Letter to the Editor: Randy Nichols

I have dealt with the issue of abortion throughout my 40 year medical career.  I understand and respect the views of those opposed to abortion.  I also understand and respect the difficult decision women in my practice sometimes had to make regarding whether to continue their pregnancy. Dr. George Tiller was an attending physician for our Family medicine residency.  He practiced Family medicine, did abortions, was active in the Wichita community, was a deacon in his church.  One Sunday he was murdered in that church by a “pro-life” advocate. So, as the old song says, I’ve “looked at life from both sides now.”

     The “Value them Both” amendment is the most prejudicially written ballot issue I remember reading.  So understand what voting yes on this amendment really says. It says that you are giving up your right to personal choice.  You are handing your freedom of choice to the government.  I personally support our constitutional right to separation of church and state.  I support the right of women’s freedom of choice. Understand that pro-choice is not necessarily pro-abortion.  I trust women to make the right choice based on their religious and personal beliefs, their family and life situation, the circumstances of their pregnancy and their health risks.  Don’t give the government the right to tell you what to do about this most personal of decisions.  I’ll be voting “NO” August 2nd.

Randy Nichols MD

82 thoughts on “Letter to the Editor: Randy Nichols”

  1. Don’t allow the government to take control of your privacy and health care choices. Don’t give away your ability to make decisions for yourself and your family. Don’t force others to have their choices taken away because of your beliefs. Vote No on this mandate to preserve your choice to do as you feel you should about decisions for your health and welfare. Support your religious beliefs through your church. Don’t allow the government to make these decisions that women should be making for themselves.

    1. Nancy – Do you support abortions up to the moment of birth, or do you support laws that limit late-term abortions?

      1. I tend to give very little notice to comments from people who don’t identify themselves. But Bob, I would like to make a comment back to you as maybe you really are struggling with your ideas in this matter. I’m not an expert on problematic pregnancies, and I have to guess that with a name like Bob, you haven’t had that experience first hand, either. I had two completely problem free pregnancies, no miscarriages, no ectopic pregnancies, no unwanted pregnancies, just planned and high anticipated pregnancies. As a person who actually has been pregnant twice, however, my opinion (and that’s what you asked for), if I carried a baby into late term and then found out the baby wasn’t viable or that the baby might kill me if I went to term, yes, I think I would look for a solution. I can’t even imagine a woman going into late term then saying, “nope, gonna abort just because”. Women are not monsters. They should be allowed to make decisions that they have to make, no matter how that makes you feel. If it’s not your pregnancy, your input isn’t needed. Sad things happen. The government has no business making it even sadder.

        1. You gave the example of a pregnancy that isn’t viable or where the mother’s life is at risk, but I’m asking about an abortion for any reason. If you want legal protection for a woman to abort a baby that is due to be born tomorrow because they broke up with their boyfriend (a sad thing that happened), then it sounds like you really think there should be no laws limiting abortions. (I’d find it amazing if you actually believed this, but I’ve seen people cheer when someone says they had an abortion, so I recognize that such people do indeed exist.)

          If you (like most people) don’t think someone should be able to abort a baby late-term simply for convenience, then you do support your government making some laws about abortion.

          1. There are laws already in place regarding abortions and they’re fine just the way they are. Voting NO will not change those laws, it will only ensure that a full on abortion ban cannot be put in place. Your comments come from a place of misinformation fed to you by people who are trying to take away all of our rights to bodily autonomy and medical privacy.

          2. You are insane if you think a woman will abort a baby “the moment before birth.” No doctor would do that either. It is unbelievable the number of people in this world who think that actually happens

    2. Thank you, Nancy. I fear for my granddaughters. I was a young woman in pre-Roe v Wade and pre-ERA world, there is no reason to give away those hard-won rights.

      1. KS had a law saying you couldn’t dismember a fetus without killing it first just to be merciful. It didn’t outlaw abortion, just said that you had to kill it in some way more humane than ripping its limbs off to remove it. (Once it was dead the abortion doctor could rip it up however they wanted.)

        The supreme court said that the constitution didn’t allow such a law. This amendment says that yes lawmakers can pass such a law.

        You are arguing that you want people to have the right to not have to go to the trouble of killing a fetus before killing it. That is pretty sad, you’d think most people would be ok with something as simple as trying to be humane about how abortions are performed, but evidently not.

      2. Abortion bans won’t stop abortions. It will stop safe, legal abortions. I have to think I could never have taken the path of having abortions, but I’ve never been tested. The only person who should be making this hard choice is the woman (or girl, in some cases) herself, perhaps with advice from trusted loved ones and medical helpers. If it’s against your faith, then don’t do it. But don’t tell others how they must handle tough situations because of your faith. And the government definitely has no business in this at all. Women have the right to deal with their own bodies. Doctors have the knowledge and expertise to help them. Random anonymous commenters on message boards should work on other things. Vote NO to allow the women who need to make decisions, to make those decisions, without judgement from people who aren’t involved and will not be responsible for which ever way the decision is made.

        1. That’s great. I’ll make sure I go to the poles to cancel out your vote. Most of todays abortions are because of inconvenience to mother and or father. All of your talk means nothing. You are starting from a basis of false premise; you think that God gives YOU the right to kill. What if your mother and father aborted you? And I know what your response will be.

  2. Most abortions are not done to save mother or child.
    They are done because a woman didnt use good judgement or protection.
    Abortion is a decision that will change the life of a woman forever and not the good.
    A baby will loose its life.
    It is murder.

    1. The WOMAN didn’t use good judgement ? What a sexist statement!!!!!…What if she was raped,or a child who was the victim of incest??..Even if it was consensual why is the man not equally responsible…???? Sexism is still rearing its ugly head every day

      1. If that is your argument, do you know of all the abortions in the US, what percentage are from rape or incest? I’d guess you don’t, but I’ll give you a hint that it is probably way way way lower than you think.

        > Even if it was consensual why is the man not equally responsible

        Absolutely he should be responsible. And he should have to start paying child support before the child is born because he is equally responsible.

