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This Wednesday in his State of the State address, Republican Governor Sam Brownback reiterated Kansas’s history in anti-abortion, referencing the past decade's anti-abortion protests.
According to The Associated Press, Brownback condemned abortion as a cultural wrong and made comparisons to the fight against slavery.
“The chains of bondage of our brothers rubbed our skin and our hearts raw until we could stand it no more and erupted into `Bleeding Kansas,’” said Brownback. “The Summer of Mercy sprung forth in Kansas as we could no longer tolerate the death of innocent children.”
On July 1, 2013, the Kansas State Legislature passed an anti-abortion law, in which the bill stated that life begins “at fertilization,” according to The AP.
Brownback has been criticized for his stance on anti-abortion. The Daily Beast said that Brownback praised the anti-abortionists who protested in the “Summer of Mercy” demonstrations in 1991 and 2001. An abortion specialist, Dr. George Tiller of Wichita, was murdered in 2009 by Scott Rhoeder, who was sentenced to 50 years in prison.
Peter Brownlie, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, accused Brownback’s speech as “insensitive,” and Steve Bensen from NBC’s MSNBC network said this anti-abortion rhetoric is yet “another pointless culture-war fight.”
Nevertheless, Brownback’s speech motivated others, such as Cheryl Sullenger, senior policy director for Operation Rescue, which organized the protests. Sullenger said that the speech would inspire people to take active steps, such as entering politics or opening crisis pregnancy centers.
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