‘Value Them Both!’: Archbishop and Ravens vs. Abortion Industry

A Kansas Archbishop is standing up for life against the most powerful politicians in America and a multi-billion dollar industry, and Benedictine College students have been key to the effort.

At Oct. 9-10 Massess in the Kansas City Archdiocese, priests read Archbishop Joseph Naumann’s call for Catholics to back the Value Them Both Amendment in the state.

“Abortion attacks life when it is both most innocent and most vulnerable,” he said. “Abortion attacks the most sacred and important of human bonds: the relationship of a mother with her child,” and ”the emotional, spiritual and sometimes physical scars abortion inflicts on mothers and fathers make it the most catastrophic abuse of human rights in our time.”

The Kansas Bill of Rights, in Section 1, already protects the right to life, saying: “All men are possessed of equal and inalienable natural rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” But bizarrely, in an April 2019 decision, the Kansas Supreme Court twisted  that line to say that “concepts of liberty and the pursuit of happiness” allow the abortion industry to kill unborn children for profit in the state.

“The only remedy to correct the error of the court is for Kansans to pass the ‘Value Them Both’ amendment,” Archbishop Naumann told parishes on Sunday. The Value Them Both amendment, which will appear on the Aug. 22 ballot, said Naumann, “simply states that there is no right to abortion in the Kansas Constitution.”

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly has and allies in the state legislature nearly stopped the Value Them Both Amendment in the state legislature, in 2020 shortly before the COVID-19 crisis.

But when Vincent Schiffiano and pro-life friends at Benedictine College heard about that the amendment was imperiled, they decided to fight back. The team collected 400 signatures in an effort to put pressure on a key holdout.

“The campus is extremely pro-life,” Schiffiano said in the Atchison Globe, “these students are unbelievably motivated to take action for the pro-life cause. Normally several hundred of these students pack up on buses each year and head to Washington, D.C., for the March for Life.”

His group delivered the petitions in person and their effort worked, advancing the Value Them Both amendment.

Kansas is just one front in a nationwide battle over abortion.

“Proponents of legalized abortion are in panic mode,” Archbishop Naumann said. “They fear what the U.S. Supreme Court might do. Thus, they have attempted to motivate states with pro-abortion majorities in their legislature to enact laws that codify unlimited legalized abortion. “

The situation in the federal government is also dire.

“Joe Biden has earned the title of the most pro-abortion president in history,” Archbishop Naumann said. The President has “vowed to use the full force of the federal government to keep abortion legal and unfettered from any restrictions” and “included in his budget massive federal funding of abortion.”

“Meanwhile,” the Archbishop said, “Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has pushed through the House of Representatives the deceptively titled Women’s Health Protection Act. This bill will impose abortion on demand nationwide at any stage of pregnancy through federal statute.”

But the U.S. bishops reiterated in November that “the protection of unborn children and their mothers is the pre-eminent human public policy issue of our time,” said Archbishop Nauman — and Pope Francis agreed.

Naumann chairs the U.S. bishops’ pro-life committee. In a visit with Pope Francis, the Holy Father “was truly kind of stunned” at the sheer number of abortions in the United States since Roe v. Wade — more than 60 million — and said that it is certainly the pre-eminent issue.

The Pope said that “If we fail to protect life, no other rights matter,” Archbishop Naumann reported. “Pope Francis also said that abortion is not primarily a Catholic or even a religious issue, it is first and foremost a human rights issue.”

To help support the amendment Catholics can:

Know the Issue
Download here what you need to know in video and shareable formats.

Vote Yes in August
Be ready to vote Yes on Value Them Both by being registered by election day.

Get Parishes Involved
Order materials that will prepare your parish or organization to help the Value Them Both efforts.

Sign up to help in the grassroots effort to get the word out — making phone calls, knocking on doors, and more.

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Give generously to help the efforts to mobilize Kansans to vote Yes.

Tom Hoopes

Tom Hoopes

Tom Hoopes, author of The Rosary of Saint John Paul II and The Fatima Family Handbook, is writer in residence at Benedictine College in Kansas and hosts The Extraordinary Story podcast about the life of Christ. A former reporter in the Washington, D.C., area, he served as press secretary of the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee Chairman and spent 10 years as executive editor of the National Catholic Register newspaper and Faith & Family magazine. His work frequently appears in Catholic publications such as Aleteia.org and the Register. He and his wife, April, have nine children and live in Atchison, Kansas.