I would like to thank Edward Myers for his thoughtful letter to the editor regarding one of my recent votes on a bill affecting morning-after pill prescriptions.
The bill in question is really about legislative quackery wrapped in a "pro-life" package. My colleagues are once again substituting their desires for sound medical practices and advice. They are insisting doctors replace their medical and scientific advice with legislative quackery. During the run-up to this debate, I researched the methods they are promoting, and found several issues which concerned me about womens' health and a higher risk for birth defects for the baby. I worked with my colleagues and supported an amendment that would ensure that anyone who was forced to follow this legislative quackery would be taken care of. Medicaid should be available for life for any child born with birth defects as a result of this bill. Women harmed by these untested mandates should also be cared for. Unfortunately, my "pro-life" colleagues aren't serious about caring for children born with birth defects. Ultimately, they voted the amendment down. So we were left with a bill that mandates language that lacks a basis in medicine, and only anecdotal evidence, at best, to support it. Most persuasive of all, the College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists reject this supposed treatment.
I believe in being pro-life for life, and that means ensuring that women have accurate information about the medicines they are prescribed, and ensuring that children with birth defects and disabilities are cared for. It means ensuring that our DCF system protects children found in abusive situations and does not trade them in for more tax cuts for billionaires. It means funding our schools and providing mental health care for those that need it, and it means providing corrections officers with competitive wages to ensure that those convicted of heinous crimes are safely locked away from society. Especially, it means not using the highest sales tax on food in the nation to fund endless corporate welfare and billionaire tax cuts. To me, being pro-life means caring for all people. Engaging in legislative quackery, passing unconstitutional laws that leave our taxpayers paying not only our legal fees, but those of the ACLU and Planned Parenthood, are not good uses of our resources.
Kansas deserves better from its legislature. I will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that working Kansans and the most vulnerable among us aren't forgotten.
— Rep. Tim C. Hodge, D-North Newton