Published on -10/24/2012, 11:02 AM
Many Kansans may be unaware of the extreme bills that were introduced into the last Legislature: a bill allowing doctors to withhold information about the mother's or fetus's health if they fear the mother would get an abortion, with no legal repercussions for the doctor; full personhood rights for fertilized eggs, thereby prohibiting some forms of birth control and all abortion, even to save the health or life of the mother; and more direct involvement of the governor in the selection of judges, so the governor could appoint judges who would rule in favor of the governor's interests.
Nationwide, there are similar bills. In Congress, Paul Ryan co-sponsored a bill that would allow hospitals to refuse to provide an abortion, even to save the life of the mother. Congressional Republicans tried to redefine rape in order to reduce a woman's access to abortion. Maryland Republicans ended funding for low-income preschool programs because "the mothers should be home taking care of the children." South Dakota Republicans introduced a bill making it legal to murder abortion providers.
If you are a reasonable Republican, shaking your head, saying, "Those bills would never pass," think again. We can only block extreme bills like these by electing reasonable, moderate representatives and senators to both state and national levels. Republicans have not frivolously introduced these bills -- they are serious attempts to pass extremely conservative laws.
If voters do not think these extreme Republicans are serious about these bills, if voters disregard the signs of extremism and elect them anyway just because they are Republicans -- there will be no stopping them.
We need to elect moderate people.
There are precious few moderate Republicans running for office. All across Kansas, many moderate Republican incumbents lost their primaries to candidates supported by Gov. Sam Brownback. Reasonable, moderate, thoughtful Republicans need to put aside party loyalty, and vote for Democrats. That is the only way to preserve sanity and stop the extremism of the current Republican Party.