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Kansas to be the first state to vote on abortion rights since Roe v Wade overturn

New DelhiEdited By: Sayan GhoshUpdated: Aug 01, 2022, 01:31 PM IST
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The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 630,000 abortions in 2019, but lacks data from several heavily populated states, such as California. (representative image) Photograph:(AFP)

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Right now, abortion is legal in Kansas with certain limits, and it is also the place of choice for people from Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri (states where the process is banned).

The referendum in Kansas over abortion rights is significant for more than one reason. It is part of the first wave of similar votes that will decided whether the state governments will have the right to enforce tough rules around abortion in the aftermath of the United States Supreme Court overturning the Roe v Wade judgement. It will also provide an insight into how much the general population of the country has accepted the much-debated decision by the court. If the referendum is passed, Kansas government will have the power to ban abortion completely – if they choose.

Right now, abortion is legal in Kansas with certain limits, and it is also the place of choice for people from Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri (states where the process is banned).

“There has been a great deal of shock at the local level from people who, I think, just didn’t believe Roe would fall or that we could end up in this situation,” said Emily Wales, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Plains, told The Guardian when asked about the situation.

“Kansas is essential for the provision of abortion services here locally, and it is not hard for people to look across state lines” to see the consequences of bans, she added.

As a result, the vote in Kansas also has overarching consequences not just for the state – but for the region as well. In 2019, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that the “people in the state have the right to terminate a pregnancy” and the vote can also further strengthen the stance.

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