Fact check: What your vote on August 2 means for abortion rights
KANSAS (KCTV) - Kansas is less than three weeks from what’s expected to be a record-breaking turnout at the polls.
On Aug. 2, Kansas will become the first state to vote on abortion rights since the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
The outcome of this election will not immediately change abortion laws in the state — however, it could lead to changes in abortion rights down the road.
Below, KCTV5 breaks down what your vote means:
2019 State Supreme Court Decision
The state’s supreme court passed an amendment in 2019 making access to abortion a fundamental right in Kansas.
That ruling guaranteed abortion would remain legal in the state, even if Roe v. Wade was reversed.
In their decision, the court cited the first sentence of the state’s Bill of Rights: “All men are possessed of equal and inalienable natural rights.”
That’s where we are now. Kansans will vote whether or not to uphold that decision.
Abortion Laws in Kansas Right Now
Here’s what’s in place right now in Kansas:
- Abortion is legal up until 22 weeks. After that, it’s allowed in rare circumstances, like when the mother’s life is in danger.
- Patients get a package of materials with procedure risks and their other options, then must wait 24 hours before undergoing an abortion.
- Patients must undergo an ultrasound.
- Patients cannot get approval for abortion via telemedicine.
- A parent or legal guardian must sign off for patients under 18.
Subhead 3: What a ‘Yes’ Vote Means
A ‘yes’ vote on Aug. 2 would be a vote to amend the state constitution, eliminating the guaranteed right to abortion in the state.
That would open the door for the Republican-controlled state legislature to pass abortion restrictions if they so choose.
Subhead 4: What a ‘No’ Vote Means
A ‘no’ vote would be a vote to keep the current abortion laws in place, upholding the Supreme Court’s 2019 decision.
Abortion rights would remain in the constitution, giving the legislature no ground to ban or restrict abortion.
Subhead 5: Record Turnout Expected
Election officials expect a record-setting turnout at the polls next month.
For example, Johnson County anticipates more voters at this year’s primary than in the 2016 general election.
Wyandotte County officials expect a 40-45% turnout, compared to its average primary turnout of 25% of registered voters.
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