        1. I do not need YOU to “Mansplain” anything to me!! I have been a victim of sexism all my LIFE!!! .A 10 year old girl,(the victim of incest) )is being forced to have a child right now…But I already know your antiquated belief that it is always the woman’s fault..OMG!!! Help us..

          1. The 10 year girl will not have to give birth the a child.
            She can get an abortion due to her circumstances.
            Abortion will not totally disappear but each state will make a decision.
            Barbara-women’s rights are not be taken away.
            Turn off the tv and go enjoy a walk at the park or watch the sunset.

          2. > I do not need YOU to “Mansplain” anything to me!!

            You obviously feel that the relevance of facts and statistics are determined by the sex of the person who shows you those facts. Interestingly enough I didn’t share the stats with you. I just said that they exist. So the fact that a man mentions the existence of a statistic relevant to the conversation is offensive to you.

            > I have been a victim of sexism all my LIFE!!!

            I know how you feel. I just had someone attack me in a conversation because I’m a man. But I don’t feel too bad about it. Some people don’t know any better, so I can cut her some slack.

            > But I already know your antiquated belief that it is always the woman’s fault.

            I agreed with you about men being equally responsible, for any pregnancy they caused. Not sure where you are getting your view from.

  3. To put it another way Randy, you support a woman’s right to choose to have her unborn offspring killed even if it is not for health risk reasons. Yes, you said that.
    Prove me wrong and tell us you didn’t write that.

  4. What if the virgin Mary had decided she did not want a baby that she did not choose to conceive? Does God allow who lives in the womb and is alive birth? Be very careful who you will agree has a right to the vessel chosen to nourish a conception.

    1. A courageous teen mother, a step dad who chose to raise the boy as his own, and a child who changed the world……………….

      1. For one thing …it all depends on whether or not you believe that story…Not everyone does.. We do not all have the same religious beliefs in the United States and there is supposed to be separation of church and state so YOUR religious beliefs should not even enter into this!!Religion must not decide what decisions other people make in their lives …!! That is same thinking the Taliban and Iran use. I don’t want to live under others religious guidance thank you!

        1. Barbara, you do live under religious guidance whether you want to or not. Murder, theft, etc all based upon religious guidance.

  5. Thank you Dr. Nichols for your intelligent and thoughtful response. There are so many people who have not even read the legislation. Unfortunately, they probably won’t. The wording is not about the protection of the unborn, but about allowing government officials to make medical choices for people they know nothing about. The law is about giving up you rights to make decisions about your own health care. Very sad.

    1. Have you read the amendment and the court case that said that in Kansas no laws can be made to limit abortion? The law in question said that before dismembering and removing a 2nd-trimester fetus, it should be killed first. Here is the definition of the type of abortion it was trying to prevent:

      “Dismemberment abortion” means, with the purpose of causing the death of an unborn child, knowingly dismembering a living unborn child and extracting such unborn child one piece at a time from the uterus through the use of clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors or similar instruments that, through the convergence of two rigid levers, slice, crush or grasp a portion of the unborn child’s body in order to cut or rip it off.

      There was an exception for emergencies that endangered the life of the mother.

      If you support dismemberment abortions without first killing the fetus, then don’t vote for the amendment.

  6. The Government already tells us how to live our lives. We have to wear seatbelts while in a moving vehicle, we recently had to wear mask everywhere even though 99% hated it and found it uncomfortable.
    The government requires children to have certain vaccinations to attend school
    So keeping us “free” from government control is a fallacy.

    How about the very loosely used term “reproductive health”? Abortion is the exact OPPOSITE of reproductive health. It’s actually reproductive termination. So cut the BS on that one too

    I’m an old man now, I’ll never have an abortion myself, but long ago I was a baby that wasn’t aborted. I was given up for adoption as an infant. I’ve had an awesome life, I’ve helped others, helped my community, even saved lives of others when the time called for it.
    We don’t need to make abortions illegal, but we sure as hell don’t need to make them easy and guilt free either. That’s what’s wrong with society, nobody takes responsibility for their actions. Y’all know how to make a baby, but not many of you know how to be responsible for one.

  7. Thank You Randy for showing that there is more to this vote than just the abortion on the vote here. It will be taking away a women’s rights on much more.

    1. The law that prompted the supreme court to say that kansas can’t pass a law about abortion said that this was illegal: “causing the death of an unborn child, knowingly dismembering a living unborn child and extracting such unborn child one piece at a time from the uterus through the use of clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors or similar instruments that, through the convergence of two rigid levers, slice, crush or grasp a portion of the unborn child’s body in order to cut or rip it off.”

      The law said it was fine to dismember the fetus but you needed to kill it first. You are saying that you do not support a law that just says doctors should kill a fetus before tearing it apart.

      My guess is that you haven’t actually looked at the original law nor at the actual supreme court ruling, but I’d encourage you to read it.

  8. You had a good life if you had parents that wanted you. I think there are worse things than not being born. If you are unwanted you most likely will have suffered from neglect, abuse, abandonment and other things worse than never being born. I do believe this is where most criminals come from…We already have 100’s of thousands of kids waiting for Foster parents…They are shoved around from home to home and abandoned at 18 with no hope or life skills….Some make it but many turn to crime.If everyone pro life would adopt one child, that would be a solution but they don’t want these children either!!

    1. The child conceived in rape
      The child conceived in poverty
      The child with a disability
      The child with a single mother
      The child with drug-addicted parents
      Has equal value to the child conceived in privilege, wealth and health.
      Every child has the right to live.
      You aren’t offering a solution, you are trying to make a case for abortion for those who may end up being unwanted, neglected, abused, abandoned by claiming there are other things worse than being born.
      How insulting to suggest children who are poor, neglected or in need of foster care may be better off dead.
      That’s what you are saying !

      1. So Dan, how many children are you going to foster? Let me guess, you probably want to cut welfare?

    2. > If you are unwanted you most likely will have suffered from neglect, abuse, abandonment and other things worse than never being born. I do believe this is where most criminals come from

      Today I learned that there are people interested in killing off a group of undesirables because they might become criminals.

