Kansas Voters Are About To Decide if the State Legislature Can Ban Abortion


Abortion rights advocates collect outdoors the Kansas Statehouse to protest the U.S. Supreme Court docket’s ruling on abortion Friday, June 24, 2022, in Topeka, Kan. (AP Photograph / Charlie Riedel)

In major and normal elections this 12 months, voters will weigh in on many state constitutional amendments impacting ladies’s rights, together with abortion, equality, minimal wage, healthcare enlargement and incarceration.

A proposed constitutional amendment on Kansas’ major poll in August would amend the state Invoice of Rights to say there is no such thing as a proper to abortion or public funding for abortion, and that the state legislature has authority to move legal guidelines proscribing abortion. The modification is a response to a 2019 state Supreme Court docket determination in Hodes & Nauser v. Schmidt, which established that the Kansas Invoice of Rights features a proper to abortion. The court docket dominated that the Kansas Structure “affords safety of the proper of private autonomy, which incorporates the flexibility to regulate one’s personal physique, to claim bodily integrity, and to train self-determination. This proper permits a lady to make her personal choices concerning her physique, well being, household formation and household life—choices that may embrace whether or not to proceed a being pregnant.”

The modification, if handed, would overturn the court docket’s ruling and permit greater than 20 legal guidelines proscribing abortion to remain in impact, together with necessary ultrasounds and biased counseling to discourage abortion, a 24-hour ready interval, parental consent for minors, a 20-week abortion ban, a ban on telemedicine abortion and limitations on public funding and insurance coverage protection for abortion

A lot of CEOs actually look to see what sort of inclusive insurance policies we’ve in place that make it simpler for them to recruit and retain a gifted workforce. It will likely be an financial growth challenge for us.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D)

Contributors on the Girls’s March in Topeka, Kan., on Jan. 21, 2017. (mmrogne / Flickr)

The modification is supported by Kansans for Life, the Kansas Catholic Convention, the Household Coverage Alliance of Kansas and Democrats for Lifetime of America. The Catholic archdioceses of Kansas Metropolis, Wichita and Oklahoma Metropolis have donated $760,000 in assist of the modification.

It’s opposed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas, Kansas Abortion Fund, Mainstream Coalition, Deliberate Parenthood Nice Plains Votes and a number of other nationwide teams, such because the Nationwide Affiliation for Pregnant Girls, Feminist Majority Basis and Nationwide Girls’s Legislation Middle.

Gov. Laura Kelly (D) warned about unfavorable financial results if the modification passes. “There are a selection of CEOs who actually look to see what sort of inclusive insurance policies we’ve in place that make it simpler for them to recruit and retain a gifted workforce,” she stated. “It will likely be an financial growth challenge for us.”

Furthermore, as a Midwestern state, Kansas is a crucial place geographically for abortion rights. Authorized abortion in Kansas is now a crucial entry level for folks dwelling in surrounding states that have banned abortion, together with Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, South Dakota and Texas.

Kansas: Vote ‘No’!

In Kansas, the first election is held on the primary Tuesday in August of even numbered years; this 12 months, that’s Tuesday, Aug. 2. Polling locations open at 7:00 a.m. and shut at 7:00 p.m. on Election Day. Kansas voters have the choice to vote early, which opened July 13. Voters may vote by mail; the deadline to submit advance voting purposes to county election officers is July 26.

In Different States, Abortion Is on the Poll in November Elections

In November, there will probably be a number of different essential constitutional amendments on the poll, together with an equal rights modification in Nevada, a private reproductive autonomy modification in Vermont and anti-abortion amendments in Kentucky and Montana. Poll initiatives in 5 states (Alabama, Louisiana, Oregon, Tennessee and Vermont) would repeal state constitutional language permitting for enslavement or servitude as punishment for crimes or fee of money owed, damages or fines. Additionally on the poll will probably be amendments to extend the minimal wage to $12 per hour in Nevada, to determine a constitutional proper to inexpensive healthcare in Oregon and to develop Medicaid in South Dakota. In California, voters may have a possibility to amend the state’s structure to incorporate the proper to an abortion.

Extra measures might but be added to ballots within the November elections. Girls should get out to vote this 12 months not solely due to the numerous crucial congressional and state races but in addition to vote on these essential poll points impacting ladies’s rights throughout the nation.

This article originally appears in the Summer 2022 issue of Ms. Become a member today to read more reporting like this in print and through our app.

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