Voters in Kansas rejected a measure on Tuesday that would have changed the state constitution to say there was no right to an abortion in the state.
The conservative state was the first to vote on abortion rights since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade, which eliminated a federal right to abortion and left states to set their own regulations.
President celebrated Tuesday’s vote. ‘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,’ he said.
Biden then called on Congress to pass a law to ‘restore the protections of Roe.’
The proposed amendment would have added language to the state’s constitution declaring that it does not grant the right to an abortion. The amendment was proposed even after the Supreme Court in 2019 decided abortion is a ‘fundamental’ right in the state.
The majority voting against the measure will prevent the state’s Republican-led legislature from passing severe anti-abortion measures, and likely make Kansas a safe haven for those looking to receive the procedure in the midwest.
Projections suggest that over 60 percent of voters in the state decided to uphold the right to abortion.
Several other states will see abortion questions on their ballots this year, including Kentucky, California, Vermont and possibly Michigan.
As a result of the ruling, Kansas will maintain more lenient laws than its conservative neighboring states. Kansas allows abortion up to 22 weeks of pregnancy, but has several restrictions including a mandatory 24-hour waiting period and mandatory parental consent for minors.
Despite the ruling being considered a major victory for abortion activists, many of whom were left in tears after results came in, abortion opponents say their work is not yet done.
‘Tonight’s loss is a huge disappointment for pro-life Kansans and Americans nationwide,’ said Mallory Carroll, a spokesperson for the Susan B Anthony Pro-Life America, a group that raised over $1.4 million to promote the amendment in Kansas.
‘The stakes for the pro-life movement in the upcoming midterm elections could not be higher,’ she added.
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