OVERLAND PARK, KS - Kansas voters rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that would have opened the door for extremists in the state legislature to ban abortion in all cases, without exceptions. The Tuesday primary election in Kansas was the first electoral response by people in any state following the United States Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade.
The amendment was the Kansas legislature’s response to a 2019 Supreme Court ruling that the state’s constitution protects the right to personal autonomy, including to end a pregnancy. Passage of the amendment would have removed the right to terminate a pregnancy in Kansas and given the legislature authority to ban or heavily restrict abortion without exceptions. The rejection of the amendment preserved the status quo, in which abortion remains regulated and legal through 22 weeks from gestation.
“We are relieved that Kansans heard through the noise of misinformation and saw that this was clearly about an ultimate ban,” said Micah Kubic, Executive Director of the ACLU of Kansas. “All eyes nationally were on Kansas. So many Kansas voters heard the call to step up this primary election and defend our right to personal autonomy and protect against government-forced birth in this state.”
Kansas voters turned out at record levels leading up to the August 2 election, despite proponents’ attempt to limit voter turnout by putting the amendment on the primary ballot, which typically draws fewer voters than a general election.
“This is a victory for constitutional freedom, but it’s also a huge, historic win for democracy,” said Kubic. “We applaud the election workers who, once again, helped ensure the integrity of our elections and such a smooth process so that voters could have their voices heard on such an important issue. The result sends a clear message from Kansans to extremists everywhere: attempts to strip away our rights and diminish our democracy will not prevail. In Kansas, and around the country, the people do not support attacks on women’s rights, attacks on the ability of pregnant people to make decisions about their own healthcare, and attacks on freedom itself. We hope that the politicians in Topeka and in Washington, DC hear that message, loud and clear.”
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About the ACLU of Kansas: The ACLU of Kansas is the statewide affiliate of the national American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU of Kansas is dedicated to preserving and advancing the civil rights and legal freedoms guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. For more information, visit our website at www.aclukansas.org.