OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Voters in the Sunflower State have sent a clear and convincing message by voting no on a constitutional amendment that, if passed, could have paved the way for stricter abortion laws in Kansas.
The margin between yes and no on the “Value Them Both” amendment was nearly 20 percentage points after Tuesday night’s primary election.
In what can only be described as a political earthquake in Kansas that is sending aftershocks across the nation, the amendment that could have reshaped women’s rights from western Kansas to the Missouri border fell short.
“Knowing that Kansans still have a constitutional right to make their own private medical decisions and get abortion access it is so important,” said Emily Wales, president of Planned Parenthood of Great Plains.
It’s a victory for Rachel Sweet, the campaign manager for Kansans for Constitutional Freedom, one of the organizations that led this movement. She said this was bigger than one political party or the other.
“It is clear that Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians and unaffiliated voters across the state were voting no in record numbers,” Sweet said.
Turnout in the state of Kansas surpassed any previous primary with over 50% of voters making their feelings known.
“Grassroots support and campaigns really can work, and that’s what we saw pay out in Kansas,” Wales said.
Those grassroots efforts reached nearly a million Kansans. The results of this race drawing the eye of President Joe Biden who said in part “This vote make clear what we know: The majority of Americans agree that women should have access to abortion and the right to make their own health care decisions.”
It’s a feeling that Kansas’ U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids agreed with.
“I think Kansas is sending the message that we definitely do not want politicians being the ones to make our reproductive healthcare decisions,” Davids said.
In the end, the “no” side understands how high the stakes rose when Roe v. Wade was no longer the law of the land.
“You might have agreed but maybe you wouldn’t have taken time off work or figured out childcare to get to the polls before people saw the backstop is the state protection and we have to keep it,” Wales said.
FOX4 reached out to Value Them Both, who advocated for Kansans to vote yes on the amendment. They referred us to a statement that says in part:
“While the outcome is not what we hoped, our movement and campaign have proven our resolve and commitment. We will not abandon women and babies.”
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