Voters in Kansas rejected the Roe vs. Wade reversal and flocked to the polls on Tuesday to reject the anti-abortion ballot measure of the Supreme Court’s recent decision.
The failure of the amendment raised Democrats’ hopes that the issue of abortion rights will motivate voters across the country in the November midterm elections. It will also prevent Kansas’ Republican-controlled legislature from enacting harsh abortion restrictions.
Kansas voters reject Roe vs. Wade reversal with a resounding “vote no”
The non-binding referendum, which would have cleared the way for lawmakers to ban or restrict abortion, was the first time Americans were asked to weigh in on the right to choose since the Supreme Court overturned five decades of federal reproductive protections earlier this year in June.
The turnout for Tuesday’s election was higher than expected. According to Edison Research, with approximately 90% of the votes counted, the “vote no” campaign, which supported preserving abortion rights, received nearly 61 percent compared to 39 percent in favor of removing abortion protections from the state constitution.
Voting on the proposition was less bipartisan than usual given the fact that it was open to Kansas’ more than 500,000 unaffiliated voters on a primary day when the state’s registered voters were choosing gubernatorial candidates. If passed, the bill would have allowed the state legislature to overturn a 2019 state Supreme Court decision that protected the procedure in the Kansas Bill of Rights.
According to Neal Allen, a political science professor at Wichita State University, this is a “titanic result for Kansas politics.”
Supporters of the measure would not comment on whether they intend to pursue a ban if it passes, but they have spent decades pushing for new restrictions nearly every single year, and many other states in the Midwest and South have banned abortion in recent weeks. They were hoping to win over voters who supported some restrictions but not an outright ban by not stating their position.
Chandler Alton, a 28-year-old physical therapist from Overland Park who voted against the Supreme Court’s decision, said, “Abortion is health care and the government shouldn’t have a say on whether women receive what could be life-saving care.” She further stated that in the future, she would only vote for a candidate who “would not let this kind of thing happen.”
“I’m not full scale that there should never be an abortion,” said Stephanie Kostreva, a 40-year-old Democrat from Olathe. “I know there are medical emergencies and when the mother’s life is in danger there is no reason for two people to die.” Kostreva, due to her Christian religious beliefs, voted to approve the measure.
UK advertising agency recreates famous ‘Pregnant man’ ad in protest of Supreme Court’s decision
A UK based MNC has revived one of its classic advertisements titled “Pregnant Man” to express its disapproval with the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. The new version of “Pregnant Man” singles out US Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, who recently criticised Boris Johnson and Prince Harry for “commenting on American law.” “Pregnant man” was originally created in 1970 with a tagline that read “Would you be more careful if it was you that got pregnant?”, for the Health Education Council, which emerged from Cramer Saatchi.
The tagline has now been changed to “Would you be more careful with your vote if it was you that got pregnant?”
Chief creative officer of Saatchi & Saatchi, Franki Goodwin said: “We should be using every platform we have in the UK to show support for women’s rights as they are rolled back in the US. We are proud to be able to lend this iconic piece of Saatchi creative to highlight the hypocrisy and the regression of the Supreme Court’s decision.”
Roe vs. Wade case explained
In a historic decision, the US Supreme Court officially reversed nearly a half-century old Roe vs. Wade which was put in place to protect the constitutional right to abortion.
According to Justice Samuel Alito, the 1973 decisions reaffirming Roe “must be overruled” because they were “egregiously wrong,” the arguments “exceptionally weak,” and so “damaging” that they amounted to “an abuse of judicial authority.”
The SC decision was marked with heavy protests, with supporters of abortion rights voicing their disappointment across several cities. Hundreds of people gathered outside the White House to protest the US Supreme Court’s decision. Protesters held banners and chanted slogans such as “My body, my choice” and “Band off our bodies.”
Victoria Larsen, a protester, said “All these males out here who are chanting against abortion and are enthused and happy — smiling, singing songs and laughing — it’s just really disgusting,”
The decision, the majority of which was leaked in early May, meant that abortion rights would immediately be restricted in nearly half of the states, with additional restrictions likely to follow. Abortion would be unavailable in large swaths of the country for all practical purposes. The decision might also emerge as a strong focal point in the midterm elections later this year in November, with the US population divided into pro-life and abortion rights supporters.
Joe Biden says overturning Roe vs. Wade is “an exercise in raw political power”
US President Joe Biden has maintained that his ability to implement abortion rights is limited in the absence of action by the US Congress. In his remarks, the President said that the decision was “an exercise in raw political power.” He signed a Presidential order some time after the decision was ruled which strengthens protection against potential penalties for women seeking abortions who travel across state lines for the procedure, as well as protecting access to contraception. It also includes safeguards for abortion medication access.
President Joe Biden urged voters to vote in Democratic majorities, emphasising that this was an issue for the upcoming November midterm elections. “The fastest route to restore Roe is to pass a national law codifying Roe,” President Biden said, adding that US voters need to choose between “the mainstream or the extreme”.