Kansans resoundingly vote ‘NO’ over regulating right to abortion
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - A constitutional right to have an abortion has been upheld in Kansas.
The “Value Them Both” Amendment was defeated Tuesday in the first major vote since the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade earlier this summer.
More than 900,000 cast ballots in Kansas on the issue, with 59 percent voting to uphold the state constitutional right to an abortion, while 41 percent voted to lift the constitutional right, which would have opened the door for legislators to regulate or ban abortion.
Kansas remains one of the few states where abortion remains legal.
The measure was a response to a 2019 state Supreme Court decision protecting abortion rights. Supporters of the change would not say whether they would pursue a ban, while opponents predicted one would be coming if the measure had passed.
Anti-abortion lawmakers wanted to have the vote coincide with the state’s August primary, arguing they wanted make sure it got the focus, though others saw it as an obvious attempt to boost their chances of winning. Twice as many Republicans as Democrats have voted in the state’s August primaries in the decade leading up to Tuesday’s election.
The electorate in Tuesday’s vote wasn’t typical for a Kansas primary, particularly because tens of thousands of unaffiliated voters cast ballots.
Kansas Republican Party Chair Mike Kuckelman said opponents of the proposed amendment were effective in portraying it as a ban. But he predicted that Kansas will become a destination for abortion, and voters will not stand for that.
In Kansas, both sides together spent more than $14 million on their campaigns. Abortion providers and abortion rights groups were key donors to the “no” side, while Catholic dioceses heavily funded the “yes” campaign.
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