“Women are not property, we are human beings”

Local, national officials respond to Supreme Court strike down of Roe v. Wade

Ramona Farris of Kansas City, and a member of Women in Politics Foundation, said she was angered by the Court’s ruling on Roe v Wade. “It’s very disheartening.”

Kansas Rep. Mari-Lynn Poskin (center) said she believes misinformation is being spread by both sides of the political spectrum regarding the Court’s ruling.


By Joe Arce and Corey Crable Continued protests of the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 24 overturning of Roe v. Wade, the historic 1973 ruling that ensured a federal constitutional right to an abortion, rocked the nation early last week as more officials spoke out against the high court’s decision.

Kansas Rep. Mari-Lynn Poskin, who serves the Kansas House’s 20th District, joined women from Missouri, one of several states that have outright banned abortion, at a meeting of the Women in Politics Foundation last weekend, where she and others spoke out about the Supreme Court’s ruling. Kansas voters will head to the polls on Aug. 2 to vote on whether the Legislature should pass an amendment to the state’s constitution that would allow Kansas government to impose any restrictions allowed by federal law, including a total ban.

“I have four daughters of childbearing age, but this affects women across the country. They need safe access to reproductive healthcare, and the government isn’t the one to make that decision,” Poskin told KC Hispanic News. “It should be the woman, her healthcare provider and whoever else she invites into that decision. … The second thing is that (the constitutional amendment) puts all the power to make any law in the hands of the legislature. That’s 165 people making healthcare decisions for the women in Kansas.” A majority of the 165 legislators, she says, are Republican men.

Kansas City, Missouri resident Ramona Farris, who’s a member of Women in Politics Foundation, said she was angered by the Court’s ruling.

“It’s very disheartening,” Farris said. “Many of the states have chosen to lock everything down as tightly as possible. I’m not pro-abortion I’m anti-government telling me what I can and can’t do with my body.”

In the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling, the dissenting justices wrote, “We believe in a Constitution that puts some issues off limits to majority rule. Even in the face of public opposition, we uphold the right of individuals—yes, including women—to make their own choices and chart their own futures. Or at least, we did once. … With sorrow—for this Court, but more, for the many millions of American women who have today lost a fundamental constitutional protection—we dissent.”

The justices voting in favor of overturning Roe v Wade were Clarence Thomas Brett Kavanaugh Neil Gorsuch Samuel Alito and Amy Coney Barrett. Dissenting were Elena Kagan Stephen Breyer Chief Justice John Roberts and the court’s first Latina associate justice, Sonia Sotomayor.

In Washington, D.C., President Biden addressed the nation, calling out Kavanaugh, Gorsuch and Barrett – all appointed by former President Donald Trump – in scathing remarks.

“This decision is the culmination of a deliberate effort over decades to upset the balance of our law. It’s a realization of an extreme ideology and a tragic error by the Supreme Court, in my view,” Biden said. “The Court has done what it has never done before: expressly take away a constitutional right that is so fundamental to so many Americans that had already been recognized.”

Missouri Gov. Mike Parsons moved quickly after the Court’s ruling was announced, signing The Right to Life of the Unborn Child Act, “making Missouri the first state in the nation to effectively end abortions,” according to a press release from the pro-life group Uniting Missouri.

Other reactions poured in, including from the Hispanic Federation, which wrote, “We are outraged by the Supreme Court’s decision today, which ended nearly 50 years of federal constitutional protections for abortion rights. This is the first time a Supreme Court has taken away a right that is widely supported by the public.”

U.S. Rep Emanuel Cleaver II (D-MO) called the court’s decision “ludicrous” in a press release, but expressed resolve and called on all Americans to defend a woman’s right to choose.

“We must not be defeated, but defiant we must not feel powerless, but persistent. All Americans who support a woman’s right to choose and the right to privacy must stand together to make their voices heard—today and every day,” Cleaver wrote. “I will continue doing everything in my power to defend the freedoms that Americans have fought, marched, and died for—but it’s going to take all of us to right this malicious wrong.”

Farris said that she thinks the overturning of Roe v Wade should anger all Americans.

“There are women who are scared and angry – it is affecting their families, their friends, their children, society as a whole,” Farris said. “Men are not the enemy. I have a lot of male friends who are just as angry about this ruling.”

Poskin said she believes misinformation is being spread by both sides of the political spectrum regarding the Court’s ruling.

“The farthest on the right are saying we have unregulated and unlimited abortions in the state, and the farthest on the left are saying (the ruling) bans abortion,” she said, adding that “some people are worried that Kansas will become a destination for abortion services.”

Farris said that the conservative justices won’t stop at Roe v Wade, either.

“It’s a matter of what’s next – contraceptives are now on the table, and there are women taking those because of health and medical conditions that they’re helping to control. So now it’s infringing on women’s health in a variety of ways. … We have a Supreme Court justice (Clarence Thomas) who is wanting to ban everything from contraceptives to gay marriage. Does that mean we’re going to start rolling back interracial marriage?”

Poskin said young people will suffer the most from the ruling, and that the lack of health education in some schools have only worsen their lack of resources to be able to make educated choices about their bodies.

“The Legislature(s) historically are against health education in our schools for girls and young men. … I find that a confluence of events that will be tragic for young people,” she said. “There isn’t an exception for rape or incest, either, so this would take away parents’ rights when trying to decide what’s best for their 12-year-old baby girl.”

Farris said that in the realm of law, one’s religion and personal beliefs must not intervene in a Court’s ruling.

“This country was founded for freedoms of all kinds,” Farris said. “What’s happened at the federal level, they’ve made it clear they’re making decisions based on their political beliefs, not the letter of the law. Women are not property, we are human beings.”