March for Life spotlights the pro-life movement in Kansas


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On Friday, Americans from across the country came together to advocate for the right to life. The March for Life is an annual event in the United States that brings together all those fighting for the pre-born. It is a movement close to my heart, for my life could have never played out at all.

My mother, Estelle, was not raised in the best of circumstances in Northeast Florida. She grew up poor and had to live with her uncle’s family after she was thrown out of her house by her alcoholic father. In 1971, she was raped as a young woman by a cousin’s boyfriend and became pregnant, yet she refused to cave to pressure to have an abortion, instead choosing life for her son. Years later, in a loveless marriage to an abusive husband, Estelle was pregnant with her third son. Against the advice of friends and family members, she again chose life for her son.

That son was me.

Before she passed, she told me that I was supposed to be aborted. Indeed, there are many stories like mine. Yet, for years we have seen the Democrat Party’s platform grow more and more radical. Democrats across the nation have campaigned on brutal and inhumane abortion proposals; some call for permitting abortion up until the moment of birth and infanticide. In Kansas, our Supreme Court’s backward decision to allow unfettered abortion has created a “sanctuary” state for ending the lives of the pre-born.

The left’s agenda is not progressive, it is regressive and destructive, especially to minority families. Since Roe v. Wade legalized abortion, more than 63 million babies have lost their lives, and recent estimates show that 59 percent of abortions are of black or Hispanic babies. Another study found that 79% of Planned Parenthood abortion clinics are within walking distance of black and Hispanic neighborhoods. Sadly, this is not by accident.

Roe’s viability standard is in line with that of China and North Korea. Kansans thoroughly reject these authoritarian, anti-life ideas, which is why we must pass the Value Them Both amendment on Aug. 2, 2022. All Kansans, even our most vulnerable, have the right to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness enshrined in our founding documents. We strongly believe that these principles apply to all individuals, even to those still in the womb.

The Democrat Party often claims to be the “party of science,” however, their stance on abortion contradicts this notion. Since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, modern medicine has made significant advancements that show us the undeniable humanity of a 15-week-old child in the womb, but Democrats continue to push the notion that a child is merely a “clump of cells. Democrat politicians reject science and have embraced radical abortion policies that are out of step and unpopular. Democrats favor using taxpayer dollars to fund late-term abortion, while polls continue to show that Americans do not want the federal government to fund abortion.

The character of a nation can be determined by how it treats the most vulnerable. Our nation, and our beloved state, must reject the Democrats’ radical, unpopular agenda and get back to valuing our pre-born babies to reclaim our character. Republicans in Kansas and across the country remain committed to fighting for the pre-born. That is why it is crucial to vote for the Value Them Both amendment on Aug. 2 and for Republicans up and down the ballot in the November 2022 elections.

I am a living testament to choosing life. I’m thankful every day that my mother gave me that chance. Every life is precious and worth defending and that begins at the ballot box.

Patrick Penn represents District 85 in the Kansas House of Representatives.

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