  9. No vote doesn’t mean you approve of abortion. It means your right to choose is taken away. Why should a room full of mostly male politicians have the right to tell women what they can do with their bodies. As a nurse I have seen a patient have to carry a non viable fetus that could not live one minute outside the womb to full term because the hospital would not allow the termination of the pregnancy. That was traumatic for the couple. The baby did not even live long enough to cry. That was cruel for the parents to have the birth prolonged.

    1. A “no” vote means you support horrific late-term abortions because you are saying that no laws should be made about any form of abortion at any stage.

      A yes vote doesn’t mean you oppose all abortions, just that there are some abortions you don’t support and you think there should be laws against.

  10. Though I have not lived in Fort Scott for several years, I still try to stay abreast of some of the goings on in my home town. The election in August to vote on the “Value Them Both” amendment is a topic that I am sure will generate lots of interest, and so I read the recent opinion piece by Dr. Randy Nichols. Unfortunately, like nearly all people who support abortion rights, he neglects to address information important for people to have in order to make informed opinions.

    What information might that be? Let’s start by asking the question “what happens in an abortion?” The answer is very straightforward. In the majority of abortions, a human embryo is removed from the uterus of a pregnant woman, resulting in the death of the embryo. To decide whether such a death is something our society should be concerned about, it is important to understand the nature of the human embryo. More specifically, is a human embryo a human being, or not. This is not a religious or philosophical question, it is a biological question, as biology is the scientific discipline we use to study, categorize, and understand living creatures. So what is the biological definition of a human being? Anyone can look it up and find several similar definitions. An example of these is “Any individual living organism that can be characterized as a member of the genus and species Homo Sapiens is a human being.”

    To answer the question of whether a human embryo fits this definition, we need to characterize the human embryo. Two pretty obvious characteristics are that the embryo is alive and that every cell in the embryo is human in nature (the genetic structure is human and different from all other animals). Then we need to determine which human being the human cells of the embryo belong to. We have a technique commonly used to do this and it is called DNA testing. By applying DNA testing to the cells from a human embryo, we would find that the cells that come from this embryo do not belong to the mother or the father. They only belong to the embryo itself. All of its cells contain the same DNA signature and that signature belongs only to that embryo. Therefore, that embryo is an individual living human organism, distinct from all other individual human organisms, a human being.

    So go read the amendment yourself. When I read the “Value Them Both” amendment, I see language that takes into account the fact that there are always two individuals involved in every abortion. Both of those individuals, mother and child, need to be considered when addressing the issue of abortion. Voting “no” supports the idea that one of those individuals, the human in the womb, doesn’t legally count.

    1. Thank you for your informative, scientific, and authoritative letter.
      SCIENCE=It is really quite clear that abortion is killing human babies. Think about this for just a moment.
      What defines life? Metabolization.
      How many dead things grow?
      None.
      You, I and every living human being is still the same person they were when they were in the womb.
      I am that same zygote, only bigger !!

    2. Thank you John – if your dad were still with us he would be beaming at the way you worded this response but he’d even be more proud of the wonderful son you are and your love and concern for all of humanity – born and preborn!

  11. I did not say some children are better off dead….I am saying not being BORN at all is sometimes better than being born to parents who abusive, or neglectful because they did not ever want them ….Do you know how many unwanted children are in Foster Care? If every right to life person would take one, it would solve the problem but they don’t do it…They just flap their mouths…

    1. You are still spinning the same pro-abortion argument, and still trying to explain why some children in abusive or neglectful, or foster care would be better off killed before they are born.
      That is clearly what you mean when you said, “I am saying not being BORN at all is sometimes better than being born to parents who abusive, or neglectful because they did not ever want them.
      Really? This….is your pro-abortion argument? Geez….

  12. A 2019 ruling by the Kansas Supreme Court created a nearly unlimited “right” to abortion in the state of Kansas. If the state constitution is not amended, Kansans will be powerless to enact or keep existing common sense protections such as parental notification, abortion clinic health & safety standards & inspections, late-term abortion restrictions & informed consent for women. Without the amendment, state taxpayer dollars will soon be used to fund abortions.
    “True Freedom is not a matter of doing what you want without restraint, but cultivating the right wants & living in obedience to God’s Will. Freedom results when our wants align with God’s Will”: from a World Wide Christian View
    God created humanity in the image of God. God gave humanity the FREEDOM to make their own choices. For every choice there is a consequence.
    I highly encourage every voter to read the proposed Amendment & make your decision based on facts.
    Every human being deserves the Right to Life! I am a Christian, Pro-life & will be voting YES for Value Them Both!
    Isaiah 44:24 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, and He who formed you from the womb. “I am the Lord, Who makes all things, Who stretches out the heavens all alone, Who spreads abroad the earth by Myself.

  13. Unfortunately, those opposed to the Value Them Both Amendment have couched their opposition in faulty language. The amendment states that the Kansas Constitution does not guarantee the right to an abortion (which it does not although the Kansas Supreme Court crafted such a right out of the thin air much like SCOTUS did with Roe in 1973 – if you don’t believe that then check with a Constitutional scholar) nor should the government be required to fund abortions. It also reserves the right of the people of Kansas to pass legislation regulating abortion – which could mean the legislature could pass laws in total support of abortion. If you haven’t read the amendment, here is what will appear on your ballot in August:
    Explanatory statement. The Value Them Both Amendment
    would affirm there is no Kansas constitutional right to abortion or to require the government funding of abortion, and would reserve to the people of Kansas, through their elected state legislators, the right to pass laws to regulate
    abortion, including, but not limited to, in circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest, or when necessary to save the life of the mother. A vote for the Value Them Both
    Amendment would affirm there is no Kansas constitutional right to abortion or to require the government funding of abortion, and would reserve to the people of Kansas, through their elected state legislators, the right to pass laws to
    regulate abortion. A vote against the Value Them
    Both Amendment would make no changes to the constitution of the state of Kansas, and could restrict the people, through their elected state legislators, from regulating abortion by leaving in place the recently recognized right to abortion.”
    Shall the following be adopted?
    22. Regulation of abortion. Because Kansans value both women and children, the constitution of the state of Kansas does not require government funding of abortion and does not create or secure a right to abortion. To the extent permitted by the constitution of the United States, the people, through
    their elected state representatives and state senators, may pass laws regarding abortion, including, but not limited to, laws that account for circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest, or circumstances of necessity to save the life of the mother
    O Yes
    O No

  14. Thank you to all who responded to my initial letter. This wide variety of opinions and lack of consensus clearly demonstrates the need to respect the right of personal choice. Respect the rights of women. Support their right to personal choice. Vote “NO” August 2nd.
    Randy Nichols MD

    1. It is so disappointing to see you, a former doctor promoting the willful killing of an unborn child even for reasons other than the imminent health of the mother.

