Last Updated: 8/03/2022 at 12:05 pm
In the first major test of how voters are responding to a post-Roe reality, Kansans voted no on Tuesday to a ballot initiative that would have stripped abortion protections from the state constitution.
Had the proposed amendment been successful, lawmakers would have had an easier path to banning abortion state-wide.
Although it’s just one state, the vote could indicate that even in red-leaning states, voters are still willing to stand up for abortion rights.
Overall, Americans have been supportive of the constitutional right to abortion. Polling from Pew Research Center in July, found that 57% of Americans disapprove of the Supreme Court overturning Roe. The same poll found that 67% of Black Americans, who make up 12.4% of Kansas’ population, disapprove of the Supreme Court overturning Roe.
Just looking at those numbers, you might expect Kansans to have no trouble getting rid of abortion protections. I mean, the state hasn’t voted for a Democratic President since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964.
Plus, the plurality of state voters identify as Republicans or lean Republican, according to Pew.
But as the election results show, just because voters lean-right doesn’t mean they’ll support an anti-abortion agenda when it’s directly on their ballots.
When red-leaning Florida put their state constitution’s abortion protections to the test in 2012 in a similar ballot initiative, anti-abortion advocates lost.
polls taken before the election, showed votes in favor of doing away the protections, as slightly ahead.
Polling from data analytics company co/efficient found that Roughly 47% of surveyed Kansans said they supported the amendment, 43% said they were opposed, and 10% said they were undecided, according to the poll.
In the end, the amendment failed with 59 percent opposed and 41 percent in favor, according to the New York Times.
It’s still too soon to tell exactly what this means for either the larger abortion fight or the mid-term elections, but it’s an early indicator that voters might not be fully in support of conservative abortion policies.