TOPEKA, Kansas (LifeSiteNews) — Pro-life organization Right to Life of Kansas Inc., an associate of the American Life League (ALL), is hosting its first-ever Prayer for Life event in Topeka this month in peaceful protest of the “right” to abortion interpreted in the state’s constitution. Participants will pray the rosary while processing around the state Capitol Square, asking “God to send His grace upon the people and government of Kansas so that all may be affirmed in their natural right to life.”
According to an announcement published on the group’s website, Kansas pro-lifers are set “to pray a decade of the rosary at each corner of Capitol Square” in Topeka beginning at 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 26. The group encourages those who can’t attend physically to do so spiritually by offering a rosary for the intention.
The event’s coordinator, John Andra, shared in a Monday email to LifeSiteNews that the group “hope[s] that by praying for the people, governor, legislature, judiciary, and administrative agencies of Kansas, God will grant all Kansans the grace to accept what the Kansas Constitution already says in art. 1 of the Bill of Rights: ‘All men are possessed of equal and inalienable natural rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,’’’
“Since taking innocent human life is not among the powers that God gave to government, governments act unjustly when they tolerate or encourage abortion,” Andra said.
The procession will be held on the fourth anniversary of Hodes & Nauser MDs v. Schmidt, in which the Kansas Supreme Court decided that the state constitution’s “equal and inalienable natural rights” guarantee also protects “a woman’s right to make decisions about her body, including the decision whether to continue her pregnancy.”
Right to Life of Kansas argued that the Hodes & Nauser decision stands in direct contradiction to the language of the state constitution.
“The Kansas Constitution begins by giving thanks to ‘Almighty God for our civil and religious privileges.’ It then says: ‘All men are possessed of equal and inalienable natural rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’ On April 26, 2019, the Kansas Supreme Court held in Hodes & Nauser MDs v. Schmidt that these words protect a supposed natural right to abortion. We believe only hardened hearts could read the words in this way,” the pro-life group argued on its website.
“We therefore will gather on the anniversary of Hodes & Nauser to ask God to send His grace upon the people and government of Kansas so that all may be affirmed in their natural right to life,” the group said.
The pro-life organization, which states on its website that its “singular purpose” is “to restore legal protection for the inalienable right to life of all the citizens of our state, whether born or pre-born, young, old, or handicapped,” said they plan for participants “to pray a decade of the rosary at each corner of Capitol Square, with the first and fifth decade at the southwest corner (10th and Harrison).”
Participants “will then process silently between the corners,” a strategy that will enable the pro-lifers “to keep together while praying.”
The planned procession comes after Kansas pro-lifers suffered a disappointing setback in August when a ballot referendum that would have eliminated the “right” to abortion in the state constitution failed by a 59%-41% vote.
As LifeSiteNews reported at the time, the failure of the referendum, known as the Value Them Both amendment, was hailed as a thorough rejection of the pro-life movement by pro-abortion leftists. Pro-lifers, however, pointed out that the wording of the measure may have been unclear, that pro-abortion groups had bankrolled massive efforts to oppose the referendum’s passage, and noted that the voting constituency of Kansas is less conservative than is often presupposed.
In comments to LifeSiteNews on Monday, Andra suggested it’s “fair to say that people on both the pro-life side and the pro-abortion side found the language of the Value Them Both amendment, the constitutional measure defeated in August 2022, to be confusing.”
However, he said the “defeat” of the referendum paves the way for “pro-lifers to propose clearer language” in future efforts. He added that “Right to Life of Kansas, Inc., supports language which would directly reverse Hodes & Nauser MDs v. Schmidt by saying that the Kansas Constitution does not ‘protect or secure a natural right to abortion.’”
Andra told LifeSite that people in the pro-life movement recognize that the pro-life movement is not merely a political struggle but a spiritual one as well.
“Pro-lifers understand that we are not contending ‘against flesh and blood, but against the Principalities and Powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness on high,’”(Eph. 6:12) he said. “No political stratagem or legal theory will be adequate unless we have help from God, not just for ourselves but for all others who govern and vote in this republic.”
“Anyone who wants to participate can do so, either in person or through prayer, by offering a rosary on April 26, 2023, for the intention that hearts in Kansas be converted away from the [belief] that abortion is a ‘natural right,’” Andra said.