      But then again, your first letter almost idolized Dr George Tiller, who was most notorious for his practice of late term abortions for any reason. So why should anyone be surprised at what you believe or how you actually want things to be.

      It is also UNTRUE that this amendment will keep a woman who actually HAS A CASE for an abortion for valid health reasons from getting one, AND YOU KNOW THAT.

      The question before Kansans on August 2nd is clear: an unregulated abortion industry with no limits at all(which is apparently what Dr Randy Nichols seems to be for) or the reasonable limits protected by the Value Them Both Amendment.

  15. I amend my comment about Dr Randy Nichols.
    I said it is untrue that this amendment will keep a woman who actually has a case for an abortion for valid health reasons from getting one, and you(dr nichols) knows that.
    This might imply he isn’t being honest, and I don’t want to imply that.
    So, maybe he has been “out of the loop” for so long he doesn’t know that, or he has been grossly misinformed.

  16. James Madison one of the Constitutions forefathers, stated in his speech to Congress introducing the Bill of Rights:
    “The civil right of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner or on any pretext, infringed.”
    John Adams another forefather of the Constitution, stated “but a constitution of Government once changed from freedom can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.”
    Vote NO on the Amendment. Women have the right to make their own health and life choices. Who are we to judge. We do not know their circumstances.

    1. With zero limitations at all? Your first paragraph seems to suggest you support that, and your second paragraph confirms it.
      So, the month before due date? the day before due date? For ANY reason the mother wants?
      Or do you support limits? What would those be, and why?

  17. I asked a question to Debra McCoy who, if she doesn’t reply, is apparently for full term abortion, partial birth abortion, abortion for ANY reason whatsoever and right up to due date as she offered no parameters to her statement.

    Dr Nichols didn’t offer any parameters either, and that is the problem with this bill and why you should vote YES, because voting YES will prevent creepy abortionists from killing unborn babies in late term or even the 9th month for reasons such as it is inconvenient to have the baby now. It will prevent the gruesome, evil practice of partial birth abortion(look up how it is done), and abortions for sex selection.

    If you vote yes, medical procedure abortion to save the life of the mother, rape, and real factual medical emergencies will still be available.

    1. Until you can carry a “baby” in your body, you should probably not speak for women. Also, there are very few “babies” that are aborted in the final months of a pregnancy, most are due to serious birth defects and fetal death. If this was really about saving babies lives, then there should be more mandates on men’s ability to procreate until they are in a monogamous relationship. A man can produce literally HUNDREDS of children in a year. So how about some mandatory vasectomies for men? No? One more thing. MY PRIVATE MEDICAL ISSUES SHOULD NOT BE UP FOR A VOTE!

      VOTE NO

      1. Actually, it is about saving unborn babies lives.

        The use of logical discourse, reason, and science is not validated or NEGATED by which sex a person is. That is a sexist and bigoted line of reasoning Heather.

        You are right about very few babies aborted around due date due to serious birth defects and death, but not for the reason you want to give. It is because their are other, more SAFE ways to do it, c-section or inducing labor. There is no need to cut up, tear apart and crush skulls to do what you describe as very few events.

        I agree that men should exercise more responsibility in keeping women they don’t want to get pregnant from getting that way.

        About mandatory vasectomies for men. WHO is advocating mandatory sterilization for women? That’s not what this bill is about anyway.

        Peace.

      2. > A man can produce literally HUNDREDS of children in a year.

        Men shouldn’t be allowed to dismember a baby inside the womb either.

        > MY PRIVATE MEDICAL ISSUES SHOULD NOT BE UP FOR A VOTE!

        If you have a 2-month-old that you decide is a lot of trouble, you might be the type of person who would want the option to kill it. Some societies have done that with the same reasoning you are using here. However, other societies get together and decide that isn’t who they want to be…even if there are an occasional person who still would like to be able to kill their offspring because it is a “private issue”.

        Your argument would be stronger if you were saying that you don’t think abortion should be regulated before the 2nd trimester or something like that. If you just want to make sure there are no laws about abortion then you are advocating a situation where viable babies can be killed simply because they were unlucky enough to have a mother with your particular beliefs.

        1. Bob, Bob, Bob… poor Bob.

          Let’s just use your own example, shall we?
          That 2 year old that you speak of, it has childhood cancer, right? It was god’s will that the 2 year old baby is suffering and dying. The doctors have exhausted all medically available treatments, to save this precious baby.
          There is no hope. The only thing left is to wait for the dying. It’s going to be long. And horrible. Agonizing fir the child and for the parents. The humane thing to do would be to let that child die as quickly and painlessly as possible. Right?
          No.
          According to your personal, religious beliefs, we should keep that child living. At all costs. No pulling the plug. Let the child suffer. Let the parents suffer. Until death finally comes. It’s god’s will.
          And on the body automomy;
          Let’s just use organ donation as an example. A young man, 35 years old, serious head trauma in an accident. No brain activity, but his heart is still beating. He has no wallet ID on him. All major organs intact. The hospital has 5 alive patients, who are waiting for organ donations. Doctors are searching for next of kin, find them and ask for organ donation. The family agrees, testing starts. In the mean time the tow company finds the man’s wallet. The ID dies not indicate that the man wanted to be an organ donor.
          Tests are stopped, plug is pulled, man dies. Along with 3 of the 5 patients that were waiting on organs. Organs that belonged to man. Because he had a right, even in death, to body automomy. To own his own body. Even though his decision cost 3 people the opportunity to live.
          What you don’t understand is that this is not just about abortion rights. This is about PRIVATE MEDICAL MATTERS AND SELF OWNERSHIP.
          NO ONE should have a right to force another person to do something they do not want to do with their body. Or in a great number of cases, have to do something they would give anything, not to have to do. Peace.

