In an attempt to further stigmatize women seeking safe, legal abortion in the state of Kansas, Representative Dick Jones (R-Topeka) proposed House Bill 2658, which would require physicians to tell every new and existing patient if they have performed “convenient abortions”. We had to read on to understand just what a “convenient abortion” is, because it’s certainly not a logical term for a procedure that is more regulated than any other medical practice in the Sunflower State.
Rep. Jones, who has become infamous in his short time in the Kansas Statehouse for comparing abortion to the Holocaust, and, on February 17 of this year, stating the Supreme Court created a “third sex” of gay people, defines “convenient abortions” as “any human abortion performed with no physical or psychological necessity to the patient”.
Rep. Jones, not only are you misguided about what a woman goes through when she decides to have an abortion, you clearly don’t pay attention to the legislative landscape in which you work. Abortions are neither physically nor psychologically “convenient”. In the past four years, anti-women’s health legislators like you across the United States have passed nearly 300 billsdesigned to restrict access to the constitutionally protected medical procedure. Kansas “leads” the nation with 30 new abortion restrictions since 2010. People in rural Kansas and communities across the region face journeys of hundreds of miles to access abortion at Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri’s Comprehensive Health Center in Overland Park, Kansas.
Most importantly, Rep. Jones, you have no right to decide whether a woman’s decision to have an abortion is either physically or psychologically necessary. Stop making the incredibly offensive assumption that women choose abortion lightly, and stop insulting half the state by assuming women need you to be their conscience. If Kansans needed your permission or help choosing whether or when to parent, they’d ask you for it. Meanwhile, should you need guidance on how to do your job as a legislator, feel free to ask for help. Clearly you need it.