* Kansas City Star…
In the first ballot test of abortion rights in a post-Roe America, Kansas voters turned out in historic numbers to overwhelmingly reject a constitutional amendment that would have opened the door for state lawmakers to further restrict or ban abortions across the state. […]
It upholds a 2019 Kansas Supreme Court ruling that, in response to an attempt to ban a common second-trimester abortion procedure, said Kansans had a right to bodily autonomy and therefore the right to terminate a pregnancy. […]
Advocates for the amendment insisted that the vote would not directly ban abortion. They refused to answer questions about whether they’d seek a ban if it passes, even after Roe was overturned and the National Right to Life Committee published detailed model legislation to ban abortion in all 50 states.
Instead they sought to convince Kansans that, without a change to state constitution, abortion would be rendered unregulated and uninhibited in the state. Kansas, they said, was guaranteed to be a destination for abortion.
The pro-choice side won 59-41. The turnout was huge and generally unexpected in Kansas.
But it’s difficult to make broad declarations based on the results of one race. On Election Day, abortion measures in California, Vermont, Montana, and Kentucky (and likely Michigan as well) will give more data on what Americans want. And it’s important to remember that abortion won’t directly be on most ballots in the fall; voters will instead largely be weighing in on candidates with a range of stances on a variety of issues. Still, it’s notable that a red state struck down a pathway to greater abortion restrictions so forcefully, and that so many voters who usually don’t vote in midterm primaries showed up this time.
It’s too late to put a state constitutional amendment on the Illinois ballot this fall for an up or down vote on abortion rights.
* The Question: Should a special session of the General Assembly place a non-binding referendum on the ballot this November to gauge public support for a constitutional amendment to protect abortion rights? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.