KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on Friday, weeks after a leaked draft authored by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito suggested it would happen.
Missouri leaders have already put the state’s “trigger law” into effect, meaning Missouri is the first state to make most abortions illegal since the court’s decision.
But on the other side of the state line, action might not be as swift in Kansas. Still, access to abortion services could change — depending on a statewide vote this August.
Currently, abortion is strictly limited after 22 weeks in Kansas. The procedure only happens after 22 weeks when a pregnant person’s life or bodily function is in danger. Taxpayer money doesn’t fund abortions in Kansas unless it’s necessary to save a life, and parental consent is required for minors.
But Kansas voters could soon ultimately decide if abortion becomes illegal in the state.
The group Value Them Both pushed to put a measure on the ballot for the Aug. 2 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.
Voting “no” on this amendment would make no changes to the Kansas constitution and could restrict state legislators from regulating abortion.
Voting “yes” would amend the Kansas Constitution, saying there is no right to abortion in the state. But if the measure passes in August, abortion will not be banned immediately in Kansas.
With Roe v. Wade overturned, it would simply return the power to regulate abortion to state lawmakers. The Kansas Senate and House are both currently majority controlled by Republicans, and Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly is up for reelection this fall.
All registered voters in Kansas can vote on this constitutional amendment in the August election next year, no matter their political affiliation.
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