Kansas’ Shieldmaiden for Life

November 28, 2017 | . | Posted in From the Director

America remains a place where seemingly ordinary people can do extraordinary things, often in our very midst without our recognizing it.  Presidents may pine for a place on Rushmore, and senators dream of highways named after them (or everything in the state if they’re Robert Byrd), but the most admirable Americans are those who toil in obscurity on behalf of a cause greater than themselves – and do so without hope of fame or fortune.  One such person is Kathy Ostrowski, recently retired as Legislative Director of Kansans for Life (KFL).

Contrary to the caricatures found in the mainstream media and the entertainment industry, the pro-life movement is largely led by women, and a deep concern for the well-being of women is a central part of what it means to be authentically pro-life.  Asked to put a picture of the quintessential pro-life American on its cover, the New York Times would probably pick Roy Moore.  Such nonsense would certainly come as news to anyone who has ever been to the March for Life in Washington, DC, where young women in their teens and early twenties might well be the dominant demographic.  But for a picture of the indispensable pro-life Kansan, a strong case can be made for Kathy Ostrowski.

During Kathy’s tenure at KFL, Kansas went from being the late-term abortion capitol of the Midwest, if not the entire country, to being a model state for strong pro-life laws.  Kansas’ 2015 ban on dismemberment abortions (this barbarity is what Planned Parenthood means by “choice”) was the first of its kind in the nation.  While many people have played crucial roles, there are two essential reasons Kansas has been transformed from an abortion mecca into a testbed for the most cutting edge pro-life legislation in the country: Kansas has the most pro-life governor in America, and Kansas has Kathy Ostrowski’s brain.

Kathy has endured the slings and arrows of hostile legislators, faced down the unremitting lies of the abortion industry, and worked countless hours on little or no sleep, all the while making next to no money for her efforts.  She did not do this work to get paid or to gain plaudits.  She did it for the babies.  And babies there are, and children, and young adults – only God knows how many – alive today because of her.  This, not the grasping at celebrity that increasingly marks our politics, is the stuff of true greatness.

Shortly after Kathy’s retirement, Wichita’s longtime pro-life champion David Gittrich died.  So it now falls to a new generation to take up the burden of fighting the preeminent human rights issue of our time.  Where do we find such men, and women?  In Kansas, where they have always come forth in the hour of need.