Kansas voted on Aug. 2 to continue to protect abortion rights in the state constitution — a major win for advocates across the United States after the Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade ruling.
In the first statewide referendum on abortion rights since the Supreme Court decision in late June, voters in Kansas rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that sought to remove protections for abortion rights.
The “No” campaign, which was protecting abortion rights, was ahead in the electoral test with 62% of the vote with the majority of the ballots counted.
“Kansans stood up for fundamental rights today. We rejected divisive legislation that jeopardized our economic future [and] put women’s health care access at risk,” Kansas Governor Laura Kelly said on Twitter.
The result is a major blow to a multi-million dollar anti-abortion campaign, including support from the Catholic church and the Kansas-Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists.
Kansas became a haven for legal access to abortion care in the midwest region as neighboring states Missouri and Oklahoma banned the procedure in nearly all cases.
Kansas already has tight restrictions on abortion, which is legal for up to 20 weeks of pregnancy. The restrictions include requirements that the patient must undergo state-director counseling, an ultrasound, and a mandatory 24-hour waiting period, as well as bans on certain health insurance coverage and telemedicine appointments.
Michigan, Arizona, Missouri, and Washington also held elections.
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