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A Community Conversation on Reproductive Rights

Jointly offered by the KC Media Collective member organizations
6:00 PM 7: 30 PM
Virtual Event

A Community Conversation on Reproductive Rights

6:00 PM 7: 30 PM
Virtual Event

The fall of Roe v. Wade had immediate, sweeping impacts on reproductive rights across the nation. Kansas has become a critical point of health care access for neighboring states. It will also be the first state to test voters’ views on the issue. As Kansans prepare for an August 2 special election to vote on whether the state constitution guarantees a right to abortions, what are your questions?

On July 26, the Kansas City Media Collective hosted a virtual conversation about the economic, legal and human implications of the outcome.

KC Media Collective member organizations include:  American Public Square, Kansas City PBS/Flatland, KCUR, Missouri Business Alert, Startland News and The Kansas City Beacon.

Program Recording

Program Panelists

Neal Allen is chair and associate professor of political science at Wichita State University.  He teaches and studies about American politics, Kansas politics, and law and courts.  His analysis and commentary have been published in The Dallas Morning News, The Kansas City Star and The Wichita Eagle.  He is a regular guest on PBS Kansas’ Kansas Week, and has been interviewed by NPR 1A, the CBS Evening News, and several state and local news outlets.

Elizabeth Kirk is the director of the Center for Law & the Human Person, research associate, and lecturer for the Columbus School of Law at The Catholic University of America.  Kirk joined the Columbus School of Law after serving as the Director and Kowalski Chair of Catholic Thought at the Institute for Faith and Culture at the St. Lawrence Catholic Campus Center at the University of Kansas. From 2005 to 2010, she served as the Associate Director of the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture, an interdisciplinary center inspired by the teachings of St. Pope John Paul II and dedicated to bringing the Catholic moral, intellectual and cultural tradition to bear upon the formation of students. From 2012 to 2016, Kirk served as a resident fellow in cultural and legal studies at the Stein Center for Social Research at Ave Maria University. She previously taught law at The Columbus School of Law from 2002-03 and at Ave Maria School of Law in Ann Arbor, Michigan from 2003-05, and clerked for the Honorable Daniel A. Manion of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit from 2000-02. Prior to entering academia, she practiced law, representing religious and charitable organizations and in the area of estate planning.

Kirk has considerable experience in matters pertaining to the family in law and policy, and is a frequent speaker, media expert, and writer on such matters. She is an associate scholar for the Charlotte Lozier Institute, serving as a legal policy expert, with a special interest in adoption law and policy.

Michael Poppa started with Mainstream Coalition as executive director in January 2020, after serving his first term on the Roeland Park, KS City Council, and working as director of member engagement for the Northeast Johnson County Chamber of Commerce. He was first introduced to Mainstream in 2014, while serving as the Metro KC chapter chair of Equality Kansas and championing the passage of the first LGTBQ-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance in Johnson County, KS. He is honored to now be a part of the Mainstream Coalition/The Voter Network team and help further efforts to inform and empower Kansas voters to take meaningful action in the political process.

Jonathan Scrafford is a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist in Wichita, Kansas.  He was born and raised in Wichita, and proud to serve the women in his hometown community.

As the founder of Sacred Organized Spaces, Sandra Thornhill serves as a perinatal doula, trained in childbirth education, reproductive and sexual health counseling, and peer lactation counseling. Additionally, Sandy serves as a professional organizer and community organizer mobilizing people across the state to reclaim their peace. With a passion for equity, and a veneration for policy, she commits her path to elevating the experiences of Black life by centering Black ancestral values and participating in anti-racist work that promotes a sovereign mind, body, and spirit.

Sandra serves to transform the Black experience through several avenues of political and community led actions. These diverse experiences and others helped shape Sandra’s perspective on the need for equitable and actionable policy that addresses racial disparities. They also equipped her with the experiences and network to be a collaborative force fighting for justice.

About the KC Media Collective

The KC Media Collective Mission: “The KC Media Collective is a group of nonprofit and community-centered partners collaborating to make local news easily available, its coverage equitable and its operations sustainable. We will do this by deepening our understanding of the people who make up our region, reducing barriers to access and earning trust.”

The KC Media Collective is committed to efforts that emphasize mutual understanding and empathy within communities. We work towards a day when people have access to trusted news, and communities benefit through greater civic engagement. Breaking systemic barriers to news access, including poverty, language barriers, disabilities and educational inequity, will unleash the potential of our communities. Likewise, the sustainability of local news is central to the connectivity and success of the Kansas City region and each individual who calls it home.

The KC Media Collective initiative was made possible with support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

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