Kansas held its 2022 primary on August 2. In addition to several candidates, one of the items on the ballot was a measure to amend the state’s constitution to remove abortion protections. If it passed, the measure would’ve allowed Republican state lawmakers to restrict abortion or ban it entirely.
The measure failed- overwhelmingly. According to the AP, the results were approximately 59% against the amendment to 41% in favor. The vote is the start of what could be a long-running series of legal battles playing out where lawmakers at the state level are more conservative on abortion than citizens, governors or the courts.
Due to the fact that abortion rights were on the ballot for the first time since Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court in June 2022, the issue in Kansas attracted widespread attention prior to Tuesday’s primary. The fact that proponents of abortion rights were successful in winning an election in a generally conservative state like Kansas has significant ramifications for the approaching midterm elections as well as future struggles for reproductive rights at the state level.
‘This vote makes clear what we know: the majority of Americans agree that women should have access to abortion and should have the right to make their own health care decisions,’ President Biden said in the previous statement.
Kentucky will vote in November on whether to add language similar to Kansas’ proposed amendment to its state constitution, while Vermont will decide in November whether to add an abortion rights provision to its constitution.