Thursday, January 19, 2012


Kansas Proposed Constitutional Amendment is A Really Bad Idea

House Concurrent Resolution Number 5029, called the "Human Life Amendment" by its proponents demonstrates how far the anti-abortion crowd will go to establish their religious view of when life begins, and when that life ought to be considered a person.  These extremists are not only challenging Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to make personal and private decisions for herself.  These extremists are also challenging Griswold v. Connecticut.

Connecticut passed a law saying it was illegal to use any drug, medicinal article or instrument for the purpose of preventing conception and that any person who assists, abets, counsels, causes, hires or commands another to commit any offense, under that law, may be prosecuted and punished.  Okay so if you use the pill, especially if you use the pill, you and your doctor, and your doctor's staff, and your pharmacist could all be thrown into jail under a Connecticut style law.

And what is it that the anti-abortion crowd wants written into the Kansas Constitution? They want the first section of the Constitution of Kansas amended to say (and the changes are in italics):

"§ 1. Equal rights. All men are possessed of equal and inalienable
natural rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Recognizing the authority of the state of Kansas to exercise its police
power and it sovereign right to adopt individual liberties in the
constitution of the state of Kansas more expansive than those conferred by
the constitution of the United States, the state of Kansas shall hereby
guarantee the inalienable rights, equal protection and due process of law
of every human being from the beginning of the biological development of
that human being, including fertilization."

In case you didn't know birth control uses hormones to cause the fertilized egg to detach from the lining of the uterus.  That means that using the pill, among other forms of birth control, will be outlawed in Kansas.

It is ironic that this proposal wants to extend the Constitutional protections of due process of law to gametes, zygotes, embryos, and fetuses.  Why?  Well, as of today the Kansas Constitution doesn't guarantee due process of law to anyone at all.

Justice Blackmun in his dissent in Webster v. Reproductive Health Center, sheds light on the Constitutional infirmity H.C.R. 5029 will eventually face if it is adopted by the state of Kansas.  Blackmun said:

"To the extent that it has substantive impact on the freedom to use contraceptive procedures, it is inconsistent with the central holding in Griswold. To the extent that it merely makes "legislative findings without operative effect," as the State argues, it violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Contrary to the theological "finding" of the Missouri Legislature, a woman's constitutionally protected liberty encompasses the right to act on her own belief that -- to paraphrase St. Thomas Aquinas -- until a seed has acquired the powers of sensation and movement, the life of a human being has not yet begun."

That's right, St. Thomas Aquinas, a Doctor of the Church, did not subscribe to this notion that life begins at conception.  That religious notion is new, it is a theology developed after the opinion in Roe v. Wade was rendered.   

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