Kansas Votes No On Anti-Abortion Rights Amendment

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As people headed to the polls, the significance of the proposed amendment weighed heavily on their minds. Singer and actor Janelle Monáe, who grew up in Kansas City, Kansas, urged people to vote “no” on the amendment in a video message on Twitter. “It’s your body, it’s your future,” Monáe said. “I love you, Kansas.”

In Wichita, voters cast their ballots inside the church where Dr. George Tiller, the director of an abortion clinic, was murdered by an anti-abortion extremist in 2009. “It really hit me when I walked in the doors, that this is the exact place where Dr. George Tiller was murdered by a crazy … anti-abortion fanatic,” voter Chris Wallace told the Wichita Beacon. “I pray that the amendment fails and that he is looking down on us and so happy.”

Even though Kansans voted to protect abortion rights, the fight over people’s reproductive freedom in the state is likely not over. Patrick Miller, a professor of political science at the University of Kansas, said Republican lawmakers could try to put the issue before voters again. In November, voters will also decide whether to retain six of the seven justices on the Kansas Supreme Court and whether to reelect Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat.

“If they’re not retained and the next governor’s a Republican, then a newly reconstituted Supreme Court can just reverse itself,” Miller said.

In spite of the uncertainty of the future, Tuesday’s vote was a huge victory for people in Kansas and neighboring states who may need abortion care. Since the Supreme Court’s June 24 ruling, lawmakers in more than a dozen states have moved to eliminate or severely restrict access to abortion. Abortion is currently illegal in several states surrounding Kansas, including Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. If the amendment had passed, Kansas lawmakers were expected to try to enact their own abortion ban — which would have meant an even greater burden for patients in the Great Plains region getting care.

“We have seen the devastation caused by a loss of access to abortion in neighboring states and tonight, Kansans saw through the deception of anti-abortion interests to ensure people in their state retained their rights,” Emily Wales, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes, said in a statement. Planned Parenthood Great Plains has served Kansas for decades and tomorrow, we’ll wake up and do just that – but with the reassurance that people in Kansas will continue to make medical decisions that are best for their health, their lives, and their futures.”

Source: https://www.buzzfeed.com/skbaer/kansas-abortion-rights-election-results

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