Pro-life groups in Kansas will make another push for a constitutional amendment on abortion while Utah looks to the future with pro-life legislation.
After the Kansas Supreme Court found a non-existent "fundamental" right to abortion in the state constitution, all pro-life laws were overturned. The new proposal, though, would allow legislators to regulate abortions even in cases of rape and incest or when a woman's life is in danger, "to the extent permitted" by federal court decisions.
Critics have called that language extreme.
"If it doesn't pass, we'll be one of the top pro-abortion states in the nation," responds Donna Lippoldt of the Culture Shield Network. "Before this decision by our supreme court last April, we were in the top pro-life states across the nation."
The Kansas Senate has passed the measure with the required two-thirds vote, but the House remains four votes short. For that reason, pro-life groups have called for a day of prayer and fasting this Wednesday.
"When we were at the capitol, legislators said, Yes, we absolutely need that, but we need the pro-life people of Kansas to show up at the capitol," Lippoldt relays.
A rally will be held at 10:00 a.m., and then participants will have the chance to meet with and encourage their representative in the House to vote yes; otherwise, the pro-life measure will not be placed on a future ballot.
"Let the people of Kansas vote. We need to be able to go to the polls in August and vote to pass this amendment," Lippold contends.
State residents who cannot make it to the capitol on Wednesday are already making phone calls and sending emails to nudge their representatives in the right direction.
Meanwhile, if the U.S. Supreme Court cooperates at some point, a state lawmaker in Utah plans to release a bill that would ban abortions. Senator Dan McCay's (R) Life at Conception Act is a trigger bill that would not take effect unless the court reverses the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in all states.
"I know we have passed other bills in the past, like, for instance, last year, the 18-weeks bill," says Mary Taylor, head of Pro-Life Utah. "We're excited about legislation like that because we feel like under the constraints of Roe v. Wade it has a better chance of making an impact more in the immediate timeframe."
The Life at Conception Act, should the 1973 decision be overturned, would only allow abortion under the usual exceptions, including rape, incest, and when the life of the mother is at risk.
"Utah hearts, I think, really gravitate more to a Life at Conception bill," Taylor submits. "So in the event that that power is returned to the states, that is what we want to see."
She says it is too soon to assess support among members of the legislature.