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In Kansas, Your Barber Is Free From “Unnecessary” Regulations, But Your Vagina is Not

Kari Ann Rinker

Governor Brownback is protecting a person’s right to give a cut and a clean shave without the interference of needless government intrusion...but will continue to regulate women's vaginas.

This week, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback used his veto pen to protect the rights of citizens to be free from unnecessary and burdensome regulations.

In the Governor’s veto message he stated:

I intend not only to prevent this small increase of government interference in the marketplace, but also to send the clear message that Kansas will not accept unnecessary government burdens on the free market.

Governor Brownback made this bold statement and wielded his veto pen to protect the rights of… barbers. That’s right, he is protecting a person’s right to give a cut and a clean shave without the interference of needless government intrusion.  But wait… the state Board of Barbering wants the government to interfere, and has approved legislation requiring licensing of barbers.  From the Associated Press… 

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The administrator for the state Board of Barbering, which sought the legislation, was disappointed. One Democratic critic of the Republican governor called the veto “rather bizarre,” and another noted the governor’s support for additional regulations for abortion clinics, suggesting Brownback’s policy was “pro-business if it’s the kind of business we like.”

The bill Brownback vetoed would have required ex-barbers and former barber-school instructors to take a licensing exam again if they’d been out of the business for two years.

The Governor is taking a stand and making a statement against government bureaucracy and red tape! It doesn’t take a genius to see the hypocrisy in this statement coming from a Governor who signed into law the most sweeping abortion clinic regulations within the nation. These regulations imposed the following on abortion clinics… specified room temperatures, square footage requirements, and square footage of janitor’s closets, among others needless requirements.

The regulations were so sweeping that their passage and implementation forced two out of three of Kansas’ remaining abortion providers to shut their doors. These clinics subsequently brought suit and a judicial injunction was swiftly granted, enabling these physicians to keep their doors open as they fight their way through court. The government bureaucracy and red tape has contributed to the attorney fees incurred by the state of Kansas… fees that continue to rise as a result of the multitude of court challenges created by the TRAP law and several other new and unnecessary restrictions upon women’s health. 

Anti-choicers would certainly claim that an abortion presents a greater responsibility for state oversight than a shave and a haircut, but the specious regulations contained within TRAP laws belie this claim. The size of a janitorial closet in an abortion clinic has no more to do with making abortion safe than does the number of stripes on a barber’s pole guarantee the quality of a barber’s cut.

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