After Kansas voters blocked abortion restrictions, those elsewhere get to have their say

Kansas voters sent a resounding message on Tuesday that they wanted to protect a woman’s right to an abortion — but they are not the only Americans who will be able to cast ballots on the hot-button issue.

By a landslide, roughly 20-point margin, Kansans rejected a constitutional amendment that would have empowered state lawmakers to restrict or ban abortions in the state of nearly 3 million people. 

Even voters in many rural, conservative areas of Kansas voted against the proposal, in what was a big victory for pro-choice groups after weeks in which many southern and Midwest states restricted or banned the procedure. 

It was the first big test of Americans’ views on abortion rights after the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and a sign of how unpopular abortion bans may be, even in Republican-leaning states.

In the coming months, voters in Montana, Kentucky, California and elsewhere will have a chance to weigh in on abortions, after the top U.S. court in June ruled there was no constitutional right to abortion and punted the issue to the states.

Aside from these referendums within states, the issue is likely to impact several House, Senate and governor races across the U.S., by driving turnout among angry pro-choice Democrats and others.

Some 55 percent of voters now say access to abortions is ‘very important’ to how they will vote in November, according to polling by KFF, a health policy group, higher than in previous surveys. 

Drew Altman, KFF’s president and CEO, said abortion access would ‘make a difference’ in November by ‘motivating a lot of younger women to vote, and most Democrats, half of independents and even some Republicans’. 

In the coming months, voters in Montana, Kentucky and elsewhere can weigh in on abortions, after the Supreme Court in June ruled there was no constitutional right to abortion and punted the issue to the states

Pro-choice advocates cheered in Kansas as voters shut down a possible pathway to a total ban on abortions in the state on Tuesday

Pro-choice advocates cheered in Kansas as voters shut down a possible pathway to a total ban on abortions in the state on Tuesday 

Anti-abortion advocates who helped introduce the referendum were seen weeping and consoling each other after the measure failed

Anti-abortion advocates who helped introduce the referendum were seen weeping and consoling each other after the measure failed

After Kansas, voters elsewhere have their say on abortion:  

Kentucky: Access to abortions in Kentucky ended after the Supreme Court’s decision set off a pre-existing trigger law. In November, voters will decide whether to add language similar to Kansas’ to its state constitution. Some 57 percent of Kentucky voters reject abortions, against 36 percent supporting the procedure, says Pew Research Center polling.

Vermont: Access to abortions is already protected in Vermont. Voters will in November decide whether to add abortion rights to the state constitution. It is expected to pass: 70 percent of Vermonters support abortion access, compared to 26 percent against, Pew says.

California: Abortion access is already protected in California. Voters in November will decide whether to enshrine that right in the state’s constitution. It is expected to pass: 57 percent of voters support abortion rights there, with 38 percent against, says Pew.

Montana: Voters will decide in November whether infants who are ‘born alive’ are legal persons and are entitled to medical care, including those born alive after botched terminations. Some 56 percent of Montanans support abortion rights, versus 38 percent who want it outlawed, according to Pew.

Michigan: Pro-choice campaigners are collecting signatures in the hope of letting voters decide on state abortion rules in November. Voters there are split 54 percent behind abortion access versus 42 percent against, says Pew. The issue will also feature in the race for the governor, with pro-choice Democratic incumbent Gretchen Whitmer defending against Tudor Dixon, a staunchly pro-life Republican.

Colorado: Abortion is protected under state law in Colorado, but activists are pushing for a ballot initiative to be added in November to let voters decide on outlawing the ‘murder of a child’, with carve-outs to save the life of a mother. Some 59 percent of Colorado voters support access to abortions, with 36 percent against, Pew says.

Ohio: Republicans dominate state politics and are pushing for a ban on abortions. Democrats seek to collect enough signatures to put the issue before voters, but that is not likely to happen until at least 2023. It’s a close-call state, with 48 percent in supporting abortion access and 47 percent against, says Pew.

Arizona: Campaigners failed to collect enough signatures to put an abortion access question to voters in November. Though they missed the deadline, they aim to try again for 2024. It’s another close-call state, with 49 percent backing abortion access and 46 percent against, Pew says.

Thousands of protesters march around the Arizona Capitol after the Supreme Court's anti-abortion decision in June, but voters there may not have a chance to weigh in directly on the issue until 2024

Thousands of protesters march around the Arizona Capitol after the Supreme Court’s anti-abortion decision in June, but voters there may not have a chance to weigh in directly on the issue until 2024

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

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