TOPEKA (KSNT)— Protests are breaking out at the Statehouse ahead of Tuesday’s Primary.
A large group of abortion rights advocates gathered outside the Capitol to participate in the “Don’t Go Silently” rally on Saturday. The event attracted hundreds online.
Aylin Garcia, one of the organizers for the event, said they’re hoping to raise awareness and sway voters before Election Day.
“I think getting the word out and more information about all of this will probably get some people to come to our side,” Garcia told Kansas Capitol Bureau in an interview. “Our goal is to be a powerful voice and get the word out.”
Garcia, 19, said the constitutional amendment that’s on the ballot is one of the reasons she’s registered to vote in this year’s election.
Kansas will be the first state to vote on abortion rights after the fall of Roe v. Wade.
A vote in favor of the amendment does not ban abortion, but, if the amendment passes, state lawmakers will be able to pass new regulations on abortion in the state.
However, some abortion rights advocates worry that lawmakers may take it too far.
Dotti Fisher from Topeka said it’s why she’s urging voters to “vote no.”
“We have strict laws about it now, so, to me, all they want to do is have control,” Fisher said.
Meanwhile, supporters of the amendment are urging voters to “vote yes.”
“It’s critical for folks to ‘vote yes’ to get our voice back and to have a say in this public policy issue,” Jeanne Gawdun, Executive Director of Kansans for Life told Kansas Capitol Bureau in an interview.
Eddie Ehart, an organizer for The People’s Movement Kansas, took part in a ‘Vote Yes’ rally earlier in the day. Ehart said he agrees that voters should have a say.
“Our legislature cannot pass anything without the citizens of Kansas’ approval. That’s what it boils down to,” Ehart said.
All registered Kansas voters can vote on the amendment, including those who are unaffiliated. The first public poll released Wednesday, for Kansas’ abortion amendment on the August 2 ballot shows the race is close.
Voter turnout is also expected to be higher this year, compared to previous elections. The Secretary of State’s Office is predicting 36% of Kansas voters will participate.