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3 reasons why conservative Kansas voted to uphold abortion rights

Kansas
Signs in favor and against the Kansas constitutional amendment on abortion are displayed outside Kansas 10 highway on Aug. 1, 2022, in Lenexa, Kansas. |

High turnout among pro-choice voters and comparatively lower turnout among pro-lifer voters appear to have doomed a pro-life ballot measure in Kansas, leading to a result that pro-life activists characterize as a "huge disappointment." 

Unofficial returns from the Kansas Secretary of State's office show that 59% of voters in Tuesday's primary election voted to reject the Value Them Both Amendment, while 41% voted in favor. If approved, the amendment would have amended the state's constitution so that it "does not require government funding of abortion and does not create a right to abortion."

Tuesday's referendum was the first opportunity voters in any state have had to weigh in on abortion since the U.S. Supreme Court's June 24 Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization ruling overturned the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide. The Dobbs decision gives states the ability to regulate abortion.

Under existing Kansas law, abortions can only take place after 22 weeks of gestation to save the life of the mother or in cases of "severely compromised physical health." Additionally, the state prohibits abortion based on the sex of the unborn baby, requires a 24-hour waiting period for women seeking abortions, mandates that women wishing to obtain an abortion view an ultrasound and prohibits telemedicine administration of abortion pills.

The amendment would have enabled the state legislature to pass further restrictions on abortion. Existing Kansas abortion law will remain in place for the foreseeable future.

The following pages highlight three factors that impacted Kansas' election Tuesday. 

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: ryan.foley@christianpost.com

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