EVERT NELSON/USA TODAY NETWORK/via REUTERS
In Topeka, Kansas, abortion rights supporters began celebrating as early polls showed voters rejected a state constitutional amendment that would have declared no abortion rights.
UNITED STATES – First major failure of the Supreme Court and its decision on abortion. In the conservative-leaning Midwest, Kansas voters voted to uphold the constitutional guarantee of abortion on Tuesday, August 2, in the first major abortion vote since the United States Supreme Court struck down this federal right.
State voters have voted down an amendment that would remove language guaranteeing abortion rights from the Kansas Constitution and could have paved the way for stricter regulation or even an outright ban.
This election is seen as a political test at the national level, many conservative states have already banned or intend to quickly ban any right to abortion. When the result was announced, the defenders of abortion rights celebrated the victory of their camp, in this very controversial debate that opposes the two Americas.
This is the result “unique”, said Ashley All, spokeswoman for the abortion rights campaign. “The people of Kansas understand that this amendment will impose government control over private medical decisions “, he said.
Kansans stand up for basic rights today. We reject divisive legislation that jeopardizes our economic future… https://t.co/jKwRa2ijVS
—Laura Kelly (@LauraKellyKS)
“The people of Kansas stand up for basic rights today. We reject divisive legislation that jeopardizes our economic future and jeopardizes women’s access to health care. Together we will continue to make of incredible progress to make Kansas the best state in the nation to live freely and do business. tweeted Kansas Democratic Governor Laura Kelly.
Just after the polls closed at 7:00 pm (0000 GMT), Kansas election administrator Scott Schwab said the turnout was at least 50%, a number that was in line with expectations for this type of election. poll. By noon, nearly 250 voters had passed the Olathe polling station, in the suburbs of Kansas City, the same number this season as during the presidential election, according to election agent Marsha Barrett. “This election is crazy”he told AFP. “People are determined to vote. »
The tree that hides in the forest?
Although abortion advocates have won a clear victory in Kansas, they are watching with concern in the neighboring states of Missouri and Oklahoma, which have imposed almost total bans. Missouri does not allow exceptions for rape or incest.
Other states, including California and Kentucky, are due to vote on the issue in November, which coincides with midterm congressional elections in which Republicans and Democrats hope to rally their supporters around abortion.
The result in Kansas means that abortion will remain legal up to 22 weeks of pregnancy. Parental consent is required for minors. The vote, which coincided with the Kansas primaries, represented the first time for American voters to express their views on abortion since the Supreme Court overturned its landmark 1973 decision, Roe v. Wade.
Democrats strongly support abortion rights, while conservatives generally support at least some restrictions. But in Kansas, the political reality is more complicated. The state leans heavily Republican and hasn’t voted a Democrat into the White House since 1964.
But Kansas’ most populous county elected a Democrat, Sharice Davids, to the House of Representatives in 2018, and state Governor Laura Kelly is a Democrat. According to a 2021 poll, less than 20% of Kansas respondents agreed that abortion should be illegal even in cases of rape or incest.
See also at The HuffPost: Abortion in the United States: A 12-year-old girl’s anger at a public hearing