White Paper and Black Ink

What health benefit does requiring white paper and black ink have for a person seeking an abortion? Clearly, none. That’s not what the Kansas GOP has to say though . . .

I watched the livestream of the House Federal and State Affairs Committee this morning. They had a hearing on HB2319 — a bill that would further restrict abortion access in Kansas by doing a number of things:

  1. It would require the consent form that has to be signed and printed 24 hours in advance of an abortion to be on white paper with black ink in Times New Roman font. 
  2. It would require the abortion provider to disclose the name of the physician, when they graduated medical school, how long they have worked at that particular facility, whether the physician is a resident of Kansas, and whether they have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the facility in which they are providing care. This is despite the fact that there are procedures in place for the extremely rare event that follow up care at a hospital is necessary, and when someone graduated from medical school really has no bearing on whether or not they are licensed health care providers in the state of Kansas.

Because of Women’s Whole Health v. Hellerstedt , a 5-3 Supreme Court decision, restrictions on abortion have to have a clear health benefit for the woman seeking an abortion. Attorney Bob Eye testified that this bill does not have clear health benefits for a woman seeking an abortion, as should be blatantly clear to anyone reading the bill.

Kansans for Life says that requiring black ink and 12pt Times New Roman font and white paper is of health benefit to women. Kansans for Life also wants the private information of abortion providers to be publicly available so you don’t even have to express interest in an abortion to get that information. . . probably so something like this can happen again.

Vote NO on HB2319 and Support Planned Parenthood Great Plains.

 

 

 

Campus carry will hurt STEM diversity initiatives

I stopped by the engineering building on campus on Friday morning. There are thousands of kids roaming the hallways really excited about science and learning. Kids of all identities. I have seen more black people in this building in the past 20 minutes than I have ever seen in this building or honestly really anywhere on campus. This is good. This is engineering as a field moving in the right direction.

This is being taken away. The Kansas legislature doesn’t want little black girls to grow up to design robots and know they are smart and capable.

Instead, the Kansas legislature wants to fill the halls of this building with death machines on the hips of neonazis. They want the white supremacists to use this building to design weapons of war.

Campus carry is racist, sexist, and dangerous.

I absolutely CANNOT stop saying that.

Fail campus carry. Oppose the gun lobby.

We can’t “just wait and see”

If you feel you can afford to “just wait and see,” remember others cannot.

“We’ll just wait and see”

STOP.

We don’t know that everything will be okay. If there is any time to raise alarm bells, it is RIGHT NOW. 

Let’s take a look at this deadly formula, shall we:

Neonazis are already attacking people on our campuses. Apparently just a few days ago a woman yelled “Get out of my country!” at some international students in the Kansas Union. There are dozens of incidents like this that have been reported- and even more that have not been reported.

Olathe, Kansas isn’t that far away from here. I used to have to tell people how to pronounce the name of that city, and now all I have to do is say its name for images of the Indian men who were shot a few weeks ago to come up in someone’s mind.

There have been multiple racist stickers and chalk messages put all over KU.

The people threatening others will be allowed to have guns after July 1st. The university won’t be allowed to find out which individuals on campus have guns. The individuals choosing to carry guns won’t have to have any sort of training or any sort of registration. It will be a gun free-for-all. [Note: international students will still be prohibited from carrying a gun by federal law. Remember that the next time someone says this law is for the “self defense” of everyone].

Some people at KU and in the Legislature are angry that I informed world embassies about our Kansas gun law. A state representative that I’ll leave unnamed at the current moment told me I am, and I quote, “help[ing] create the impression that Kansas is a crazy, dangerous place” and told me to stop emailing him about international students in all caps.

I am not helping create the impression that Kansas is a crazy and dangerous place by telling people what the law actually says– the law did that. Kansas legislators did that. 

People want me to lie and tell people that the university is a good place for people to come and that Kansas is a safe environment. Since people are being shot in cold blood in public places like the bar in Olathe for not being white, it would be wrong for me to “reassure” someone, especially as a white woman, that everything is going to be okay after July on our college campuses in Kansas. It would be wrong for me to tell people that Kansas is a safe place for people to live. And it would be wrong for me to hide this vital piece of information from people considering to come to Kansas for work or school.

The Kansas Legislature is arming neonazis. Stand Your Ground is a law we already have in Kansas. Remember, Stand Your Ground is the same law that let George Zimmerman get away with shooting Trayvon Martin with zero consequences in Florida because he “felt threatened”. Once campus carry is allowed, what will this mean for international students and people of color on our campuses? It won’t be anything good, that’s for sure.

