Abortion stays in Kansas: Voters squash measure that would remove abortion rights from state constitution

The citizens of Kansas have spoken and, as a result, abortion remains a state constitutionally protected right that cannot be outlawed by legislators.

On Tuesday, Kansans overwhelmingly voted “no” on a GOP-drafted amendment that would have allowed legislators to impose new abortion restrictions or even outlaw abortion altogether, although pro-life advocates had said they weren’t trying to do the latter.

“We are simply returning the question of abortion back to the people of Kansas. It is absolutely not a ban on abortion. It’s all about protecting our more than 20-plus regulations that actually are saving lives and helping moms and babies,” Brittany Jones of Kansas Family Voice told ABC News prior to Tuesday’s vote.

As of Wednesday morning, with 95 percent of precincts having reported, a whopping 58.8 percent of voters had chosen “no,” while only 41.2 percent had chosen “yes.”

Interestingly, virtually all of the “no” votes came from Kansas’s metropolitan areas:

(Source: The New York Times)

“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,” the since-defeated amendment read.

“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.”

ABC News notes that Kansas currently “allows abortions up to 20 weeks after fertilization but requires patients to undergo counseling and a 24-hour waiting period; provide parental consent in cases of a minor; and obtain an ultrasound.”

Thanks to Tuesday’s vote, no additional restrictions can be imposed on abortion. It’s not clear whether the current set of restrictions is now at risk of being eliminated.

Regardless, the vote Tuesday could conceivably bode badly for Republicans come November, given as Kansas is a deep red state. Indeed, some say the “no” vote is a bellwether:

They may have a point.

“The polling, from a variety of sources, is unambiguous and consistent. Across party lines, abortion rights are popular and the Supreme Court’s ruling is not. The most recent CNN poll found that 63% of Americans disapproved — 51% ‘strongly’ — of the court’s decision. The Kaiser Family Foundation came to a similar conclusion, with 61% of respondents to their survey saying they wanted their state to guarantee access to abortion. Only 25% wanted them to restrict it,” CNN notes.

“The backlash, and its translation to concrete political terms, could potentially influence elections in a handful of states this fall — including in liberal states like California and Vermont, where the big ticket results are close to a formality but the energy of Democrats could tip races down the ballot.”

Consider also that whereas Republicans were enjoying a 4+ percentage point lead over Democrats on the generic 2022 ballot back in the spring, ever since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the lead has dropped to under one percentage point.

(Source: RealClearPolitics)

Critics of the GOP’s effort to overturn Roe v. Wade and subsequently outlaw abortion on the state level say that the Republican Party’s dwindling poll numbers and the results in Kansas prove that concerns about abortion “rights” could wind up overwhelming concerns about other matters such as inflation and the economy.

If true, this would be a rebuke to those Republicans who say the public’s frustration with President Joe Biden’s disastrous economic policies will lead to a roaring red wave in November.

Indeed, the president is already using the Kansas vote to distract from his failures:

The pro-life community, for their part, remains undeterred.

“While the outcome is not what we hoped, our movement and campaign have proven our resolve and commitment. We will not abandon women and babies,” the pro-life group known as  the Value Them Both Coalition said in a Twitter statement, adding that the vote was a “temporary setback.”

The group also accused the establishment media of having parroted the left’s “misinformation” about the amendment.



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Vivek Saxena


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