Kansas Rejects Value Them Both Amendment
In one of the biggest days of this year's primary campaign season, voters rejected a measure that would have made it easier to restrict abortion rights in red-state Kansas.
According to the Associated Press, Kansas may seem like an unlikely place for abortion rights supporters to notch a major victory.
But on Tuesday, voters in the conservative state resoundingly - 59 percent to 41 percent - rejected a constitutional amendment that would have allowed the Legislature to ban abortion. It was the first major test of voter sentiment since the Supreme Court ruling in June to rescind the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide.
The amendment would have allowed the Legislature to overturn a 2019 state Supreme Court decision declaring access to abortion a fundamental right under the state constitution.
Its failure at the ballot in a state Donald Trump won by nearly 15 points issues a stark warning to Republicans, who have downplayed the political impact of the high court's ruling. It also hands a considerable win to Democrats, who are feeling newly energized heading into what was expected to be a tough midterm election season for them.
Kansas currently allows abortion until the 22nd week of pregnancy. After that, abortion is allowed only to save a patient's life or to prevent "a substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function."
Governor Laura Kelly, a Democrat who supports abortion rights, has warned that the Republican-led Legislature's efforts to ban abortion would hurt the state. On Tuesday it became clear that many voters agree with her.
US Senator Roger Marshall, MD – an OBGYN who delivered more than 5,000 babies – released the following statement on the result of the Value Them Both Amendment:
"Words could never express the sadness and emotion myself and many Kansans are feeling after the Value Them Both amendment was not adopted. This is an enormous blow to efforts to protect the sanctity of life in Kansas.
Too many times I've seen sadness and hurt, without an explanation why — this is one of those moments. While I don't have an answer, I do know that God works all things for good for those who trust him.
I want to thank everybody in the pro-life community who worked so hard to get this amendment passed. Tonight, we must still go to bed with faith and hope, for tomorrow we must be as dedicated to the sanctity of life, and to the fight to protect the lives of moms and unborn babies.
Each of us will have to pray and look in our hearts to see what's next. However, we must not rest as there is much work to be done to support moms who are contemplating abortion, and decide instead for life. Let us all reach out and give them all the help and hope we can.
As an OBGYN who delivered more than 5,000 babies and fought each day of my more than 25 year career to protect moms and babies, I remain as dedicated as ever to doing everything in my power as a US Senator to protect life at all costs."
(Information courtesy Associated Press and Senator Marshall's Office.)