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Kansas voters vote against anti-abortion state constitutional amendment

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Kansas residents have voted against an amendment to their constitution which would permit the state government to regular abortions. Kansas is the first state to vote on an abortion related issue since the Supreme Court voted to overturn Roe v. Wade.

The ‘Value Them Both Agreement’ would have given power to local lawmakers to pass legislation regarding abortion. In the event that the amendment did pass, the following wording would have been added to the constitution “[b]ecause Kansans value both women and children, the constitution of the state of Kansas does not require government funding of abortion and does not create or secure a right to abortion.”

The Associated Press reported that the amendment was voted down by 20 percentage points. Abortion in Kansas has been restricted after it came to light that the 1859 Kansas Constitution grants “natural right” to abortion.

President Joe Biden on Tuesday expressed his relief that the amendment did not pass. “This vote makes clear what we know: the majority of Americans agree that women should have access to abortion and should have the right to make their own health care decisions,” Biden said in a statement. “Congress should listen to the will of the American people and restore the protections of Roe as federal law.”

The statement continued, “While that is the only way to secure a woman’s right to choose, my Administration will continue to take meaningful action to protect women’s access to reproductive health care. We will continue to act where we can to protect women’s reproductive rights and access to care.  And, the American people must continue to use their voices to protect the right to women’s health care, including abortion.”

Ashley All, who is a spokesperson for Kansans for Constitutional Freedom, praised the community for rejecting the amendment. “We really did build a coalition of partners that was broad and diverse and spanned the political spectrum. It comes down to a personal decision, and that also was key in our messaging.”

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