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Anti-Abortion Crusader Dies In Plane Crash After Maybe Spending Cessna Budget On Failed Vote Recount

Mark Gietzen claimed he was pro-life, but died anyway

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Mark Gietzen placing crosses in the ground outside a Planned Parenthood, a totally normal thing that reasonable human beings do
Photo: Travis Heying/Washington Post (Getty Images)

Last summer, voters in Kansas faced a choice: Keep abortion legal, or give the state the chance to ban it? Kansans came out and supported abortion by a wide margin, but that didn’t stop anti-choice folks from trying to undo the vote with a recount. Now, one of the people that funded the recount is dead — after crashing his plane.

Mark Gietzen, the anti-choice activist who largely underwrote the unsuccessful 2022 recount effort, died on Tuesday, May 16 after crashing his Cessna in Nebraska. He was the sole occupant of the plane, and was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Wichita Eagle. Yet, on the subject of the plane, the Eagle had more to say:

Gietzen, in an August interview with The Eagle, said the nearly $120,000 he spent on the statewide recount would likely complicate his plans to renovate the old Cessna, which he said he flew for the first time in the summer of 2022 after he put 15 years of work into it.

“My only drawback on this Value Them Both recount is that that airplane is going to sit and collect dust for a little while,” he said in August. “Well, not collect dust. I’ll just go fly it in uncontrolled airspace, and we have to put 50 hours on it before you can fly with passengers anyway, which is a necessary and good rule. I’ve already got so much invested in that plane, I want to get finished. I’m so proud of this thing.”


His obituary in the Eagle is full of fawning quotes from other anti-choice politicians, who called him “the hardest-working guy I know in the pro-life movement” and “an irreplaceable figurehead.” Let’s hope so!