Big Abortion won the war of words in Kansas. They used a strategy of slick, if misleading, messaging coupled with anti-Catholic bigotry to absolutely bury a pro-life amendment.
To recap: Kansas faced the same dilemma as Iowa. Their state Supreme Court uncovered a fundamental right to abortion mysteriously hidden in their state Constitution.
Pro-lifers crafted an Amendment to the Constitution which would make it abortion neutral. They named the amendment the ‘Value Them Both Amendment.’
Voters rejected it 59% against, 41% for. A major blowout victory for Big Abortion.
Big Abortion swayed moderates
The abortion rights strategists focused their messaging on moderate voters who were kind of against abortion with ads like this:
“They call it a constitutional amendment. The truth? It’s a strict government mandate designed to interfere with private medical decisions, a slippery slope that could put more of your individual and personal rights at risk.”
No one likes ‘mandates.’ The term is becoming prevalent, though, as abortion pressure groups characterize pro-life laws as ‘mandating birth’ or forcing birth.
Another ad appealed to anti-maskers, a group that tends to tilt right. It says:
“Kansans don’t want another government mandate.”
Then they showed a storefront sign indicating a mask mandate quickly followed by another that says, “All Masses cancelled.”
Another ad shows a doctor who says:
“Do no harm. That’s the oath we take as doctors. The government wants to force doctors in Kansas to break that oath by passing a constitutional amendment that could put a mother’s life at risk. It’s a government mandate that could ban all abortions with no exceptions, even rape and incest.”
Of course the Amendment wouldn’t ban abortion, but the deceit delivered more votes for Big Abortion from misled voters.
The war of words turns anti-Catholic
A pro-abortion Kansan legislator, Cindy Holscher, characterized the Amendment as a ‘bailout’ for the Catholic Church. You’re probably scratching your head over that one.
Her rationale goes something like this: Half of Catholics are pro-choice; the Church is losing liberal members who disagree with Church teachings on abortion; if the Amendment passes, it takes the issue off the table so the Church doesn’t have to talk about it anymore.
Writing in the Kansas City Star, she ripped on the Catholic Church for lobbying for the amendment, and for pouring big resources into the campaign. (Big Abortion still outspent pro-lifers by more than a million dollars.)
“There are many reasons to vote no on this amendment. One of the most compelling being the fact the government already provides unparalleled support to churches through their tax exempt stats. In Kansas, roughly 18% of the population is Catholic. Getting the entire state to confirm [sic] to church doctrine would be a huge win.”
(For the record, pro-life support goes far beyond the Catholic Church.)
“And that brings us to the final reason to vote against this amendment: No state or body of citizens in a democracy should have the religious doctrine of one faith imposed upon them. Period.”
An ad featuring a Protestant pastor played off of Ms. Holsher’s theme:
“As Christians, we are instructed to love one another, and we do so when we respect and trust women as God does. I’m voting ‘no’ on the proposed amendment because it replaces religious freedom with government control.”
That’s an effective line, “it replaces religious freedom with government control.”
Of course, it’s a lie.
Iowa pro-lifers are paying attention
Pulse and our fellow members of the Iowa Pro-Life Coalition are grateful to have seen this war of words played out in Kansas as we contemplate our strategy to advance the Protect Life Amendment here in Iowa.
Here’s what we have learned from Kansas messaging:
- Big Abortion plays dirty. Truth is quickly be replaced by deceit.
- Religious bigotry is fair game.
- Messaging will attempt to sway swing voters by transforming the amendment into something that it isn’t.
Rest assured, we have taken notes and will be ready.