Value Them Both Lost, But the Kansas Constitution Is Still Pro-Life

Is there any hope at all, now that the Value Them Both Constitutional Amendment failed? Yes, there is. Quite a bit, actually.

In the 1800s and 1900s when the chief civil rights fight was over equal rights for black people, it was a long hard slog with no easy victories. But those who fought the good fight never lost hope, and the truth won in the end. Today, the decisive civil rights fight is over the right to life. The truth will win again, if, like them, we never give up hope.

Where to find hope?

First: There is hope still in the Kansas Constitution, which protects the right to life.

Imagine we did amend the Kansas Constitution. Imagine we amended it to say, “All men are possessed of equal rights, among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” What would we do if the Supreme Court of Kansas still rejected the right to life?

Well the Constitution does say that, and the Supreme Court did claim that unborn children do not have the right to life. The fact is, the Constitution is already pro-life. So by failing to amend the Constitution we are left not with a pro-abortion Constitution, but a pro-life one.

Second: There is hope in our Kansas government, because the Supreme Court is not our ruler.

The United States of America, and, following it, Kansas and the other states, are built on a system of checks and balances. If one branch oversteps its bounds, other branches step forward and say “No. You do not have this power.”

If the Supreme Court had claimed in 2022 that they found a right in the Constitution that said one race is inferior to another, you had better believe that Kansans wouldn’t stand for it — even if the governor agreed with the court. We wouldn’t tacitly agree that they were right and work hard to change the Constitution. The Kansas House and Senate would find ways to say, “No! How dare you? This cannot be.”

What, practically, would the legislature do? They would change the way the Kansas Supreme Court is chosen, for starters. They would also vigorously pass laws that say the opposite of the absurd thing the Court had said.

Courts can’t overturn racial equality. They can’t overturn the right to life, either. It’s in the Constitution, after all. The legislature should fight for it.

Third: Amending the Constitution is really hard, so in this very defeat is hope for future fights.

It is admittedly difficult to imagine the Kansas Supreme Court ruling against racial equality. What is very easy to imagine is the Court deciding that defining men and women in sports based on chromosomal differences is unconstitutional. If they do that, what will we do? Will we have to amend the constitution again?

I hope not. It’s extremely difficult to amend a constitution. We need to be able to fight for common sense without having to change the Constitution — especially when the Constitution is already explicitly on our side, as it is with the right to life.

Fourth: It’s good that Amending the Constitution is rare, and it’s good to keep it that way.

I prayed hard and worked hard to amend the Kansas Constitution with the Value Them Both Amendment. But one worry was always in the back of my mind: What kind of precedent would we be setting if we won? Would there be a perpetual amending of the Constitution by one side or the other?

Fifth: We have hope because we know how God works. Again and again, in fight after fight, God wins the war after losing every battle.

Opponents of the Value Them Both amendment saw right away that they couldn’t win by telling people that they were opposed to the right to life. So they lied about the amendment, claiming it would prevent women from addressing ectopic pregnancies and misrepresenting the current state of abortion regulations.

Money poured in from out of state to try to protect the profits of the abortion industry, which makes a killing from abortion in more ways than one.

The media did what they always do nowadays: They worked hard against the right to life, refusing to cover powerful stories like Melissa Ohden’s which show clearly that human lives are truly at stake.

Proponents of the Value Them Both Amendment didn’t have the money the other side had. But we had the truth and we have faith that the truth always wins.

God saw our students give their summer to promote the Value Them Both amendment, going door to door despite abuse and assault to be the voice of the voiceless.

God saw our dedication to serve Kansas Women and their babies. Proponents of the amendment started HelpingKansasWomen.org to show how we can all support women more. The other side helps deadbeat dads who want sex but don’t care about the woman involved and protects corporations in neighboring states who are willing to bus women to Kansas, if necessary, to make sure their workers don’t become mothers.

God saw it all, and he heard our churches praying for the rights of the unborn to prevail.

And now, God wants us to do more of the same. Our prayer is no longer for the Value them Both amendment. Now we pray that Kansas’s pro-life Constitution will prevail, even if Supreme Court justices don’t like it.

More hope: Liturgy Offers Hope in Wake of Kansas Vote

Saturday, Aug. 6 is a First Saturday. Begin the First Saturday devotion that day (Holy Heroes offers this helpful explanation of how the devotion works and a scorecard to keep track). Those who begin Father Michael Gaitley’s 33-day consecration to Our Lady that day will see the program culminate on Sept. 8, the Feast of Mary’s Nativity.

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.