          1. I can tell you aren’t really familiar with the lawsuit and the result that led to this amendment. (Or maybe you are intentionally trying to mislead people.) Either way here are the actual facts.

            The Kansas Supreme Court struck down a law that attempted to regulate certain types of abortions. The judges said that KS legislators weren’t allowed to make any laws about abortion. That law did NOT outlaw abortion. It just said that if you are going to tear a fetus into pieces in the 2nd trimester, you have to kill it first. Even then that law didn’t apply if the mother’s life was being endangered by the pregnancy.

            This amendment says that Kansas does allow laws like that to be passed. You can support abortion and vote for this amendment. But unless you support any abortion, in any way, for any reason, you need an amendment saying that it is ok to have laws against the more horrific abortions.

  18. It is not difficult for one to find that many of us have intensely polarizing views on the subject and it is our right to hold these views. I wouldn’t suppose that any of you would support ridding our nation of fundamental rights. The unfortunate truth is that rights ceded to the government are often never returned. If the subject matter of this amendment was in reference to firearms, many in favor of the “value them both” amendment would jump to the other side of the argument and discuss why we shouldn’t strip fundamental rights away. You would then be correct. It is easy to be blinded by sensitive subject matter, yet one must consider the far reaching implications of every voting action they take. The truth is that this amendment reverses a decision of the supreme court in knasas and allows legislators to regulate in whatever way they please. This amendment would effectively sidestep the rule of law. This decision was made by a CONSERVATIVE Kansas supreme court. Many of the proponents of the amendment have attempted to discredit the opponents by saying “actually read the legislation”. The irony in that is that it seems none of these individuals have read the Kansas supreme court decision that is the catalyst of this entire decision in Kansas. It is 199 pages long and based in precedent and most directly tied to a clause in the preamble to the state constitution. This decision was not made lightly. This decision was specific to the state of Kansas, which in its constitution actually affords more rights than the federal constitution. This is truly about liberty and freedom. The status quo doesn’t bar legislators from making any law regarding abortion, it prevents states from placing an undue burden on women.

    On Religious Objection:
    It is so poetically ironic that both government and religion oppose involvement with one another, but the most ardent members of both so frequently desire their interaction. The truth is, as a religious person it is important to understand that imposition of beliefs and values is contrary to the doctrine. You have every right to be a part of an organization that urges women to seek other options prior to abortion. Urging politicians to force your views and undermining the law is not something god urges you to do. It is unimportant to squabble over picked and chosen verses because it can be argued on both sides.

    On science:
    I saw someone qualify themselves with mention of a PhD and then referenced science, all the while making an entirely philosophical and sometimes scientifically flawed argument. The existence of deoxyribonucleic acid that is separate from the mothers does not qualify biological life or person-hood. I grant you that person-hood is subjective but no womb-bound fetus displays necessary characteristics of life to consider it to be a human life. Sure a fetus can have biological potential for life but that doesn’t mean that a zygote obtains all rights that any human would.

    Bottom Line: A vote yes would upset the rule of law by undermining centuries of precedent in Kansas based on person autonomy and liberty as well as a fundamental right to privacy. Truly this supreme court case would have never arisen had the state legislature wrote an entirely charged piece of legislation that they wanted to be appealed, hoping for the conservative court to place a complete ban on abortion, to which they refused in the name of the law. The truth is that we are politicizing an intensely personal medical decision. What if the government legislated whether terminal cancer patients had to keep receiving or prevented them from receiving chemo treatment? The government need not involve itself in citizens’ lives anymore than necessary. Just know that the governments politics can change in a whim and if we have made it easy to undermine fundamental rights in our state, a right that you hold dear may be stolen from you next.

    VOTE NO

    1. > A vote yes would upset the rule of law by undermining centuries of precedent in Kansas

      No, KS currently has laws regulating abortion. You can’t abort a healthy baby right before it is born. Do you want to see that law removed? If not, how can such a law exist without voting yes?

  19. I know several of the participants in this conversation. Randy Nichols was our family physician, who delivered one of our children almost forty years ago. Nancy Swanwick and Roger Leaming are former colleagues of mine at Fort Scott High School. They are fine, moral, empathetic persons I am proud to know. Bernard Nathanson nearly fifty years ago in New York oversaw 60,000 abortions, many of which he performed himself. Nathansen being an atheist, for him religious concerns didn’t factor in at all. But after some time he saw that these unborn individuals were human beings scientifically (as John Benage states) who deserve the same Constitutional rights as those of us who have been born. The differ only by virtue of place of residence from babies resting in mom’s or dad’s arms. He became a strong defender of the pre-born, defending them from abortion, the ultimate discrimination and denial of human rights. Ultimately, he became a Christian and saw the sacredness of every human being in and out of the womb. I agree with Dr. Nichols and others that the question of rights for Kansans is central to this vote. To vote “no” in this election denies rights to all of us who see the need to prudently limit or eliminate the taking of these young lives in utero. The Kansas Supreme Court decision took away our freedom exercised through our duly elected representatives to regulate abortion in any way. They took away that right from all of us, including those who suggest abortion should be legal, but regulated. They took away the right to protect the unborn from those of us who see each human being, whether in or out of the womb as made in the likeness and image of almighty God. In short, the Court removed the essential right for the citizens of Kansas to make their own decisions for deciding on the morally and spiritually healthy culture in which they choose to live. A vote “yes” does not deny any of us our choices. It merely empowers us through the democratic process to legislate regarding this issue.

    1. you are willing to GIVE AWAY all your rights to your body? to be determined by legislators????? Are you nuts????

  20. > A man can produce literally HUNDREDS of children in a year.

    Men shouldn’t be allowed to dismember a baby inside the womb either.

    > MY PRIVATE MEDICAL ISSUES SHOULD NOT BE UP FOR A VOTE!

