Kansas voters on Tuesday rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that would have ended abortion protections in the state, marking the first time since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade that Americans have voted on the issue.
If passed, language would have been added to the state Constitution stating, “[b]ecause Kansans value both women and children, the constitution of the state of Kansas does not require government funding of abortion and does not create or secure a right to abortion."
The proposed amendment was in response to a Kansas Supreme Court ruling in 2019 that said the state's constitution protects the “natural right of personal autonomy,” which includes the right to “control one’s own body.”
With 96 percent reporting, the Value Them Both Amendment failed 58.8 percent to 41.2 percent, according to the Associated Press.
President Biden praised the outcome in a statement late on Tuesday.
“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 said.
“Congress should listen to the will of the American people and restore the protections of Roe as federal law,” the statement continued. “While that is the only way to secure a woman’s right to choose, my Administration will continue to take meaningful action to protect women’s access to reproductive health care. We will continue to act where we can to protect women’s reproductive rights and access to care. And, the American people must continue to use their voices to protect the right to women’s health care, including abortion.”
The Value Them Both Coalition called the amendment’s defeat a “temporary setback” and vowed to continue fighting for life.
“Kansans endured an onslaught of misinformation from radical left organizations that spent millions of out-of-state dollars to spread lies about the Value Them Both Amendment,” the group said. “As our state becomes an abortion destination, it will be even more important for Kansans to support our pregnancy resource centers, post-abortive ministries, and other organizations that provide supportive care to women facing unexpected pregnancies. We will be back.”