As a woman who spent her formative years in Kansas, taught Kansas City sixth-graders, and mentored hundreds of young girls through the Chiefs Cheerleaders organization, I was (and still am) devastated when I saw Kansas Governor Laura Kelly veto the Women’s Bill of Rights.

That bill defines a woman, biologically.

And while yes, I’m concerned that without a definition, the next generation of Kansas women will be harmed–without a say in preserving women’s shelters, women’s sports, girl’s schools, women’s scholarships, sororities, and so on–there’s something deeper than that.

The truth.

Do we live in such politically correct times that we must eliminate truth? That we must pretend that women, who are biologically unique from men, do not exist?

Kansans are better than that. We have fought for truth since our establishment. We joined the Union as a free state (because of the truth that slavery is evil) despite the ugly battles to ensue. And, as Governor Kelly mentioned in both of her inaugural addresses, Kansas has long recognized the truth that women are equal citizens and was one of the first states to give women the vote.

The truth is women exist as biologically distinct from men. We all know this, and we know it is important. Even Transportion Secretary Pete Buttigieg. He wants to dedicate federal transportation money to create female-shaped crash dummies for car safety tests, a move applauded by Democrats. Why? Because women are, on average, shorter and lighter than men. Cars are engineered to protect male-shaped dummies, leaving females 73% more likely to be injured in a car crash. We have this data because government agencies, for now, use biological definitions of men and women. Those definitions are worth preserving — lives depend on it.

While female-shaped dummies are hardly the women’s rights issue of our day (and a questionable use of federal dollars), the underlying reality is undeniable. Women are biologically unique from men. We are in general smaller and lighter. Only we get pregnant and breastfeed. These biological truths leave us vulnerable and in need of respect and protection.

We are vulnerable to domestic abuse: more than three women are killed by their husbands or boyfriends every day. We are not always able to participate in the full range of jobs, due to physical lack of strength or the need to protect our babies in the womb. And try as we might, even our Olympic record holders are outpaced by thousands of high-school boys every year.

I recognize that Kansans face another moral calling: we are kind. The media has defamed the Women’s Bill of Rights as “anti-trans,” leaving some Kansans wondering whether supporting the bill is kind.

Let’s be clear: it absolutely is.

All Kansans are deserving of love and protection. By defining “woman,” the public can make informed and sometimes sensitive decisions about how best to accommodate trans-identifying individuals, while preserving safety, fairness, and privacy for women and girls. Failure to transparently define “women” leaves these high-stakes decisions in the hands of unelected judges and bureaucrats—whose interests often diverge from those of Kansas families.

Despite the governor’s failure, the Kansas Legislature can still do the right thing. They can override Gov. Kelly’s veto this week. They can stand up for truth.

The very First Amendment to our Constitution protects speech. Why? Because truth is vital to our nation. Today we face a basic question. Do women exist as distinct from men? We do. By recognizing that truth, we can protect and celebrate our mothers, wives, grandmothers, daughters, and granddaughters.

Please, Kansas Legislature, do not erase us.