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The Plan Against Plan B
Kansans for Life is the most active and politically powerful anti-abortion organization in the Sunflower State. The group has advocated and lobbied for recent restrictions on abortion rights in Kansas. The Pitch recently spoke to its legislative director, Kathy Ostrowski.
The Pitch: House Bill 62, the "conscience" bill, was signed into law and goes into effect next month. It permits pharmacists to refuse to dispense birth-control pills or the Plan B pill if they morally object to doing so. Did your organization consider this a victory?
Ostrowski: We're pleased about the conscience protection. But the idea that women in Kansas won't be able to get Plan B is not accurate. You can get Plan B or birth-control pills overnighted to you online from Canada or India or wherever. Women in Kansas will have no problem getting Plan B before or after July 1.
Why even lobby to pass the law, then?
It's a hedge. For the doctors and pharmacists who don't want to participate in this chemical assault on women — and it's a very small percentage, but the ones who want to continue to not dispense these pills and not lose their jobs — their rights are strengthened. They arguably had this protection before July 1, but now it's stronger and clearer. The previous law was 40 years old, and there weren't chemical abortions then. This updates the law for physicians and pharmacists.
Do you believe Plan B should be a legal, accessible drug?
Plan B is a unique drug — it's the same components as birth control, but multiplied. Birth-control pills require a prescription from a doctor based on a medical evaluation. Plan B does not. You have to ask the pharmacist for it, but anybody can get it. Plan B gets none of the safeguards that birth-control pills get. And so the pharmacist is taking on a legal responsibility there. Who will be blamed for blood clots or other complications that result? The pharmacist. He could be sued if it turns out to be harmful to the woman's health.
Would a pharmacist really be sued for that? Has that ever happened?
Who knows? Look, the irritation to us is that we're a pro-life, anti-abortion organization. In Kansas, an abortion is a drug or procedure given to someone known to be pregnant. The line between the chemical and the surgical is blurred. Plan B is maybe not an abortion per se, but it's part of a chemical reproductive cartel that's bumping up against what we're trying to do as a pro-life group.
Is the ultimate goal of Kansans for Life for Kansas to be the first state in the union where abortion is illegal?
We have no plaque on our wall that says that. We're trying to be a consistent pathway that educates people that abortion is harmful, that it kills the next generation, and that it's harmful to women. The Supreme Court doesn't allow states to have discussions like that. They've closed down normal process on that. We feel that the Supreme Court will eventually change its mind, just like it did when it said that black people were three-fifths of a person. We're trying to create a culture of life. We want a society where abortion is not just illegal but unthinkable.