(LifeSiteNews) – Kansas voters on Tuesday soundly rejected a proposed amendment to the state constitution which would have clarified that it does not contain a right to abortion, prompting speculation about what the setback means in a post-Roe v. Wade America.
The referendum asked voters to consider adding the following language to the Kansas Constitution:
Regulation of abortion. Because Kansans value both women and children, the constitution of the state of Kansas does not require government funding of abortion and does not create or secure a right to abortion. To the extent permitted by the constitution of the United States, the people, through their elected state representatives and state senators, may pass laws regarding abortion, including, but not limited to, laws that account for circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest, or circumstances of necessity to save the life of the mother.
The amendment was meant to correct an April 2019 decision by the Kansas Supreme Court, which asserted that the Kansas Constitution Bill of Rights’ guarantee of “equal and inalienable natural rights” encompasses “a woman’s right to make decisions about her body, including the decision whether to continue her pregnancy.”
In the following months, state pro-lifers set to work on a constitutional amendment to resolve the issue, a cause that took on new urgency in June when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, restoring the elected branches of government’s discretion to decide abortion policy.
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Starbucks said it would reimburse travel expenses for employees who need abortions and cannot get them within 100 miles of their homes. In a memo on Monday, the company said it wanted to ensure that its employees had “access to quality health care.” https://t.co/PI1Yg2xKTx— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 16, 2022
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BuzzFeed – Jonah Peretti
Cigna Health Insurance – David Cordani
Citigroup – Jane Fraser
CNN – Chris Licht
Comcast – Brian Roberts
Condé Nast – Roger Lynch
CVS Health – Karen Lynch
Dick’s Sporting Goods – Lauren Hobart
Goldman Sachs – David Solomon
Hewlett-Packard – Enrique Lores
JPMorgan Chase – Jamie Dimon
Kroger – Rodney McMullen
New York Times – Meredith Kopit Levien
Lyft – Logan Green
MasterCard – Michael Miebach
Meta/Facebook - Mark Zuckerberg
Microsoft – Satya Nadella
Paramount – Brian Robbins
Patagonia – Jenna Johnson
PayPal – Dan Schulman
Procter & Gamble – Jon Moeller
Salesforce – Marc Benioff
Starbucks – Kevin Johnson
Target – Brian Cornell
Tesla, Inc. – Elon Musk
Uber – Dara Khosrowshahi
Vox Media – Jim Bankoff
Disney – Bob Chapek
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Zillow – Rich Barton
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But 908,745 Kansans turned out to vote on the amendment Tuesday, and rejected it 59% to 41%.
Pro-abortion voices quickly declared the outcome a sound rejection of the pro-life cause and an omen of an impending national backlash to the loss of Roe. Pro-lifers responded by citing major spending against the amendment, arguing that the wording of the referendum was potentially unclear, and noting that Kansas is not as conservative as sometimes assumed.
Pro-aborts poured millions into a massive disinformation campaign in Kansas. Pro-abort media pulled heavily for them. https://t.co/sat18Cmyf6
— Lila Rose (@LilaGraceRose) August 3, 2022
Democrats are really going to convince themselves that a badly written and confusing amendment not passing in a notoriously schizophrenic state means they can win Florida and Texas now. Even though the rest of tonight was roses for the GOP. Amazing. https://t.co/SiMBuCkT5F
— Bonchie (@bonchieredstate) August 3, 2022
Pro-lifers also took the results as a reminder of the need to continually evaluate the movement’s strategies and continue working to change hearts and minds, and stressed that abortion being subject to the democratic process is still vastly preferable to the status quo under Roe.
The pro-life movement is going to have to carefully study what went wrong here and make some necessary adjustments, if need be. https://t.co/PzcqO9qjQ3
— Josh Hammer (@josh_hammer) August 3, 2022
If every state in the union voted to allow abortion at any time for any reason, Dobbs would still be the correct decision. Be disappointed in the voters in Kansas, but be glad they're voting. Now do the work; persuade people; make the case for life.
— Anna James Zeigler (@ajzeigler) August 3, 2022
Since well before the hotly-anticipated reversal of Roe, pro-abortion activists have been working on a number of strategies to compensate, among them rooting the “right” to abortion in the prevailing interpretations of state constitutions, which would be unaffected by the U.S. Supreme Court. Pro-lifers in several states have pushed amendments similar to the Kansas one in response; Kentucky will vote on one in November, and efforts are underway in Iowa and Pennsylvania to get them on future ballots.
The issue also helps ensure that work and debate will continue over the prospect of banning abortion nationally. President Joe Biden has called for electing more Democrats to Congress to support codifying a “right” to abortion-on-demand in federal law.