KANSAS CITY, Mo. — When it comes to a possible end of Roe v. Wade, both sides have one thing in common, a local fight in their respective states. What they’re fighting for is different.

After someone leaked the U.S. Supreme Court’s opinion draft to overturn Roe v. Wade, many organizations kicked into defensive mode.

“This is an awful moment, but we can also say to people who’ve been in denial this is it,” said Emile Wales, interim president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Plains. “The end of Roe is here, and we are going to have to fight back at the state level to protect the people that live in each state.”

Brittany Jones, Kansas Family Voice’s director of policy and engagement, sees another side.

“Kansas is still in the position of being unable to regulate even in the most basic ways the abortion industry,” Jones said. “The abortion industry wants to use Kansas as a destination for late-term abortions, and we’re already seeing that happen.”

If this summer’s final ruling stays the same, access to abortion would become a state-by-state issue.

“We will have more and more people who are put in the position of finding out they do not have constitutional protections, they do not have the ability to make their own medical decisions and they will be forced to leave the state,” Wales said.

Planned Parenthood Great Plains said the ruling isn’t set in stone yet, but if it becomes a reality, the organization won’t go anywhere but how they provide care will have to shift.

Meanwhile, Kansas Family Voice said regardless of the ruling, it will still have work to do.

“No matter what the U.S Supreme Court does, we are stuck with unlimited and unregulated abortion in Kansas without the Value Them Both amendment,” Jones said.

The group Value Them Both has put a measure on the ballot for the August primary election that could reverse a Kansas Supreme Court ruling. The justices held that the state constitution gives women the constitutional right to an abortion, effectively limiting regulation by state lawmakers.

If the measure passes in August, supporters believe it would return the power to regulate abortion to the people through their state lawmakers. 

Twenty-three states are ready to ban abortion, including Missouri. Kansas has restrictions.

In 2018 and 2019, more Missourians received an abortion in Kansas than they did in their own state. Data shows in 2018, 2,645 Missourians received an abortion in-state but 3,279 Missourians received their abortion just across state lines in Kansas, nearly 24% more abortions performed on Missourians out of state than in their own.

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