The Lessons of the Kansas Primary Go Far Beyond Abortion Rights

In 1922, the newspaper editor William Allen White wrote, “When anything is going to happen in this country, it happens first in Kansas.” On August 2, voters in Kansas proved him right, going to the polls for the first referendum on abortion since the fall of Roe v. Wade. The result was an emphatic rejection of a state constitutional amendment that would have allowed state legislators to severely restrict access to abortion or ban the procedure outright. Pollsters were left scrambling as people across the country expressed surprise: How could this have happened in a state like Kansas? A few…

Defeat of Anti-Abortion Amendment in Kansas Shows Voters Favor Bodily Autonomy

Reproductive rights advocates are moving forward energized by the abortion rights movement’s heartening victory this week in Kansas, which signaled that – despite what right-wing forces have claimed – masses of Americans are solidly in favor of bodily autonomy. Kansas was the first state to vote on abortion rights in the wake of Roe v. Wade’s overturn, and the response from voters intent on protecting Kansas’s status as an abortion sanctuary in an otherwise highly restrictive Midwest was stunning. Nearly half of all registered voters turned out, a record high; and of these voters, 62 percent voted against the proposed…

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