    If you have a 2-month-old that you decide is a lot of trouble, you might be the type of person who would want the option to kill it. Some societies have done that with the same reasoning you are using here. However, other societies get together and decide that isn’t who they want to be…even if there are an occasional person who still would like to be able to kill their offspring because it is a “private issue”.

    Your argument would be stronger if you were saying that you don’t think abortion should be regulated before the 2nd trimester or something like that. If you just want to make sure there are no laws about abortion then you are advocating a situation where viable babies can be killed simply because they were unlucky enough to have a mother with your particular beliefs.

    1. any, ANY decisions about my body are between me and my doctor. no one else has any right to impose their beliefs on me
      what is becoming of this country????

  21. From some anonymous person who goes by the name of TIMOTHY—

    “”On science:
    “I saw someone qualify themselves with mention of a PhD and then referenced science, all the while making an entirely philosophical and sometimes scientifically flawed argument. ”

    (John Benage is EMINENTLY QUALIFIED and unlike YOU signed his name)
    Why didn’t you sign your name ?

    “(The existence of deoxyribonucleic acid that is separate from the mothers does not qualify biological life or person-hood.
    I grant you that person-hood is subjective but no womb-bound fetus displays necessary characteristics of life to consider it to be a human life. Sure a fetus can have biological potential for life but that doesn’t mean that a zygote obtains all rights that any human would.””
    TIMOTHY(or whoever you really are), this is a mischaracterization of Dr Benage’s statement. He said the embryo has separate and distinct DNA from the mother and father. Along with the other evidence he produced this actually does prove a separate and distinct life has been created. You know this, so you then go on use your opinion and make a fallacious argument that this unborn human only has “biological potential for life” and therefore doesn’t qualify as being worth giving basic human rights.

    Timothy(or whoever you really are), you are guilty of the very things you accused Dr Benage of; using philosophical and sometimes scientifically flawed arguments, and actually I think your statement goes further into the realm of mere personal opinions at best.

    You, I and every living human being is still the same person they were when they were in the womb.

    We living humans are that same zygote you mentioned, only bigger !!

    A VOTE YES will ensure that unborn babies will be treated humanely and can put a stop to the horrors of partial birth abortion, full term abortions, sex selection abortions and other frivolous abortions. It will NOT stop medical emergency and abortions related to someone being a victim of a criminal act.

    1. Daniel,

      You have more than once mentioned exceptions to abortion bans like “medical” emergencies and victims of “a criminal act,” by which I assume you mean rape (why can’t you just say it?). In other words, although you seem to consider abortion tantamount to murder (it’s not unless someone passes a law that categorizes it as such), you are willing to concede that killing (not to say “murdering”) these “babies” is just fine with you in some cases.

      You can’t have it both ways. If it is murder to abort a baby, it is murder to abort a baby that is a product of rape or incest. Once you admit there are legitimate (and legal) reasons to have abortions, you ceded all your philosophical or rational grounds (such as they were). Unless you have appointed yourself as the final arbiter of what is just or unjust for that half of the population with uteruses.

      1. Randy you said this. I’ll reply to these inside parenthesis’s.

        You have more than once mentioned exceptions to abortion bans like “medical” emergencies and victims of “a criminal act,” by which I assume you mean rape (why can’t you just say it?). RANDY I CAN SAY IT BUT WHAT I SAID IS THE SAME THING SO WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?) In other words, although you seem to consider abortion tantamount to murder (it’s not unless someone passes a law that categorizes it as such), you are willing to concede that killing (not to say “murdering”) these “babies” is just fine with you in some cases. ((( I CONCEDE NOTHING. In my opinion, the killing of an unborn child is murder. I NEVER said it was fine or implied it. I said the current laws about abortion for medical emergencies or criminal acts, rape, will still be on the books. READ what I wrote, and stop using straw man fallacies Randy Graham!)))

        You can’t have it both ways. If it is murder to abort a baby, it is murder to abort a baby that is a product of rape or incest. Once you admit there are legitimate (and legal) reasons to have abortions, you ceded all your philosophical or rational grounds (such as they were).(NO RANDY, just because I cite the laws regarding what is a legal abortion doesn’t mean I cede any philosophical grounds. It doesn’t mean I approve of it !!) Unless you have appointed yourself as the final arbiter of what is just or unjust for that half of the population with uteruses.(This comment isn’t worthy of consideration as it’s just plain stupid)

        1. Daniel,

          Because I have such low expectations for Tr-mp-friendly folks like you, I expected you to resort to “it’s just plain stupid” at some point in our conversation, but, man, you couldn’t resist on the first exchange. Impressive.

          Nevertheless, your response otherwise is also revelatory in that you have admitted a couple of things. One, your antiseptic language about medical procedures and criminal acts, when you now admit that you were talking about rape, indicates very well why you didn’t use the actual term: you recognize, but don’t prefer conjuring up, the emotional force that goes along with that word. It’s harder to convince women to see your point of view when the issue is forcing them to have their rapists’ babies, no? And if they see just how far you are willing to go, maybe they might pause to consider just how radical are your other views on the matter?

          Second, about your real point of view, which you have tardily revealed. Why was it, or why has it been, so hard for you to just tell everyone openly and confidently that you think a woman impregnated by a rapist should be forced–by the hand of the state–to carry to term his “baby”? It sure seemed like you were selling yourself as someone who would “reasonably” make room, in your overall taxonomy of the fetus as a “human being” or “baby,” for an exception or two. But why did you slyly pretend in such a way? Why didn’t you at least take advantage of this moment of public confession on the issue that you, Daniel Doherty, desire to summon the long arm and heavy hand of government to aid you in your crusade to stop women from exercising control over their own bodies, even those victims of violent crimes like rape and incest? Why didn’t you just go all the way, without prodding, and tell everyone that those victims, trying to at least partially mitigate their ongoing nightmares by aborting the tangible product of those heinous acts, would have to bend to your will on the matter and follow your personal prescription of motherhood? Is it because you can read the polls? Because you know how unpopular that particular, and peculiar, prescription is?

          Whatever the reason behind your reluctance, Daniel, you’ve put it out there now. You want Kansans to strip away from women, even women impregnated via violence and unspeakable terror, their right to control their bodies, and instead allow the Republican-dominated legislature, 70% of which don’t have uteruses, to do the dirty work of forcing women to become second-class citizens of the state.

