Though the bill’s central premise — that Planned Parenthood is some sort of abortion pusher — is factually flawed, at least the legislation was toned down some before the overzealous conservatives in the House had their way with it. Initially, the bill would’ve gone so far as to prohibit anyone with Planned Parenthood, or any employee with any abortion provider, from volunteering in the classroom — even in their own child’s classroom. The overbroad wording wasn’t a mistake or oversight.
“If we’re going to have people in our education system, I don’t want them involved in any way, shape or form or manner in killing children, killing babies,” Rep. Allan Rothlisberg, a Grandview Plaza Republican said of the original language. “We should have people of integrity and morality teaching our children.”
Additionally, Mary Kay Culp, executive director of Kansans for Life, said groups such as Planned Parenthood in schools is “like if you let the driver’s ed come from the local Buick dealer down the street.” Never mind that while Culp and Rothlisberg don’t want the Buick dealer teaching driver’s ed, they’re more than happy to open the doors for the local Ford dealer.
Without question, the majority of Kansans are opposed to abortion, and as a result the majority of elected lawmakers are working to curtail abortion rights and win the support of their constituents. That is a fact of life in a state such as Kansas, where the overwhelming majority holds a singular opinion.
But that electoral authority doesn’t grant the right to issue a pious judgment about the sort of people who have integrity or who possess morality, as was displayed in Rothlisberg’s statement, or to pass off as fact a hypocritical double standard that is evident in Culp’s words.
The Kansas minority that holds a differing view on abortion cannot so easily be labeled a group of immoral people, nor can its members’ integrity be defined by a single issue. No political party, regardless of how godly its members see themselves, can lay claim of ownership to morality and integrity, or work to exclude from society those who don’t fall in line with their judgment.
— The Hutchinson News