Kansas voters shocked observers on Tuesday during the state’s primary after they shot down an amendment that would have had huge implications for abortion in the red-leaning state.
According to the Washington Examiner, Kansas voters, by a decisive margin, defeated a proposed amendment that would strip any “right” to abortion from the Kansas Constitution. The right to abortions was reaffirmed in 2019 by Kansas Supreme Court justices.
The amendment is called the “Value them Both” amendment.
The language of the amendment stated, “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.”
Cheers from the left
“You guys, we did it,” said Rachel Sweet, campaign manager for Kansans for Constitutional Freedom, as she spoke to a group of pro-abortion activists.
She added: “We blocked this amendment. Can you believe it?”
According to the Kansas Reflector, Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat, celebrated the news.
“I’m proud to say that Kansans stood up for our fundamental rights today,” the governor said in a statement to her supporters. “I’ve always maintained that a woman’s reproductive health care decisions should be between her and her physician.”
Given that Kansas is a solidly red-leaning state, many wondered what, exactly, happened that would have caused such an amendment to not only be shot down, but in such a decisive fashion. Some believe the wording on the ballot could have confused voters.
The Reflector noted: “The question before voters, in the form of a confusingly worded constitutional amendment, was whether to end the right to abortion in Kansas by voting ‘yes’ or preserve the right by voting ‘no.'”
Others believe the issue simply sparked Democratic voters to get out to the polls for the primary vote, which typically receives a much lower turnout than general elections.
Only time will tell if the vote on the amendment serves as a bellwether indicator of what’s likely to happen with similar issues in November.