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Kansans Vote To Keep Abortion Protections In State Constitution

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Kansans determined to hold abortion protections of their state structure after a Tuesday vote — an enormous win for pro-choice advocates that can possible set the tone for what’s to come back on abortion rights nationally.

Voters within the midwest state voted in opposition to the Value Them Both modification, which was created by anti-abortion Christian teams to strip protections for abortion care from the state’s structure. The vote, which was held throughout a main election, had a historic turnout ― as excessive because the 2008 presidential election. Voters selected to protect abortion rights within the state by a double-digit margin.

President Joe Biden hailed the result in a press release late Tuesday. “The Supreme Court’s extreme decision to overturn Roe v. Wade put women’s health and lives at risk. Tonight, the American people had something to say about it. This vote makes clear what we know: The majority of Americans agree that women should have access to abortion and should have the right to make their own health care decisions.”

The modification was created in response to a 2019 Kansas Supreme Court resolution that dominated the state’s structure essentially protects abortion rights.

If Value Them Both had handed, it could have opened the door for anti-abortion rights lawmakers to pursue a complete abortion ban — a move that many Kansas Republicans denied, however have been caught on tape discussing.

The poll initiative, which attracted nationwide consideration, was an “instant uphill battle” for pro-abortion rights teams in Kansas, Ashley All, from the pro-choice group Kansans for Constitutional Freedom, instructed HuffPost final week.

Signs Calling On Voters To Vote No Or Vote Yes To The Value Them Both Amendment Are Displayed In Prairie Village, Kansas, On July 28.
Signs calling on voters to vote no or vote sure to the Value Them Both modification are displayed in Prairie Village, Kansas, on July 28.
CAITLIN WILSON by way of Getty Images

Republican lawmakers included the vote in a main election, which often has a decrease turnout than the overall election and skews conservative. Additionally, Kansas has closed primaries, which implies unaffiliated voters aren’t used to voting in primaries. This gave Republicans within the state a bonus since about 44% of registered Kansas voters are Republicans, 26% are Democrats and 29% are unaffiliated.

Abortion rights advocates and lawmakers argued Republicans deliberately made the language of the modification imprecise and complicated with a purpose to mislead voters. The allegation from Democrats rang true after Kansas voters acquired a misleading textual content message the evening earlier than the poll vote, urging Kansans to vote sure on the modification as a result of it “will give women a choice” and “protect women’s health.” A vote in favor of the modification would have stripped abortion protections from the state structure. The texts, which have been unsigned, have been later linked again to a Republican-aligned agency that had connections to former U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.).

The final result was an enormous win for abortion supporters in Kansas and the area — and can possible set the tone for upcoming votes on abortion care across the nation.

The vote on the Value Them Both modification attracted nationwide consideration as a result of it was the primary on abortion rights for the reason that Supreme Court earlier this summer season repealed Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that afforded federal abortion rights.

Kansas is an “unlikely sanctuary state” for about half the nation, stated Dr. Allison Block, a supplier on the Trust Women abortion clinic in Wichita. Much of the Midwest and South have already banned or severely restricted abortion since Roe fell: Texas, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Missouri and Arkansas all have whole abortion bans in impact; and North Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming and Iowa are in courtroom difficult extreme restrictions or ready on bans to take impact.

If the Value Them Both modification handed, it could have decimated abortion entry in not solely Kansas, however the complete Midwest and far of the South.

Abortion is already closely regulated in Kansas: It’s banned after 22 weeks besides to avoid wasting the lifetime of the pregnant particular person, and authorities funding for abortion care is outlawed. There are solely 5 clinics left within the state, and there are a slew of different obstacles to get care, together with a 24-hour ready interval, state-mandated ultrasounds and required non secular counseling.

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