“In that sense, my hope is that the Kansas amendment’s failure can serve as a reminder that the deliberate and thoughtful work of the pro-life movement must continue as we change one heart at a time, state by state.”
The Value Them Both Coalition, the state organization backing the amendment, said in a written statement, “This outcome is a temporary setback, and our dedicated fight to value women and babies is far from over. As our state becomes an abortion destination, it will be even more important for Kansans to support” pregnancy resource centers and other entities that offer care to women experiencing unplanned pregnancies.
Michael New, a researcher and associate scholar with the Charlotte Lozier Institute, sought to encourage pro-life advocates on Twitter. “Please do not despair, this was going to be an uphill battle” for pro-lifers, he wrote.
Historically, for pro-lifers to prevail in a statewide initiative, the “policy change must be incremental and difficult to caricature or demonize. The implications of ‘Value Them Both’ were unclear and that made it easier for our opponents to distort the measure,” New tweeted. “[A] narrower ballot proposition” in the future “would be much easier for pro-lifers to win. Tonight might not have been our night, but the future is still ours!”
Abortion rights supporters celebrated the amendment’s defeat.
In a written statement, Kansans for Constitutional Freedom, the coalition opposing the amendment, described the result as “truly a historic day for Kansas — and for America. We won this historic battle to protect women’s constitutional rights — and we BLOCKED this dangerous anti-abortion amendment.”
Alexis McGill Johnson – president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the country’s No. 1 abortion provider – tweeted, “Tonight, Kansas came out for abortion rights! They set a precedent for protecting reproductive freedom in the first vote on abortion post-Roe. Anti-abortion politicians across the country should brace themselves to feel voters’ wrath come November.”
The Kansas vote came amid other actions in the battle over abortion across the country:
- President Biden issued an executive order Wednesday that directs the Department of Health and Human Services to consider steps, including the use of Medicaid, to help women who travel across state lines for abortions.
- The U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit Tuesday against Idaho’s abortion prohibition, which permits exceptions for the life of the mother and in cases of rape and incest.
- Kentucky Court of Appeals judge issued an order Aug. 1 allowing two state abortion bans, the Human Life Protection Act and the Heartbeat Law, to go into effect.
Nearly half of the 50 states already have laws prohibiting abortion either throughout pregnancy or at some stage of pregnancy, although courts have blocked the enforcement of some.
This article originally appeared at Baptist Press.