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Biden praises Kansas vote to protect abortion rights

President Biden on Tuesday hailed a vote in Kansas rejecting a state constitutional amendment that would have eliminated abortion protections and given the state legislature more power to regulate access to the procedure.

The ballot measure was the first time that voters weighed in on abortion since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and it was considered a bellwether of how Americans would respond to the high court’s decision.

“The Supreme Court’s extreme decision to overturn Roe v. Wade put women’s health and lives at risk. Tonight, the American people had something to say about it,” Biden said in a statement.

“Voters in Kansas turned out in record numbers to reject extreme efforts to amend the state constitution to take away a woman’s right to choose and open the door for a state-wide ban. This vote makes clear what we know: the majority of Americans agree that women should have access to abortion and should have the right to make their own health care decisions,” he added.

The proposed amendment would have said the state constitution does not protect abortion rights, effectively reversing a 2019 state Supreme Court decision.

Biden also used his statement to call on Congress to codify abortion protections after the Supreme Court eliminated the constitutional right to an abortion in June. 

Kansas’ rejection of the abortion ballot measure was met with praise by Democrats and abortion rights advocates while conservatives lamented the vote. It was also met with surprise by many given the state’s red leanings.

“For my money, the most significant result tonight is #Kansas landslide vote against further restrictions on abortion. It’s Red Kansas, for God’s sake. Even if it was a close vote with NO losing, this would have suggested a backlash to Dobbs and the ensuing rush to ban abortion,” Larry Sabato, founder and director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, tweeted.

Others, however, argued that the ballot measure vote reflected more nuanced views of abortion in the state. 

“With the Kansas abortion amendment vote, just a reminder that there are a sizable number of voters who: -consider themselves pro-life or who would support prohibiting abortion after 15 weeks AND -also believe Roe should be upheld,” Conservative pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson tweeted.


Source: The Hill

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