COLUMN: What’s ahead for Missouri and Kansas if Roe v. Wade is overturned, and how it differs from what you’re hearing and seeing

Regardless of our stances on abortion, they at least ought to be based on truth. But truth is often in short supply – especially now, in the hysteria following the revelation that Roe v. Wade may be overturned.

A Kansas City television station, for instance, reported breathlessly that Kansas’ Aug. 2 “Value Them Both” constitutional amendment vote would “restrict access to abortion by changing the Kansas Constitution.”

Um, no. What it would do is protect the state’s current restrictions on abortion,  as well as elected lawmakers’ ability to pass them – all of which was put in jeopardy by a 2019 Kansas Supreme Court ruling that somehow ordained a right to abortion in the state’s constitution.

As for abortion restrictions, as noted by The Daily Signal, a 2021 Knights of Columbus/Marist Poll found:

  • 55% of even pro-choice respondents favor abortion restrictions
  • 76% of Americans support significant restrictions on abortion
  • 70% favor “restricting abortions after the first trimester – which would bring U.S. law in alignment with the rest of the world, including 47 out of 50 European countries.”

It’s also interesting, the panic that surrounds a law such as Mississippi’s – the abortion prohibition after 15 weeks that the U.S. Supreme Court is about to rule on. The law has been called “radical,” “extreme” and worse. But is it, really?

Consider: As noted by Forbes, an AP/NORC poll finds that majority support for legal abortion in the first trimester drops to just 34% in the second trimester – after the first 14 weeks – and to only 19% in the third trimester. That means that at least 66% of Americans are regarded by some as “extreme.”

A Wall Street Journal poll earlier this year also found that more Americans support a ban at 15 weeks than oppose it.

And despite all the alarm from the left, Planned Parenthood itself – the biggest provider of abortions in America – actually downplays the number of abortions that occur after even just eight weeks.

“The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 65 percent of legal abortions occur within the first eight weeks of gestation,” Planned Parenthood writes, “and 91 percent are performed within the first 13 weeks.”

So, by the CDC’s and Planned Parenthood’s own admissions, a ban after 15 weeks would still allow over 90% of abortions. Again, that’s characterized in the media as “extreme.”

Missouri does have a 2019 bill that institutes a near-total ban on abortions once Roe is overturned, and when the governor, attorney general or legislature proclaim it so. And while the media demonize the pro-life community – it’s portrayed as mean, or harsh, for wanting to protect innocent life – one of the Missouri bill’s architects looks at it quite differently.

“I think that abortion is very harsh. It’s an incredibly violent solution that doesn’t recognize that there are two people involved in every abortion,” state Rep. Mary Elizabeth Coleman, R-Arnold, tells The Heartlander. “I believe that our job is to make abortion not just illegal but unthinkable.”

A big part of that is getting women the support they need in unplanned pregnancies. Coleman notes that Missouri’s Show-Me Healthy Babies program provides millions in support and services, as do nonprofits and crisis pregnancy centers.

Moreover, whereas cases of rape and incest are often cited as a reason for abortion on demand, “Just 1% of women obtain an abortion because they became pregnant through rape, and less than 0.5% do so because of incest,” USA Today reported, citing the Guttmacher Institute – which was essentially birthed by Planned Parenthood.

Media reports and public discussions also rarely cover the scientifically known characteristics of unborn children, besides the fetal heartbeat registering between five and six weeks. According to the Cleveland Clinic:

“The typical pregnancy lasts about 40 weeks. It’s divided into three periods of time — the first, second and third trimester. Each trimester is roughly 14 weeks long. When you enter your second trimester, you are around 14 weeks pregnant. This middle trimester will last from week 14 to the end of week 27. …

“You’ll start to feel your fetus move by the end of this trimester … 

“During this trimester, your fetus will start to look more like a child – with their facial features aligning, and their fingers and toes becoming well-defined. By month four, your fetus will actually have eyelids, eyebrows, eyelashes, nails and hair. Your fetus will also be able to stretch, make faces and even suck on their thumb. You’ll soon be able to determine the gender of your fetus on an ultrasound – often around 20 weeks.”

Very little of this is part of the abortion debate – when it should be the core of it.

In Kansas, the accuracy of information in the media will be key to the Aug. 2 vote to restore lawmakers’ ability to regulate abortion at all.

“Much of media appear to not understand the extreme 2019 court ruling that radically changed the Kansas Constitution, causing all existing abortion-related state laws to become ‘presumed unconstitutional’,” Danielle Underwood, director of communications at Kansans for Life, told The Heartlander.

“Without direct and immediate protection, these laws will all fall. To use the abortion industry lawyers’ own words, the ruling created a ‘haven state’ for unlimited abortion in Kansas. The media are not reporting that – without the Value Them Both Amendment – it will be impossible for Kansans to regulate abortion in even the simplest of ways, or that taxpayer-funded and late-term abortion will soon be legal here.”

Trouble is, of course, you’ll never hear any of this in today’s public shouting matches.

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