Babies’ lives depend on Aug. 2 vote

Amy Torkelson talks about the importance of passing the Value Them Both Amendment Sunday, June 5, at Bishop Carroll Catholic High School in Wichita.

The importance of the Value Them Both Amendment vote cannot be underestimated, according to Amy Torkelson, a mother, a teacher, and a member of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Wichita.

If the amendment is rejected, she said, “We stand to lose everything that we gained” over the last 30 years of pro-life advances.

Torkelson was one of the speakers at a Value Them Both Prayer Rally held Sunday afternoon, June 5, at Bishop Carroll Catholic High School in Wichita.

She asked those attending to stand up if they knew someone who has had an abortion and how, if they could, be willing to go back in time to prevent the death of the unborn baby. She posed several other pro-life-related questions before talking about the laws passed in Kansas to protect the unborn and the more than 50 pregnancy resource centers established in the state to help women inc crisis pregnancies.

Kansas Supreme Court stopped pro-life efforts

Those pro-life victories were all for naught after the Kansas Supreme Court issued a ruling that the state constitution contained a fundamental right to abortion, Torkelson said.

“Does it say the word ‘abortion’ in our state constitution? No.,” she said. “It doesn’t even say the word pregnancy. But the Kansas Supreme Court declared that it contains a right to abortion.”

It’s also possible that taxpayer funding for abortion might be mandated by the state if the Value Them Both Amendment is not passed, Torkelson added.

Kansas has become a haven state for abortions because of the limitations imposed by Texas and Oklahoma, she said.

Pro-life laws have saved lives

The pro-life measures passed in the state have saved many lives, Torkelson said, but if the amendment fails and Kansas declares that abortion is a human right it is almost inevitable that state-funded abortion will follow.

Dr. Lisa Gilbert of Wichita talked about one of her patients who shared that she had had an abortion 25 years ago. “She said she always wanted to talk to somebody but never felt like she could,” Dr. Gilbert said. “She said she had never gone a day without thinking about it.”

The physician talked about parental informed consent, the risks abortion poses, its long-term effects, and abortion clinic safety standards.

Fr. Drew Hoffman, pastor of St. Paul University Parish in Wichita, talked about the power of prayer to convert hearts and minds. Three pro-life volunteers, Greg Davies, Lori Chrisman, and Kim Gish, talked about their door-to-door Value Them Both Amendment education efforts.

Fr. Bernie: ‘lives hang in the balance’

Fr. Bernie Gorges, who has been traveling the state to promote Value Them Both, told those at the event that lives hang in the balance if the amendment does not pass. Bishop Carl A. Kemme led a rosary and adoration at the beginning of the rally and closed the event by asking all those in attendance to become involved in educating others about the election and the importance of prayer.

Bonnie Toombs, director of Respect Life and Social Justice, said this isn’t only about life. “Everyone – even those who support abortion rights – should want abortion facilities to be clean and sterile, and for parents to have the right to know that their daughter is having an abortion. As Dr. Gilbert said, ‘They can’t receive Tylenol at school without parents’ consent.’”