          At least Kansans, particularly the citizens of Fort Scott who are reading these posts, now know where you’re really coming from and can choose to follow or rebuke you accordingly.

          1. The real question is, when does human life begin?

            You either believe that the unborn aren’t human, and thus reject science, or you believe that it is okay for the government(and you) to declare that some human beings don’t have human rights.

            This bill should be a yes vote for everyone who wants abortions to be limited like they are now.

            A no vote will open the door to abortion for sex selection, abortion for convenience, abortion for any reason at all, partial birth abortion, no attempt to save an aborted child on the table who lives, and late term abortion.

            A vote YES will ensure that the people WILL have the right to make good laws regarding abortion.

      2. RANDY,
        You said, “You can’t have it both ways. If it is murder to abort a baby, it is murder to abort a baby that is a product of rape or incest”

        Well Randy, I agree with you on this comment. Think about this; take a newborn baby conceived by rape or incest, and lay him next to a newborn baby conceived in a loving marriage. Randy, can you tell which one is which?

        1. Again, Danny, I am glad folks reading this can now see how doggedly you are pursuing the logic of your views, however misguided I think you are.

          You see, it doesn’t matter how I see “a newborn baby conceived by rape or incest.” And it doesn’t matter how you see it. What matters, and what ought to matter to someone who purports to believe in personal liberty, is how each woman victimized in such a violent way sees the entire motion picture, not just your “newborn baby” snapshot in time.

          For her, it isn’t as simple as a quick comparison-contrast exercise, Danny. The whole experience, from the violent act on, is something neither you nor I are capable of understanding in a meaningful way. And because we’re not, we have no business imposing our will on her, especially with the might and force of the state.

          If you wish to try to convince such a victim that your point of view is the morally correct one, you are free to do so in various ways. Persuasion, as long as the country remains free of coercion imposed by a theocratic-fascist state, is the safest route to take through such thorny terrain. By all means feel free to write or speak about why women should bear the children of their rapists. For what it’s worth, you would have my blessing in at least trying such persuasion.

          But if you call down the force of government on these women’s minds and bodies, you will have my censure.

          1. Subjecting a woman to an abortion only compounds the violence of the rape. Only in this, the woman becomes the aggressor against her own unborn child.
            Studies have been done that reveal a woman who has her child and keeps it, or gives it up for adoption has far less psychological problems dealing with the crime committed against her than those who choose to have her unborn child killed.

            Look it up.

            RANDY, give us an example of why a healthy mother who just doesn’t want a child, or wants one of a different sex should be able to kill or have killed her unborn child?

            Last it is disingenuous, presumptive and insulting to say I have no idea or am incapable of even understanding this in a meaningful way. You have no idea what experiences I or close family members have had in our lives.

          2. Randy you said, “The whole experience, from the violent act on, is something neither you nor I are capable of understanding in a meaningful way. And because we’re not, we have no business imposing our will on her, especially with the might and force of the state.”

            Using that logic then only people who have had something stolen from them can make laws about theft? And only people who have been murdered can make laws about murder because as you say, ” neither you nor I are capable of understanding in a meaningful way.” ??? That is nonsense isn’t it?
            People who have not been victims certainly have the right and do make laws about things they haven’t personally experienced. Theft, Murder, Rape, and even abortion.

            That’s what government does. To suggest that a vote no will give women the right to do what they want with their bodies is a fallacy at best. Government still has the laws regardless of how the vote comes out doesn’t it?

            Question Randy, When do you think that the unborn offspring of a man and a woman becomes a human being?

          3. Daniel Doherty:

            “…the woman becomes the aggressor against her own unborn child.”

            Let me get this straight. A woman gets raped by a man. The rapist impregnates her. She has an abortion. And, according to you, she’s the “aggressor.”

            Your position just keeps getting more extreme with every post.

            As for giving you an example of this or that, I’m not obliged to play your game, Danny. Suffice it to say that women have their own reasons to seek out whatever healthcare they need, including reproductive healthcare. It’s not my business, and it shouldn’t be your or the government’s business, what decisions she makes regarding her health. I have confidence that women know what is best for them and theirs.

            And, by the way, your annoying habit of always referring to an “unborn child” in the context of abortion is also extreme. Most abortions, whether resulting from surgery or medication, occur long, long before any reasonably sane person would describe the process as killing an “unborn child.”

            As an aside, the Guttmacher Institute notes that there was an 8% increase in abortions over the three-year period from 2017 to 2020. That happens to correspond with the presidency of one Donald J. Tr-mp. So, a reasonable observer could possibly conclude that women, exercising their then-constitutional right, decided not to bring children into a world in which Donald Tr-mp could become president.

            Just sayin’.

          4. Daniel Doherty wrote:

            “Using that logic then only people who have had something stolen from them can make laws about theft? And only people who have been murdered can make laws about murder because as you say, ” neither you nor I are capable of understanding in a meaningful way.” ??? That is nonsense isn’t it?”

            Why, yes, it is nonsense. You see, actually knowing what it is like to be a woman, especially a woman impregnated by a rapist and forced to become a mother by people like you, is a different kind of thing from understanding what it might be like to have something stolen or, God forbid, murdered.

            We can imagine those things because they are potentially common to all of us, men and women. But the actual experience of being a woman is unique to women, no matter how hard you might try to put yourself in her place. And, yes, you can have some episodes in your family involving women that can give you certain insights, but you don’t know what it’s like to actually “be” a woman in the context of making decisions involving her reproductive health.

            So, wisdom dictates that you leave such decisions, which aren’t potentially common to all, to her.

          5. Daniel Doherty wrote:

            “Question Randy, When do you think that the unborn offspring of a man and a woman becomes a human being?”

            That’s an irrelevant question, Danny. What matters in our society is when a developing fetus becomes a “person” deserving of protection under our Constitution. And even the fanatical reactionaries on the Supreme Court wouldn’t go so far as to include fetuses under that term. At least not yet.

