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Value Them Both announces new coalition with over 200 medical professionals across the state

Hugo Phan

A political organization wants to regulate abortion by passing a state constitutional amendment in the August primary election. The proposed amendment says there is no right to abortion in Kansas.

The Value Them Both political group announced a coalition today of more than 200 medical personnel who support its movement.

Several Kansas medical and mental health professionals have signed a letter supporting the constitutional amendment that says there is no right to an abortion in Kansas and any existing abortion practice should be regulated.

Dr. Kelly Byrd is a board-certified pediatrician practicing in Kansas City. She says that without the Value Them Both amendment, the abortion industry would run unlimited, allowed to police itself.

Byrd says Kansans will lose their Parental Notification law unless the amendment is passed. “The loss of parental notification laws will hurt both daughters and parents and expose young girls to dangers from traffickers and perpetrators who will no longer be held accountable,” she said.

Danielle Underwood is Director of Communications with Kansans For Life. She says the support of medical professionals who work with families and women are essential figures in supporting the anti-abortion movement.

“They know what actually happens with their patients and in their lives. They see the impacts after abortions,” she says. “And they can speak to the necessity for these regulations to be in place on the abortion industry facilities.”

Hugo Phan

Several protestors were also at the event, opposing the attack on the right to choose.

Monica Lorgh was holding a sign in protest at the event in Wichita. She says seeing medical professionals endorsing Value Them Both’s position doesn’t change her mind about reproductive rights and sees putting doctors behind a political agenda as manipulative.

“I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again. Putting somebody in a white coat doesn’t make them a god and doesn’t give them permission to make decisions for my body,” she says.

Lorgh also views the way Value Them Both representatives speak on abortion as an industry, rather than as a procedure, is disturbing.

Another protestor, Rhonda Cox, thinks the wording of the amendment is vague and may confuse people at the polls.

“To say it’s not regulated? It’s the most regulated healthcare procedure in Kansas. So, they’re just misleading folks at this point. It is meant to confuse and mislead voters,” she says.

Those who oppose the amendment also say it will lead to Kansas banning abortions.

The amendment will be on the Kansas primary election ballot on August 2.

Andrew Lopez is the Korva Coleman Diversity in Journalism Intern at KMUW this summer. He is currently a student at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism and is on track to earn a Masters of Journalism degree next year.