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voting, abortion

Kansas is voting on a constitutional amendment that would open the door to restrictive abortion laws.

Getting to the truth in politics is challenging as it is and it's hard enough just to get people to vote. The last thing we need is to have voters receive direct messages telling them that voting YES on an important ballot measure will do exactly the opposite of what it will do.

Yet that's what has been happening in at least one state.

In its current election, Kansas voters are being asked to vote for or against an amendment to the state's constitution that would impact abortion laws. The Value Them Both Amendment says that there's no constitutional right to an abortion and would grant legislators the authority to regulate abortions. According to NPR, it's the first ballot measure on reproductive rights in the U.S. since the Supreme Court's decision that overturned Roe v. Wade.


The night before the election, people in Kansas started reporting text messages that sounded very much like they came from a pro-choice source. "Women in Kansas are losing their choice on reproductive rights," the texts read. "Voting YES on the Amendment will give women a choice. Vote YES to protect women's health."

However, that's exactly the opposite of what voting yes would do. Voting yes on the amendment would open the door to more restrictive abortion laws. Voting no means keeping current regulations.

The texts came from several different 888 numbers and did not disclose who they came from.

The texts are pretty clearly meant to confuse pro-choice voters into voting for the amendment, telling them that a yes vote would protect women's reproductive rights when the opposite is true. It's blatantly misleading, but according to the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission, it's not illegal.

Not only do text messages about constitutional ballot initiatives not require disclaimers informing receivers of who has paid for them, but there's also nothing in the current statutes that addresses misleading wording. Lovely.

According to KMBC, the service Twilio disabled the user's account from sending out any more text messages as distributing disinformation is against the platform's terms of service. But the damage has already been done.

Naturally, people should read the ballot thoroughly before they vote and not just follow what some text tells them. However, ballots can be confusing. Language can be vague and/or biased, littered with legalese or contain muddled positives and negatives so voters aren't always clear on what they are voting for or against.

The Kansas amendment measure is confusing as it is written. Check out the language used on the ballot, as shared by The Guardian:


Explanatory statement. The Value Them Both Amendment would affirm there is no Kansas constitutional right to abortion or to require the government funding of abortion, and would reserve to the people of Kansas, through their elected state legislators, the right to pass laws to regulate abortion, including, but not limited to, in circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest, or when necessary to save the life of the mother.

A vote for the Value Them Both Amendment would affirm there is no Kansas constitutional right to abortion or to require the government funding of abortion, and would reserve to the people of Kansas, through their elected state legislators, the right to pass laws to regulate abortion.

A vote against the Value Them Both Amendment would make no changes to the constitution of the state of Kansas, and could restrict the people, through their elected state legislators, from regulating abortion by leaving in place the recently recognized right to abortion.

Shall the following be adopted?

§ 22. Regulation of abortion.Because Kansans value both women and children, the constitution of the state of Kansas does not require government funding of abortion and does not create or secure a right to abortion. To the extent permitted by the constitution of the United States, the people, through their elected state representatives and state senators, may pass laws regarding abortion, including, but not limited to, laws that account for circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest, or circumstances of necessity to save the life of the mother.

That's not a simple yes or no choice the way it's worded. "Do you want the state to pass restrictive abortion laws? Yes or No?" would be simple. The way this is written, you have to unravel language that's pretty clearly written to favor the amendment while also deciphering what it is you're actually voting for or against.

The text messages telling pro-choice people to vote yes because it will protect choice are 100% wrong and almost assuredly designed to confuse voters even more than the ballot already does.

It's a good reminder to ignore political messaging and to always read ballots carefully so that we know what we're voting for. Some people will go to extreme dishonest lengths to score a political win, so we must stay diligent as we exercise our civic right, privilege and responsibility.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

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We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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