Kansas congressional candidate contradicts herself on national abortion ban


Former Kansas Republican Party Chair Amanda Adkins says she opposes a federal law banning abortion, but she backs a GOP budget plan that explicitly proposes one.

Amanda Adkins, the Republican nominee challenging incumbent Democratic Rep. Sharice Davids for the House seat in Kansas' 3rd Congressional District as well as a long-time opponent of abortion rights, says she is opposed to a federal abortion ban.

But Adkins is giving full-throated support to a federal budget proposal put forward by the conservative House caucus called the Republican Study Committee that expressly includes nationwide prohibitions on abortion.

Following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in June that struck down its ruling in Roe v. Wade that affirmed a constitutional right to abortion, Adkins, who says she is a "pro-life advocate" who is "committed to supporting life from conception until natural death," wrote in an opinion column published in the Kansas City Star in August:

Decisions on abortion policy belong close to the people, at the state level, and that's where I'll work to keep them as a member of Congress. I don't support a federal ban on abortion, nor do I support any other federal policymaking related to contraception or fertility. As a pro-life candidate, I will continue to be part of the dialogue on this issue at the state level, but I believe it's not Congress' place to impose a national abortion policy on Kansans.

Adkins told an interviewer in May that she supported a ballot initiative on a state constitutional amendment to ban abortion in Kansas "100%. I am a pro-life candidate. I do believe that life has value from conception to natural death." After Kansas voters on Aug. 2 voted overwhelmingly against the proposed amendment, Adkins reiterated her position on a federal ban, telling Kansas City's NPR station KCUR on Sept. 8: "From my perspective it is no longer a federal issue. For that reason, I would not be in support of a congressional ban on abortion. I think the decision-making needs to happen here at the state level."

But in the same interview, Adkins endorsed a budget plan by the Republican Study Committee: "I commit to reducing the deficit. The Republican Study Committee has a plan to completely reduce the deficit within five years. I absolutely support that. I would be a member of the Republican Study Committee. I also think that we need to commit to the American people getting to a balanced budget in general in this country."

The plan in question, released by the Republican Study Committee in June, is called the "Blueprint to Save America."

The budget includes proposals to raise the eligibility age for Medicare and Social Security; eliminate the Affordable Care Act; reduce federal support for farmers; and reduce funding for virtually all programs not related to the Department of Defense.

It also includes an entire section on "The Right to Life" in which the committee endorses an array of anti-abortion rights proposals. Among these are federal abortion restrictions that include what it misleadingly terms a "Heartbeat Protection Act" to ban abortions after six weeks of pregnancy and a "Sanctity of Life Act" declaring that life begins "at conception without exception."

Will Coup, an Adkins campaign spokesperson, told the American Independent Foundation that Adkins only supports the sections of the Republican Study Committee's budget plan that address deficit reduction, not abortion.

"Amanda is on record more than a dozen times stating that she does not support any federal legislation regarding abortion," Coup said. "Her opposition to federal abortion regulations includes the abortion regulations in the RSC's balanced budget plan."

Adkins also has a long record of supporting federal abortion restrictions.

From 2009 to 2013, she served as chair of the Kansas Republican Party. During her tenure, the party adopted a platform that called for a "Human Life Amendment" to the U.S. Constitution and "legislation to make clear the Fourteenth Amendment's protection applies to unborn children."

In September 2021, she tweeted a story about her opponent Davids' support for abortion rights, writing that "reading this reminds me of the words of Mother Teresa 'Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use violence to get what they want.' This is why the greatest destroyer of love is abortion."

In March of this year, she touted an endorsement from the Susan B. Anthony List's Candidate Fund PAC, the campaign arm of the anti-abortion rights group, which backs a federal ban, tweeting, "I am proud to be pro-life & look forward to continuing to advocate for every life!"

Davids is a co-sponsor of the Women's Health Protection Act, which would codify the right to have an abortion prior to the point at which a fetus can survive outside of the uterus. She has been endorsed by both the Planned Parenthood Action Fund and NARAL Pro-Choice America.

According to the Cook Political Report, the race is currently a "toss up."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Update, Oct. 17, 2022 9:31 AM: Updated to include comment from the Adkins campaign