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Kansas votes on abortion rights in US test case

#Kansas #votes #abortion #rights #test #case

Voters in the Midwestern state of Kansas on Tuesday go to the first major ballot on abortion since the US Supreme Court ended the national right to the procedure in June.

The vote is momentous for Kansans themselves, who will decide whether to remove abortion rights from the traditionally conservative state’s constitution.

But it’s also being seen as a test case for abortion rights nationwide as Republican-dominated lawmakers rush to impose strict bans on the procedure after the Supreme Court ruled Roe v. pick up calf.

Other states, including California and Kentucky, are expected to vote on the issue in November, coinciding with midterm congressional elections, where both Republicans and Democrats hope to mobilize supporters nationwide on the abortion issue.

The Kansas vote focuses on a 2019 state Supreme Court ruling guaranteeing access to abortion — currently up to 22 weeks.

In response, the Republican-dominated state legislature introduced an amendment called “Value Them Both,” which would repeal the constitutional right — with the stated goal of returning regulation of the process to the legislature.

But in the opposing camp, activists see the campaign as a thinly masked attempt to clear the way for an outright ban — a Conservative lawmaker has already introduced a bill that would ban abortion with no exceptions for rape, incest or life of the mother.

For Ashley All, spokeswoman for the pro-abortion campaign Kansans for Constitutional Freedom, the change to “personal autonomy” would pack a punch.

Activists also complain that the wording of the voting question is counterintuitive and potentially confusing: voting “yes” for the amendment means abortion rights will be restricted, while people who want to keep those rights intact vote have to vote “no”.

– All eyes on Kansas –

Abortion rights advocates in Kansas eye nervously at neighboring states Oklahoma and Missouri, which are among at least eight states that have enacted near-outright bans — the latter making no exceptions for rape or incest — while Midwest Indiana on Saturday passed its own stricture ban issued.

Kara Miller Karns, a voter in Leawood, Kansas, said she plans to vote for the status quo Tuesday and said it was “unacceptable” for her daughters to grow up with fewer rights than her.

But in the same neighborhood, Christine Vasquez, 43, said she plans to support the constitutional amendment – hoping it would pave the way for a future vote on an abortion ban.

“I believe that life begins at conception,” she told AFP news agency before the election.

The Kansas outcome could spell a boost or a blow to either side of the highly charged U.S. abortion debate — and the nation’s eyes will be on the state on Tuesday.

Kansas leans heavily toward the Republican Party, which favors stricter abortion laws, but a 2021 poll by Fort Hays State University found that fewer than 20 percent of respondents in Kansas agreed that abortion should be illegal, even in cases of rape or incest.

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#Kansas #votes #abortion #rights #test #case

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