to watch our fundamental rights stripped away, one by one, causing hardship on Kansas families who should make their own family-planning choices.

Sandy Brown