Kansas voters reject anti-abortion constitutional amendment

Kansas voters on Tuesday rejected an amendment that would have removed abortion protections from the state constitution, the Associated Press reports.

Why is this important: This is the first time since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade that American voters are voting on abortion.

State of play: The amendment reportedly added language to the Kansas Constitution that said that “[b]Because Kansans value both women and children, the Kansas state constitution does not require government funding for abortion and does not create or guarantee a right to abortion.

  • The Kansas constitution guarantees “equal and inalienable natural rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” which the state’s Supreme Court ruled in 2019, includes the right to abortion, according to the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Thought bubble: The race was one of the most watched in Tuesday’s primaries for signals it could send to Republican and suburban female voters regarding abortion rights in key states in November, Margaret Talev, Axios Policy Editor said.

Do not forget : Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee and West Virginia are the only four states to have amended their constitutions to ban any protection of the right to abortion.

Where abortion is on the ballot
Data: Ballot; Note: Pending refers to states where the ballot measure is pending certification or legislative action; Map: Simran Parwani/Axios

In November, voters in California, Vermont, Kentucky and Montana will be able to make decisions related to abortion.

  • A ballot initiative in Vermont would enact a state constitutional amendment declaring “an individual’s right to personal reproductive autonomy.”
  • Kentucky voters will vote on a measure that would ensure the state constitution “does not guarantee or protect the right to abortion, or require abortion funding.”
  • In California, voters will decide whether or not to enact an amendment that adds a “fundamental right to choose to have an abortion” to their state constitution.
  • In Montanaresidents will decide on a state law that would require medical care to be provided to “born alive infants” after an abortion by classifying them as a “legal entity” having “the right to appropriate and reasonable medical care and treatment “.

What we are looking at: There are abortion-related measures that have yet to be certified and could potentially be added to ballots later this year.

  • In Michigan, abortion rights advocates have submitted more than 750,000 signatures for a ballot initiative that would create a state constitutional right to “reproductive freedom.”
    • If at least 425,059 signatures are verified, the measure will appear on the ballot in the fall.
  • In Colorado, where abortion is protected by state law, a measure awaiting certification would add state law prohibiting “intentionally causing the death of a living human being at any time before, during or after the birth”.

Other states – Michigan, Colorado, New York, Washington, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Nevada and South Dakota – also have abortion-related measures that could appear in state ballots in 2023 or 2024.

About Charles D. Goolsby

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