TOPICA, Kansas (AP) – Kansas voters on Tuesday sent a loud message about their desire to defend abortion rights by rejecting the vote measure. in a conservative state with deep ties to the anti-abortion movement that would allow the Republican-controlled Legislature to tighten restrictions or outright ban the procedure.
It was first test of voter sentiment after the decision of the US Supreme Court. decision in June, who abolished the constitutional right to abortion by providing a surprise result with potential consequences for upcoming midterm elections.
While it was just one state, big turnout for the August primaries, usually favored by the Republicans, were a major victory for abortion rights advocates. with the majority of in vote estimated they dominated by about 20 percent points, with turnout is close to typical for autumn elections for governor.
vote also put a dash of hope for Democrats across the country are taking over for a game- Changer during elections year otherwise filled with dark omens for their prospects in November.
“This vote does clear what we know: majority of Americans agree that women should have access for an abortion and should have the right to take care of their own health decisions” President Joe Biden said. in statement.
After the call on Congress “restore protection of Caviar” in federal law, Biden added”And, American people must continue use their voices to defend women’s right to health care, including abortion.”
Kansas vote also has provided warning Republicans who celebrated the decision of the Supreme Court and were moving fast with abortion bans or around-bans in Near half States.
“Kansans vehemently rejected attempts by anti-abortion politicians to creating reproductive police state,” said Kimberly Ines McGuire, Executive director of Merge for Reproductive and gender equality. ”Today vote was powerful reproach and promise of mounting resistance.
Proposed amendment to the Kansas Constitution would added language stating that it does not give the right to an abortion. State Supreme Court 2019 decision said that access the right to abortion is a “basic” right under state bill of rights, preventing prohibition and potentially hindering legislative efforts to enact new restrictions.
The referendum was closely followed like a barometer of the wrath of liberal and moderate voters over decision of the Supreme Court to abolish the nationwide right to abortion. Abortion in Kansas opponents would not say what legislation they would pursue if the amendment was passed and bristled when opponents predicted it would be lead to the ban.
Mallory Carroll, Press Secretary for in national against abortion group Susan B. Anthony, ProLife America, described vote as a “huge disappointment” for movement is called on anti-abortion candidates on in offensive”.
She is added that after the ruling of the US Supreme Court “We must work exponentially harder to achieve and maintain protection for unborn children and their mothers.”
measures failure also was significant because of Kansas links to anti-abortion activists. Anti-abortion “Summer of mercy protests in 1991 inspired abortion opponents take over Republican Party of Kansas and make the Legislature more conservative. They were there because Dr. George Tiller’s clinic was among the few in it is known that abortions are done late in the USA in pregnancy and he was killed in 2009 by an anti-abortion extremist.
Anti-abortion lawmakers wanted have vote match with the August state primaries, claiming they wanted do sure it attracted attention, although others saw it as an obvious attempt to improve their chances of win. Twice as many Republicans voted as Democrats in August state primary in decade leading up for elections on Tuesday.
“This result is a temporary setback and our devotee fight appreciate, evaluate women and the children are far away over” said spokeswoman Emily Massey. for for the amendment campaign.
Electorate in Tuesday vote was not typical for primaries in Kansas, especially because dozens of thousands of unaffiliated voters ballots.
Christy Winter, 52, Kansas City.area teacher and independent voter who voted against measure and brought her 16-year-old daughter with her to her vote place.
“I want her to have the same right to do what she sees fit, basically in happening of rape or incest,” she said. “I want she has the same rights as me mother was the most of her life.”
Opponents of the measure predicted that anti-abortion groups and lawmakers behind measure would quickly push for a ban on abortion if voters approve it. Before the vote, the supporters of the measure refused to speak whether they would seek a ban as they appealed to voters who some restrictions are supported, as well as some access to an abortion.
Stefania Kostreva, 40-year- an old school nurse from Kansas City area and a Democrat, said she voted in service of measure, because she is a Christian and believes in life begins at conception.
“I don’t full scale what’s there should never have an abortion,” she said. “I know there are emergencies and when mother’s life in danger there is no reason for two people to die”.
Anonymous group sent a misleading text on Monday to Kansas voters telling them:vote yes” to protect the choice, but it was taken offline from the Twilio messaging platform late on Monday. using, the representative said. Twilio did not determine the sender.
Kansas Supreme Court 2019 decision Abortion rights protection blocked a law that banned most common second trimester procedure and other law imposing special sanitary rules on abortion providers also is on Keep. abortion opponents claimed that everything of the state’s existing restrictions were in danger, although some jurists found this argument is dubious. Kansas does not ban most abortions before 22 weeks of pregnancy.
Kansas vote this is start of what can be long lasting series of law battles playing out where are legislators more conservative on abortion than governors or state courts. Kentucky will vote in november on is it worth it add language similar to Kansas’ proposed state constitutional amendment.
Meanwhile, Vermont will decide in November add provision for abortion rights in its constitution. A similar question is likely to go to the November vote. in Michigan.
In Kansas, both parties held together more over $14 million on their campaigns. Abortion providers and abortion rights groups key donors on the “no” side, while the Catholic dioceses actively funded the “yes” campaign.
The state had a strong anti-abortion majority. in its legislature for 30 years old, but voters regularly elected Democratic governors, including Laura Kelly in 2018. She opposed the proposed amendment, saying that changing the state constitution “throw state back in the dark ages.”
State Attorney General Derek Schmidt, a Republican hoping to remove Kelly, supported the proposed constitutional amendment. He told Catholic TV network EWTN ahead of the election that “there is still room for progress” in reduction in abortion, no spelling out so he sign like a governor.
Although abortion opponents pushes almost every year for new restrictions prior to the 2019 state Supreme Court decision, they felt restricted past court rulings and Democratic governors like Kelly.
Stafford reported from Overland Park and Olathe.
Follow John Hanna on Twitter in https://twitter.com/apjdhanna. Per more AP coverage of abortion issue go to https://apnews.com/hub/abortion.