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Kansas voters reject state constitution amendment aimed at weakening abortion rights

New DelhiEdited By: Sayan GhoshUpdated: Aug 03, 2022, 09:01 AM IST
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Photograph:(AFP)

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This was a significant result as this was the first vote of its kind since the overturning of Roe v Wade by the United States Supreme Court and a lot of experts looked at it as an indicator of the nation’s reaction to the historic judgement.

The proposed amendment to the Kansas state constitution regarding abortion rights was comprehensively rejected by the voters on Tuesday. The amendment would have banned abortion completely in the state with very few exceptions. However, it was defeated by a 63-37 margin amid criticism from both anti-abortion as well as pro-choice activists.

This was a significant result as this was the first vote of its kind since the overturning of Roe v Wade by the United States Supreme Court and a lot of experts looked at it as an indicator of the nation’s reaction to the historic judgement.

With the state looking forward to both a governor’s election as well as congressional elections later this year, this decision is also expected to have political implications.

At present, 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).

In 2019, the Kansas Supreme Court decided to strike down a state law that banned a common “second term abortion procedure”. In its judgement, the court said that the right to bodily autonomy for US citizens also extended to their decision to terminate a pregnancy.

As a result, even when Roe v Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court, the judgement allowed abortion to be legal in Kansas. That is the reason why the proposed amendment was introduced.

However, the vote saw huge numbers of people turning up in various parts of the state and in urban areas, reports suggested that the turnout was even better than the presidential race two years ago.

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