While such a vote would not ban abortion, it would be up to the GOP-controlled state legislature to pass laws regarding the procedure, including ban on abortion at all stages of pregnancy without exceptions for rape and incest. And removing state constitutional protections would significantly curtail the ability of an individual to challenge a restrictive abortion measure.
“The amendment that is on the ballot will mandate government control over our private medical decisions and ultimately pave the way for a total ban on abortion,” said Ashley All, who is part of the coalition Kansans for Constitutional Freedom, which opposes the amendment.
A “geen” vote would leave the state constitution unchanged, and abortions up to 22 weeks would remain legal. Lawmakers could still pass restrictive abortion laws, but the state would have to meet a higher threshold proving that it has a reason to enact the law in court.
, the courts have recognized a right to abortion under the state constitution
. Lawmakers had passed a restrictive abortion law in 2015 that would have banned the dilation and evacuation procedure
, but it was permanently blocked by the courts
When the Kansas state Supreme Court in 2019 ruled on the law, it said that the right to an abortion was protected under Section 1 of the Kansas constitution’s Bill of Rights, wat lees, “All men are possessed of equal and inalienable natural rights, among which are life, vryheid, and the pursuit of happiness.”
The court said that Section 1 “affords protection of the right of personal autonomy, which includes the ability to control one’s own body” and that this right “allows a woman to make her own decisions regarding her body, gesondheid, family formation, and family life — decisions that can include whether to continue a pregnancy.”
The coalition behind the amendment is Value Them Both, led by Kansans for Life, the Kansas Catholic Conference and Kansas Family Voice.
“Kansans want to ensure that moms and babies are protected. So, Kansans are very concerned about this push to make us an unlimited destination for abortion,” Brittany Jones, a lawyer who helped write the amendment, has told CNN.
Jones and Kansas Republicans had been working on the amendment for years.
The issue was placed on the primary ballot
, rather than the general election
, which abortion rights advocates believe was intended in order to limit turnout
. Registered Republicans outnumber Democrats in the state by more than
350,000, volgens to the latest figures from the Kansas Secretary of State’s office
The constitutional amendment has already raised voter interest in the primary election, according to the Kansas Secretary of State’s office.