            But I am particularly fascinated by your often-asserted appeal to “science,” as if such an appeal, once and for all, might settle the matter of personhood or humanhood or whatever you want to call it so that you can permanently ban reproductive rights.

            So, I searched diligently for confirmation of your confidence in the science vis-à-vis your extremist position. I ended up consulting some real scientists. And guess what? They don’t support you, Danny. In fact, in Scientific American (a thoroughly science-based rag, don’t you think?) I found this gem:

            “The elected officials passing these laws are not concerned with medical expertise or scientific evidence. They actively misrepresent the work of scientists, using rhetoric to deceive the public and stoke emotional outrage. These abortion bans are ideological and cynical, they are appallingly unscientific, and they are dangerous. We need leaders who will use science to create a safer world for all, and we, as scientists and citizens, need to hold them accountable when they don’t.”

            Banning abortion is “appallingly unscientific.” Ouch!

            All that really means is: there isn’t an a social consensus on the matter of reproductive rights in this, our gaslit country. There’s science, which is mostly on the side of reproductive liberty, and then there’s some number of folks like you, ginned up by your Christian faith, on the other.

            Heck, God in the Old Testament doesn’t really weigh in on the issue with the kind of force one might expect from an all-knowing father figure who allegedly despises abortion. In fact, you’d have to twist the Hebrew Bible completely out of shape to advance an anti-abortion narrative (which doesn’t stop many of you). For instance, in that famous passage in Exodus, Chapter 21 (look it up), we find damage to the fetus treated much like a fender-bender in the Nu Grille parking lot.

            As for Jesus, well, the next time he addresses abortion will be the first time. Crickets.

            And there’s the Jews, without whom there’d be no Christianity or Catholicism to anchor your misplaced certainty. Jewish people are opposed to your kind of assertions, Danny. Check the polls. A staggering 83% of them believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases, and most of them hold that view based on their understanding of Jewish tradition and scripture. Ouch, again!

            Then there’s American evangelicals. Up until Jerry Falwell, as corrupt a figure as you will find in modern ecclesiastical history, figured out that there could be political advantage, and big buck$, in opposing abortion, evangelicals were more interested in protecting racial purity in education than in “saving babies.”

            The Southern Baptists, far from being the frothy-lipped anti-choice bumpkins we know today, were once all giddy about womenfolk having the right to control their bodies. If you had a quarter to spare in 1979, you could have purchased a copy of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and discovered, within a full-page advertisement, that the Southern Baptist Convention was all-in on reproductive rights. Who knew?

            And, finally, there’s the Catholic Church. It’s a mixed bag. In most of its first 1500 years, Church doctrine recognized that not all abortions were created equal, as punishment for procuring them depended on the stage of fetal development. In fact, excommunication and imprisonment was only doled out if an abortion occurred after quickening, some 16 to 20 weeks into the pregnancy.

            Then along came Pope Sixtus V, in 1588, who decided that quickening or no quickening, abortion was murder. Of course, this lasted only three years, as Pope Gregory XIV hastily restored the old distinction, and it was back to quickening as the determinant for severe punishment.

            And, of course, that was changed again in 1869 by Pope Pius IX and, voilà, abortion at any stage was murder yet again. Whew! One could get dizzy trying to keep up with the Church’s “wisdom” on the matter.

            I’m only half sorry to pepper you with pesky facts and sarcasm, Danny. Because, at bottom, this isn’t a laughing matter. Women, if it were up to you, would be subjugated by their government, pounded into submission by a theocratic fist, and prevented from acting out their sex-given right to control just what their uteruses can and cannot be used for.

            And come next Tuesday, at least in Kansas, women can refuse to become second-class citizens once again.

  22. TIMOTHY,
    You said, ” no womb-bound fetus displays necessary characteristics of life to consider it to be a human life. ”

    Will you be kind enough to tell us just when this so called “womb-bound fetus” becomes a human life?

  23. I will attempt to address all claims made by the value them both proponents following my own.

    Bob: You have just pointed out a glaringly obvious point that contradicts your argument. The fact that there were and are still laws in the state of Kansas regarding abortion shows, extremely clearly, that the Kansas Supreme Courts’ thorough and thoughtful decision does not, in any way, prohibit all legislative action regarding abortion. You inaccurately represent the procedure in a way that is almost theatrical. It seems you may have a flare for the arts. Nonetheless, the legislation was written with charged language to prompt a supreme court of Kansas vote.

    Daniel: I didn’t attempt to give a degree to validate my argumentation because my arguments can stand alone without the crutch of faux academic superiority. When you say we and everyone else are just “bigger zygote’s” you show your fundamental misunderstanding of the scientific process by which a human develops. Though I don’t find abortion appealing in any way at any point in the pregnancy, it is sometimes necessary… and it is not a legislators job to determine when it is. The threat of slowly taking away personal autonomy is far more pernicious than allowing individuals to make choices on abortion.

    Ken: I find some of the points that you make extremely compelling… but for the opposing side of the argument than you take. For instance, you reference freedom and liberty, but you intend to only extend that liberty to legislators. It seems that you prefer this extension because it will allow you to impose your religious beliefs vicariously through a governmental entity. You reference a doctor whom while being atheist administered abortions and did not allow religion to influence the medical choices he made, however; following his decision to give his life to Christianity he decided individuals should have less rights. The KS Supreme Court provided us with more protections. If, conversely, they said the state can make any legislation regarding personal autonomy the slope becomes extremely slippery. Say for example that overtime the state legislators became overwhelmingly radical and demanded abortions for any children beyond 2 children for families. We would agree that it was egregiously wrong. Seem far fetched? It’s been done in China. But we’re not China, right? So, please let us not let our misinterpretations of biblical text influence the law so much as to rid us of rights to our own bodies.

    Becky: You might entertain the idea of providing more nuance in your argumentation as populist one liners lend themselves to authoritarianism and degradation of rights.

    1. Timothy,
      Remember this quote you made and the question I asked?

      (You said, ” no womb-bound fetus displays necessary characteristics of life to consider it to be a human life. ”

      Will you be kind enough to tell us just when this so called “womb-bound fetus” becomes a human life?_)

      Well Timothy, you still haven’t answered it.

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