Kansas House approves putting constitutional right to abortion to statewide vote

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(KSNT Photo/Alec Gartner)

*Editor’s note – The initial headline of this story said that the Kansas House voted to remove the constitutional right to an abortion in the state. That decision will be up to voters if the amendment is also approved by the Senate.

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – An amendment to the state constitution removing abortion as a right is moving forward, after the Kansas House of Representatives voted to pass it Friday.

The House passed the amendment resolution 86 to 38. All Republicans voted for it. Every Democrat voted against it except for Rep. Virgil Weigel, who was absent.

It goes next to the Kansas Senate for debate. If it passes the Senate, voters in the Sunflower State will decide whether or not to remove the right to an abortion as interpreted currently in the Kansas Constitution.

Governor Laura Kelly released a statement after the vote.

“I’ve always believed that every woman’s reproductive decisions should be left to her, her family, and her physician,” Kelly said. “While I know others do not share my belief, I don’t think those supporting this amendment are aware of the consequences it will have for the state of Kansas and our reputation.”

The proposal would overturn a Kansas Supreme Court decision in 2019 declaring access to abortion a “fundamental” right under the Kansas Bill of Rights.

The debate came on the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. In 2019, the Supreme Court said the Kansas Constitution gives women the right to make their own decisions regarding their bodies. That means abortions would be legal in Kansas even if Roe v. Wade is reversed at the federal level.

Click here to view the Kansas Bill of Rights as it currently stands.

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