TOPEKA, (KSNT)—Abortion rights groups in Kansas are ramping up efforts to increase voter turnout, as a critical vote on the “Value Them Both” amendment nears.
While abortion rights could potentially be overturned at the federal level, Kansas still recognizes the right to an abortion. However, a vote to pass the “Value Them Both” amendment would change that.
Jacquie Lightcap, co-president of the League of Women Voters of Kansas, said the latest controversy surrounding abortion rights has pushed their group to work even harder to get people to the polls.
“Our leagues across the state are very focused on contacting people in the area and letting them know what’s on the ballot…that’s already been happening, but I think this is going to give us more energy,” Lightcap told Kansas Captiol Bureau in an interview Monday.
The Value Them Both amendment, which is on the August 2 ballot, would allow Kansas lawmakers to pass laws regulating abortion in the state.
Anti-abortion groups in the state doubled down on their push to stop “unlimited and unregulated” abortions, after a SCOTUS opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade was leaked last week.
Kansans for Life denied a request for interview Monday, but sent over a statement on the potential SCOTUS decision.
“No matter what the U.S. Supreme Court decides on abortion, as of now Kansas will remain a destination for painful late-term abortions and clinics with no health and safety standards – among the most extreme states in the nation. If Kansans want to stop unlimited, unregulated abortion, they must vote YES on VALUE THEM BOTH!”
– Mackenzie Haddix, Value Them Both Coalition
Meanwhile, earlier this year, conservatives in the Kansas Legislature also introduced a bill to virtually ban and criminalize abortions in the state. While the bill is still in committee, efforts to limit abortion rights at the state and federal level have pushed some advocacy groups to take action.
Lightcap said her organization has partnered with other abortion rights groups, like Kansans for Constitutional Freedom, and has planned several events in the upcoming weeks.
This includes a kickoff event on May 14 in Johnson County and Sedgwick County, and an event May 21 in Shawnee County and Douglas County.
“This is an area that we’ve always paid attention to, but now we are paying even more attention to it…it will help us mobilize even more.”