Kansans — ESPECIALLY those of us with privilege — need to do everything possible to oppose campus carry. Allowing guns into our classrooms, daycare centers, laboratories, dormitories, sports arenas, museums, cafeterias, hospitals, etc. will exponentially increase the risks associated with being on campus ESPECIALLY for people who hold marginalized identities.

I don’t want to “wait and see” what happens after July. Someone shouldn’t have to die for us to do something about this law. I’m also not going to lie and make Kansas look good. There are lots of universities in other states that are better and safer places for people to study.

Please call Representative John Barker and demand that he call HB2074 up for a vote and vote YES. Also, call every member of the entire House Federal and State Affairs Committee and demand that they vote YES on HB2074 and vote NO on HB2220.  

If you feel you can afford to “just wait and see,” remember others cannot. 

CALL TODAY.

HB2220, Preemption, and how KBOR is conspiring with the NRA

On Thursday (3/9/2017), there was a hearing on HB2220 — a bill that would preempt all of the individual universities’ policies for campus carry and make it so that individual universities and colleges in Kansas could not make rules regarding guns on campus that are more restrictive than the policies developed by the Kansas Board of Regents.

Here is the full livestream from Loud Light.

As always, the proponents were the first to give testimony. Chairman John Barker gave all of the proponents as much time as they wanted or needed to speak.

Travis Couture-Lovelady, the guy that quit his position as a Representative in the KS Legislature in order to become a full time lobbyist for the National Rifle Association, spoke very highly of the Kansas Board of Regents’ policies on campus carry and thanked them for having discussions with them while they created their policies. Moriah Day, the spokesperson for the Kansas State Rifle Association, said something similar.

Then, it was time for the opponent testimony.

Zoe Newton, Chair of the Kansas Board of Regents who was by Governor Sam Brownback in 2014, first spoke in opposition to the law and she was given as much time as she wanted to speak. This was the first time since 2012 that the Kansas Board of Regents testified for or against a law concerning guns on college campuses. In her testimony, Newton said, “The Board sought opinions from the Attorney General’s office and worked with legislators and gun-rights advocates throughout the process to ensure that its policies would not infringe upon the rights of lawful gun owners. The Board has actively overseen the development of the university specific policies for the same reason.” — The Kansas Board of Regents worked to ensure that their policies were acceptable by the NRA!

Mind you in 2012 when this law was first up for consideration, the Kansas Board of Regents was in strong opposition to campus carry in every way. Brownback replaced all of those board members.

Multiple administrators at Kansas universities have told me that the Board of Regents is working behind the scenes to stop campus carry. This is a LIE. They wouldn’t be thanking each other in a committee hearing if that were the case.

After Newton spoke, Chairman Barker gave the rest of the opposition testimony a strict 3-minute time limit.

KU student Mikaela Warner reminded the committee of Willie Dove’s irresponsibility with his gun earlier this session and asked ““How can we expect college students to be more responsible than our legislators?” as quoted in the Topeka Capitol Journal.

Dr. Ron Barrett, professor of aerospace engineering at KU,  brought a 6-foot tall missile as a supplement to his testimony about how industry will be affected in the state.

I told the committee that the law is only meant to protect and defend white men. Chairman Barker interrupted me and said, “I’m going to have to give you a warning,” to which I responded, “A warning for what?” He told me to “stay on topic.” I said, “People are being threatened now on our university campuses for being black, for being LGBT, for not appearing the way all of the representatives for the NRA have appeared in front of this Legislature,” as the  Lawrence Journal World reported. Then I said that every single person and member of that committee that supports HB2220 and supports guns on college campuses is personally responsible if anyone dies or is injured as a result of guns being allowed on college campuses and that we will all hold them accountable for it.

There were a few other verbal testimonies in opposition and multiple written ones submitted that you can find here.

The most important thing that came out of the hearing in my opinion was that the Kansas Board of Regents has been working directly with the NRA and wants to make sure that they are happy with all of the gun policies that are made. Don’t believe anyone who tells you that KBOR is secretly opposing this law. All of them were appointed by Brownback and they are doing NOTHING to oppose this law.

 

 

 

Welcome

I have a lot of thoughts on the gun lobby, Kansas politics, and what’s going on locally and need a place to share them. This site will serve that function and will also be a place for me to put all of my writings on those subjects. I often find myself at city council meetings, legislative committee hearings, and other government related events (for lack of a better word) in Kansas, so I will also use this space to report on what happens at them. In the age of a lack of transparency, having eyes in the rooms where decisions that affect our lives are made is vital. I’ll share what I see to the best of my ability.