Kansas abortion measure passage means long fight ahead

Capitol Bureau

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Lawmakers are letting voters decide on abortion rights in Kansas. After passing in both the state Senate and House, a constitutional amendment proposal will be on a statewide ballot in August 2022.

Both Republicans and Democrats are expected to have big campaigns to get out the vote. Next year people will get the chance to vote whether “the constitution of the state of Kansas does not require government funding of abortion and does not create or secure a right to abortion.”

To put it to a statewide vote, only Democrats in the legislature voted against it, while only Republicans voted for it.

“I was sitting there thinking that someone needs to speak up for the unborn, that’s the one person that can’t be spoken for, and I also think that if God was on the floor, how would he feel about this,” El Dorado Sen. Michael Fagg said about his decision to vote yes on the proposal.

Democrats tried to change what the amendment proposal said, by moving the voting date and allowing exceptions for certain abortions, but all of those failed. The proposal specifically says the legislature can pass laws regarding abortion, even in instances of rape, incest, or when it may be necessary to save the life of the mother.

“The Kansas Senate and the Kansas House chose to take away rights from women,” said Senate Minority Leader Dinah Sykes at a press conference on Friday.

The proposal wouldn’t allow an all-out ban on abortion with Roe v. Wade still in place. It now only takes a simple majority of Kansas voters to make a change to the state constitution, so politicians believe each party will make a strong push that their side is right.

“To get the word out there, really because it is such confusing language, we really have to make it clear to people that this would give the ability of the legislature to ban abortions down the road,” said House Minority Leader Tom Sawyer.

Fagg said Republicans need to promote what they believe is right.

“Understanding of what the law is and exactly what they’re voting on, to understand that, so the Republicans, pro-lifers have got to get out, do the same thing, so it’s education,” Fagg said.

All Kansans, regardless of political party, will have the ability to vote on the amendment in the primary election.

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