To those who support abortion rights, NOW is the time to make a stand.
Morgan Smalley, a field organizer for the Trust Women Foundation, will conduct a short messaging training at our May 12 SCDW meeting. Smalley will discuss the history of abortion access, the anti-abortion amendment in Kansas, and how to effectively communicate to voters in your community with a focus on messaging, reducing stigma, and responding to tough questions.
IF YOU SUPPORT A WOMAN’S RIGHT TO PRIVACY, TO BODILY AUTONOMY, AND TO COMPREHENSIVE REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE, you need to step up now. This meeting will help you prepare for the next couple of months leading up to Kansas’s Aug. 2 election that will include an amendment to ban abortion in our state. [The actual text is in a yellow box, but it is interesting to read on down about the people and organizations pushing for the ban.]
Kansas is in a unique position to represent the opinion of the majority of people in our country who do not want to overturn Roe v Wade. A leak of a draft decision by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) suggests that the court will, perhaps even later this month or in June, overturn Roe, and then it will be up to states to individually determine the procedure’s legality.
Thirteen states across the country have signaled their readiness to ban abortion by passing so-called trigger laws, which would effectively ban abortions almost immediately after a decision from the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. Our own conservative legislature has, in the opinion of many people, already stacked the deck by putting the amendment on a midterm primary ballot, which Democrats typically do not turn out for and in which non-affiliated voters assume they cannot participate. Even the language of the amendment seems skewed to manipulate voters who are not aware of the underlying threat to women.
Dahlia Lithwick wrote a sobering column for Slate that included this quote:
“If this draft opinion becomes precedent of the court, the results will be catastrophic for women, particularly for women in the states that will immediately make abortion unlawful, and in those places, particularly for young women, poor women, and Black and brown women who will not have the time, resources, or ability to travel out of state. The court’s staggering lack of regard for its own legitimacy is exceeded only by its vicious disregard for the real consequences for real pregnant people who are 14 times more likely to die in childbirth than from terminating a pregnancy.”
Our local clinic, Trust Women, has been struggling to serve an additional influx of women from Texas and Oklahoma, states that have already enacted severe restrictions and penalties for those needing abortions. If Kansas falls, women will have to travel even further to find care.
If you haven’t had an abortion, you know someone who has. If you have taken the time to think about the issue, you know that denying women and their families the health care they need has very tragic personal consequences, and, ultimately, our entire society will experience adverse repercussions at every level. We are at a critical juncture right now that will determine the future of all of us but particularly for the women in demographics who are unable to adequately represent their needs.
This issue supersedes partisan politics and there are many organizations working together to ensure a “No” vote on Aug. 2 to protect our most personal rights and decisions. Feel free to come to our meeting to learn about resources and efforts by different groups. Just do SOMETHING to help protect the most vulnerable among us. Once you lose a right, it is much more difficult to get it back than to work to protect it while you still enjoy it. Experts predict that the far-right will next target contraception access, same-sex marriage and LGBTQ+ issues.
OUR MAY 12 meeting will include club officer elections, but non-members can stay to help write and send “VOTE NO” postcards. Every little bit helps. This is going to be a tough election and there is a lot riding on it.
Sedgwick County Democratic Women will meet on Thursday, May 12, at 6:30 p.m. at SEIU, 3340 W. Douglas Ave. Round up a couple of friends and bring them along!
If you’re ready to hit the streets, the Kansans for Constitutional Freedom have organized a
Grassroots Canvass Launch on Saturday, May 14, in Sedgwick County and Johnson County.
You’ll get tools and talking points to share with people who might not understand the significance of this amendment.
Sign up for a shift, or two or three, at bit.ly/KCFsedgcolaunch.