12 Reasons Kansas Women Can’t Trust Josh Svaty

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 Josh Svaty has been pursuing his anti-abortion agenda since he was barely old enough to drink. Now, as a candidate for governor, he wants voters to think he'll take a moderate position.

Svaty's record is unmistakable--he voted in favor of legislation targeting women who seek abortion and doctors who provide it a dozen times. This was no passing phase, no simple misstep.

Svaty's got plenty of practice gutting reproductive rights in Kansas. With Roe v. Wade in jeopardy, we can't possibly trust him to protect Kansans' access to safe, legal abortion.

Svaty is dangerous for Kansas, and his record is crystal clear:

HB 2176, 2003
Svaty’s Vote: YES on Bill and Veto Override, and SPONSOR OF BILL
Status: Vetoed

TRAP stands for “Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers.” TRAP laws aim to regulate everything from the width of hallways in health centers to the type of booties patients have to wear during a procedure. These bills impose medically unnecessary restrictions and are fueled by one true goal: to shut down abortion facilities. In 2003, Svaty sponsored the TRAP bill HB 2176. Governor Kathleen Sebelius vetoed HB 2176 because “the health care facilities addressed…are already subject to high standards.” HB 2176 proposed more than two dozen medically unnecessary standards on abortion providers.

HB 2751, 2004
Svaty’s Vote: YES and SPONSOR OF BILL
Status: Passed by House, died in Senate committee

Another TRAP bill, sponsored by Svaty.

HB 2503, 2005   
Svaty’s Vote: YES on Bill and Veto Override
Status: Vetoed

Yet another TRAP bill. Governor Kathleen Sebelius vetoed HB 2503 for singling out only one medical procedure for onerous and unnecessary regulation: abortion.

HB 2300, 2005
Svaty’s Vote: YES
Status: Passed the House

Unborn victims of violence act: defines a fetus as a “person” and “human being” in the Kansas criminal code. While it exempts acts by the mother, including abortion, it elevates the status of a fetus to that of a person, and does nothing to help women or their families.

Sub. For HB 2829, 2006  
Svaty’s Vote: YES and YES
Status: Passed the House

Regulates KDHE inspection of office-based surgery facilities and charges inspection fees to facilities, with the intention of targeting abortion providers.

H Sub. For SB 389, 2008
Svaty’s Vote: YES
Status: Vetoed

This was an omnibus abortion restriction bill that proposed mandatory state reporting on abortion, new requirements for minors seeking abortion, and gave a patient’s family members and public officials “civil cause of action for injunctive relief” against abortion providers. Its goal was to put up more barriers to accessing safe, legal abortion, and to take away a woman’s decision-making ability, instead putting it in the hands of various family members and public officials.

House Sub. For SB 238, 2009
Svaty’s Vote: YES and YES  
Status: Passed

The Women’s-Right-to-Know-Act (WRTKA) created a state-mandated 24-hour waiting period for any woman seeking an abortion in Kansas. Mandatory waiting periods demean women and make it harder for them to obtain abortions. The decision to end a pregnancy is a very personal and private choice that women make with tremendous care and consideration — to suggest otherwise is an insult to our autonomy and intelligence.

The WRTKA also requires abortion providers to give their patients scientifically inaccurate information, like claims that abortion causes breast cancer. This bill inserts politicians into the patient-doctor relationship, where they don’t belong.

HB 2206, 2009
Svaty’s Vote: YES
Status: Vetoed

This bill sought to amend the Women’s-Right-To-Know Act (WRTKA) in the following ways:

  • Creates two new civil causes of action for the violation of the post-viability abortion ban that may be sought by the woman, her husband, and the parents/guardians of a minor who received an abortion.
  • Allows for a physician’s license to be revoked if convicted of a misdemeanor under the post-viability statute and eliminates a physician’s civil immunity, even when in compliance with state law.
  • Adds new reporting requirements for doctors performing abortions later in pregnancy. Failure to comply could result in revocation of a doctor’s license.
  • 24 hours prior, patient must receive this: “abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.”

The nine years since Svaty left the legislature haven't exactly been a boom time for reproductive rights in Kansas. We've faced the failed leadership of governors Brownback and Colyer, and we know these battles will continue.

Josh Svaty wants us to believe he “trusts women” to make their own health care decisions. At Planned Parenthood, we always put politicians’ records above their rhetoric. After nearly a decade of continued attacks on sexual and reproductive health care, Kansas women deserve better. 

Paid for by Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes