Des “no” supporters celebrated maintaining abortion rights in Kansas.
Abortion rights will remain protected under the Kansas constitution, voters in the conservative Midwestern state decided on Tuesday. This is the first referendum on the issue of abortion rights since the Supreme Court backtracked on Roe v. Wade.
Nearly 60% of voters voted against an amendment that would have opened the door to stricter regulation or a ban on abortion, x27;after figures compiled by CNN.
Turnout for the Kansas referendum was expected to be high, according to election agent Marsha Barrett, who said 250 voters had already turned up at the Olathe polling station by noon – the same number as in a day during a presidential election.
“People are determined to vote.
—Marsha Barrett, Elections Officer
Moments after the polls closed, Kansas election overseer Scott Schwab said turnout was at least 50%, a figure in line with expectations for this type of poll
The Kansas referendum was an important test for both anti-abortion and pro-choice activists, as it represented a barometer of the mobilization of supporters of both options.
Even though no supporters have won a clear victory in Kansas, they are watching with anxiety the neighboring states of Missouri and Oklahoma, which have imposed near-total bans. Missouri does not allow exceptions for rape or incest.
Other states, including California and Kentucky , are due to vote on the issue in November, coinciding with midterm congressional elections, in which Republicans and Democrats hope to rally their supporters around abortion.
In Kansas itself, a local conservative lawmaker introduced a bill this year that would ban abortion without exception for rape, incest, or protecting the life of the mother. Currently, abortion is legal in Kansas up to 22 weeks of pregnancy. Parental consent is required for minors.
Democratic President Joe Biden had promised to do everything possible to defend access to abortions following the Supreme Court's decision. Here he is in action. Attorney General Merrick Garland filed a complaint Tuesday against an Idaho law that bans nearly all abortions.
Idaho, a rural and conservative state in the American West, was among the first to adopt a new law, supposed to come into force on August 25 and which allows abortions only to save the life of a pregnant woman.
Mr. Garland asked the court to block it, arguing that it violates a federal law on medical emergencies, since it does not provide an exception in the event of serious danger to the health of the pregnant woman. and authorizes lawsuits against doctors.
With information from Agence France-Presse