Abortion will be a hot-button issue for upcoming elections. CNN reported on the election in Kansas, where citizens soundly rejected an abortion ban. CNN described the voters as “surging” to the polls, and we can all learn from that. The more that Republicans try to force their alleged beliefs on us, the more we need to turn out in record numbers to let them know we’re not taking their nonsense lying down. The only way to defeat their behavior is at the ballot box, and Kansas voters showed us that can be done. Of course, knowing Republicans, they may well begin finding ways to keep the issue off the ballots, but when it comes to voting on state laws, that would be difficult to achieve.
CNN reported that access to abortions has become a “top focus” of the midterms. Kansas currently has a protected right to abortion, and people come from Texas, Oklahoma, and Missouri to have the procedure. Under Kansas law, abortion is legal up to 22 weeks, but Kansas legislators sought to change that. The proposed amendment was a bit convoluted in its written form, but voters saw through that and voted a resounding “no” on the proposed amendment. For now, abortions will remain legal in Kansas, though don’t count on them not trying again. Republicans cannot take “no” for an answer.
CNN spoke with Ashley All, a member of Kansans for Constitutional Freedom. Her take on things is this: “The amendment that is on the ballot will mandate government control over our private medical decisions and ultimately pave the way for a total ban on abortion.” It’s not like lawmakers in Kansas haven’t been trying to do just that for years. In 2015, they passed an abortion law that banned “the dilation and evacuation procedure.” Fortunately, the courts blocked that law, and it never took effect. It is amazing how these people keep trying to force their misguided beliefs onto others, but fortunately, groups like the Kansans for Constitutional Freedom exist to keep them honest.
The Kansas Supreme Court made clear in 2019 that they were not entertaining any bills that restrict the rights of anyone in Kansas. The court ruled that abortion rights are protected under Section 1 of the Kansas constitution’s Bill of Rights by quoting that section: “All men are possessed of equal and inalienable natural rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” The court further specifically ruled that this section “affords protection of the right of personal autonomy, which includes the ability to control one’s own body” and “allows a woman to make her own decisions regarding her body, health, family formation, and family life – decisions that can include whether to continue a pregnancy.” This court is right on target, and people who seek to force others to live the way they want to live should beware. The Kansas Supreme Court is having none of it.
The voters in Kansas have spoken. Abortion will remain legal in their state, and there’s not a damned thing right-to-lifers can do about it.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years