US: Kansas votes to preserve abortion rights in first post-Roe election test

The amendment's failure will prevent the Republican-led legislature from passing severe restrictions

Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

By Reuters

Published: Wed 3 Aug 2022, 8:31 AM

Last updated: Wed 3 Aug 2022, 10:13 AM

On Tuesday, Kansas voters rejected a state constitutional amendment that would have revoked the right to abortion, according to Edison Research Projects, delivering a win to abortion rights advocates in a deeply conservative state.

The vote was the first state-wide referendum on abortion, since the US Supreme Court overturned the controversial Roe v. Wade decision in June. The ballot question drew national attention, as an early indicator of whether abortion rights will motivate voters in November's midterm elections.

The amendment's failure will prevent Kansas' Republican-led legislature from passing severe abortion restrictions, without violating the state constitution. It will also preserve a key abortion access point in America's heartland. Patients travel to Kansas for abortions from Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri and other states that have banned the procedure almost entirely.

Kansas' Supreme Court ruled in 2019 that the state constitution protected abortion rights. As a result, it has maintained more lenient policies than other conservative neighbours.

The state allows abortion up to 22 weeks of pregnancy with several additional restrictions, including a mandatory 24-hour waiting period, as well as mandatory parental consent for minors.


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