08.02.2022 – (PRESS RELEASE) Today, in a historic landslide vote, Kansans rejected an anti-abortion ballot measure that would have eliminated the fundamental right to abortion under the state constitution. This is the first time abortion has been on a ballot since Roe v. Wade was overturned in June.
In 2019, in a case won by the Center for Reproductive Rights, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that the state constitution protects the right to abortion, even more strongly than the U.S. Constitution. In that ruling, the Court wrote that “Section 1 of the Kansas Constitution Bill of Rights affords protection of the right of personal autonomy, which includes the ability to control one’s own body, to assert bodily integrity, and to exercise self-determination. This right 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.” Today’s vote reaffirms this ruling.
That case – Hodes & Nauser MDs, P.A., et al. v. Schmidt & Howe – was filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights in 2015 on behalf of Kansas abortion providers Herbert C. Hodes, M.D. and Traci Lynn Nauser, M.D.
Statement from Nancy Northup, President and CEO, Center for Reproductive Rights:
“Today is an enormous victory for people in Kansas who voted to protect their fundamental right to personal and bodily autonomy. In 2019, the Supreme Court of Kansas recognized that the rights to self-determination and bodily autonomy are deeply rooted in Kansas history and values, and today the Kansas voters resoundingly agreed. Like the strong majority of people across the U.S., Kansans want to make their own decisions about abortion.
Today was the first time that voters have had a chance to have their voices heard on abortion rights since the Dobbs decision. Later this year, California, Michigan, Nevada, and Vermont will vote on measures to protect abortion access, and Kentucky will vote on an anti-abortion measure. This is an important opportunity for voters in those states to directly defend their right to make personal decisions about their own lives, bodies and futures.
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