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Posts Tagged: kansas

Kansas’s New Concealed Carry Laws Don’t Belong On Our Campuses

Come July 1st, 2017, Kansas will become the first state that allows students to bring guns on campus without a permit. As a community psychologist and a doctoral student at Wichita State University, I have always held a unique perspective on campus carry; not like the negative rhetoric that you read about from the “alt-right perspective,” where gun safety advocates are perceived as “snowflakes.” You can’t imagine the backlash I have received about my nagging for “extra rights”; they would make anyone want to roll their eyes for an infinite amount of time. But the concerns of hundreds of students on Kansas campuses should not be taken lightly. July 1st will be the start of a new college experience — one where some students will be forced to have a… Read more »

Writing Abortion 20 Feet High

billboard image_wichita

 This article originally appeared on the blog at Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes.  Growing up in a small Kansas town meant a few things for me. I would forever be haunted by Wizard of Oz jokes whenever I told someone I’m from Kansas, going to Sonic with friends would be an early teen right of passage, and any road trip I took with my parents would mean driving past multiple anti-abortion billboards.   These billboards varied in language, size, and quality but they all had the same message: Abortion is bad. As most people know, Kansas is notorious for its negative outlook on abortion. Although much of our state legislature is rabidly anti-choice, the majority of fellow Kansans I know are okay with abortion. One of the reasons I believe Kansas still… Read more »

Kansas Law Creates a Bounty for Trans Students

This month, the Kansas state legislature passed two bills that pay students to openly discriminate against their trans peers. Unfortunately, Governor Brownback signed both bills into law. One of them forces institutions to pay religious student organizations for partaking in active exclusion of any group under the guise of religious liberties. The second effectively places a bounty on trans students who use the restroom that they are most comfortable in by saying that they are a threat to ‘physical privacy.’ The ironically named Student Physical Privacy Act, states that students using facilities designated for the opposite sex of their biological sex threaten the psychological and physical safety of others. This narrow definition of biological sex completely excludes intersex folks from the discussion. The language of the Act also states that public schools, including universities, need… Read more »

Our Communities Deserve Better

  A lot of times when people talk about gun violence and gun control in the United States, they think of the numbers. Statistics are thrown around more than personal stories, and when we do talk about people involved in shootings it’s usually about labeling the shooter by the different stereotypes we’ve formulated for mass shooters: the terrorist or the mentally ill person. We don’t talk about how mass shootings and loose gun laws affect the community. I did this numbers-over-people type of thinking about gun violence without realizing it, a lot. The past few months changed that for me however. Until I was 9, my family lived in Southern California. The San Bernardino Mountains are my childhood home. A long-time family friend even works as a probation officer for… Read more »

Kansas Gambles with Tax Money to Punish Planned Parenthood

For a state that is struggling with a historically significant budget crisis, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback and his supporters in the legislature sure do know how to gamble tax dollars on actions and legislation that are federally prohibited. In his state address last week, Governor Brownback announced that he was going to follow through on his promise to remove Medicaid funding from Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri (PPKM). According to his letter to the Kansas Secretary of Health and Environment, Governor Brownback’s direction to end Medicare funding to PPKM was “based on their affiliation with the national Planned Parenthood Federation of America and other information provided by [the department].” While the letter is vague in what exactly that information was, it is presumed that the information was that the… Read more »

Public Assistance is Reproductive Justice

Recently, my home state of Kansas passed a law that places several restrictions on the usage of benefits received from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (TANF), commonly referred to as welfare. Among other things, the bill prohibits TANF benefits from being used at swimming pools, movie theaters, cruise ships, and tattoo parlors. Also, the bill limits ATM withdrawals from the TANF account to $25 per day. On top of these new restrictions, Kansas also requires recipients of TANF benefits to be working or looking for work, and has instituted a drug testing policy for those who qualify. And Kansas isn’t the only state to be fighting this “problem” of the luxury of being poor. Missouri lawmakers have been pushing for a bill greatly restricting what type of groceries… Read more »

Kansas Regressing on LGBT Workplace Protections

Kansas

This past Tuesday, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback issued an executive order that removed workplace protections from being harassed, discriminated against, or fired based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The original order that extended those protections was signed in 2007 by former Governor Kathleen Sebelius. The protections included in the original order were fairly narrow in scope, and rarely enforced. As with any executive order, there are limits to what can be done. This particular order applied only to government agencies under direct control of the governor, affecting roughly 25,000 people. These people are important, and removing workplace protections may affect the job status of some. But, in a time when states are expanding protections for people, this move flies in the face of progress. There are few examples of… Read more »

Kansas Is Poised to Ban Second Trimester Abortions

urge lobby day pic 2015

Recently introduced in the Kansas Legislature was a bill that could shape up to be the strictest abortion law in the country. The proposed bill is a ban on a specific type of procedure that is primarily used in the second trimester, Dilation and Evacuation. Anti-choice advocates have been pushing to define this method as “dismemberment abortion.” If this bill were to pass, it could effectively outlaw any access to safe abortion care beyond 14 weeks of pregnancy. This past Monday, I attended an Advocacy Day at the Kansas Legislature that was hosted by URGE. Our focus for the day was a sex education bill that was recently introduced, outlined in my preview several weeks ago. However, in the days leading up to our trip, we were made aware of… Read more »

Fighting Revenge Porn

Over the past several years, the problem of “revenge porn” has been growing. Revenge porn is commonly defined as sexually explicit material (usually photos or videos) posted online without the subject’s consent. This has been used as a tool to get revenge on a former partner, where usually this material was recorded consensually at the time, but is now a weapon to embarrass, harass, or humiliate the subject. It is an example of how sex crimes have adapted to the digital age. Any person can be the victim of this type of cyber sex crime, although it is far more likely for a woman to be the victim at the hands of her male partner. It can be devastating for the subject, with consequences not only for their mental and… Read more »