The XX Factor

Kansas Governor Vetoes Abortion Bill

Earlier this week, Nebrakska banned abortions after 20 weeks of gestation, even in cases where doctors recommend it for medical reasons. I wrote about the legal implications and the possibility that this ban could be upheld by the Supreme Court, which would create a rash of similar bans across the country. But there’s always a way besides the courts to fight back against these encroachments on women’s health and rights, as Kansas governor Mark Parkinson demonstrated today by vetoing a bill very much like the one that just passed into law in Nebraska.

Abortions after 20 weeks are rare, but it’s crucial to oppose these laws because the right to abortion at these stages clears the path for women facing medical problems or fetal abnormalities to abort in a timely manner, and with the sort of privacy we all want for our uglier medical situations. But it’s not just because of women’s health that I’m seriously worried about this push to ban abortions from 20 weeks on. My concerns also relate to the problem of aiding and comforting domestic terrorists.

After all, both Kansas and Nebraska are passing these laws in the wake of a terrorist attack in Kansas last May, one in which Scott Roeder walked up to abortion provider Dr. George Tiller at church and shot him dead. Generally speaking, I don’t think it’s a good idea to respond to terrorist attacks by giving in to terrorist demands. Rewarding the behavior only encourages it. I lump this scramble to give into Roeder’s demands in with other alarming examples of politicians playing footsie with people making violent threats, organizing militias, or otherwise creating the sort of extremist infrastructure that leads to domestic terrorism.

Good on Gov. Parkinson for not only standing up for women’s rights and health, but also refusing to bow down to terrorist demands.